Successful hunting trips require a combination of skill, patience and most importantly, preparation. As turkey season rapidly approaches, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) encourages preparation first, hoping that hunters will brush up on important turkey hunting safety tips before hitting the woods.
“Hunters should be 110 percent certain of their target AND what is in front of and beyond it before pulling the trigger and should never shoot at sound or movement,” advises Walter Lane, WRD hunter development program manager. “Turkey hunters have to utilize their firearms safety knowledge and remember ways to keep themselves and others safe while in the woods.”
Hunters are encouraged to review the following turkey hunting season safety precautions before the 2012 season opens on Sat., March 24:
- Never wear red, white, blue or black clothing while turkey hunting. Red is the color most hunters look for when distinguishing a gobbler’s head from a hen’s blue-colored head, but at times it may appear white or blue. Male turkey feathers covering most of the body are black in appearance. Camouflage should be used to cover everything, including the hunter’s face, hands and firearm.
Select a calling position that provides at least a shoulder-width background, such as the base of a tree. Be sure that at least a 180-degree range is visible.
Do not stalk a gobbling turkey. Due to their keen eyesight and hearing, the chances of getting close are slim to none.
When using a turkey call, the sound and motion may attract the interest of other hunters. Do not move, wave or make turkey-like sounds to alert another hunter to your presence. Instead, identify yourself in a loud voice.
Be careful when carrying a harvested turkey from the woods. Do not allow the wings to hang loosely or the head to be displayed in such a way that another hunter may think it is a live bird. If possible, conceal the turkey in a blaze orange garment or other material.
Although it’s not required, it is suggested that hunters wear blaze orange when moving between a vehicle and a hunting site. When moving between hunting sites, hunters should wear blaze orange on their upper bodies to facilitate their identification by other hunters.
Turkey hunters must possess a valid hunting license and a big game license to legally hunt turkeys in Georgia. If hunting on a Wildlife Management Area, hunters must also possess a WMA license. Sportsmen and women must always obtain permission from a landowner before hunting on private land. Only male turkeys may be harvested, and the season bag limit is three gobblers per hunter.
Where can you get a license? Buy it online or find a list of retail license vendors at www.georgiawildlife.com/recreational-licenses or buy it by phone at 1.800.366.2661.
For additional hunting information, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com.