Tips for how to hunt turkeys in the rain


You can successfully hunt turkeys in the rain by making a few small changes in your tactics. Turkeys are affected by heavy rains and storms and will stay up in their roosts longer. But, if there’s no threat of lightning, you should still grab your gear and get outside into the field.

The best tip for how to hunt turkeys in the rain.

As a turkey hunter, you must accept the fact that your season is limited. The only way you can improve your odds is by hunting the maximum number of available days. Increasing the number of hunts you attempt will often mean turkey hunting in less-than-ideal weather.

The best tip for hunting turkeys in the rain, then, is to hunt turkeys in bad weather.

Suck it up, buttercup! You may have to wait for the fan to dry—but you will increase your odds of taking a massive tom.

The second best tip for turkey hunting in the rain is to start with your local forecast. If the forecast calls for rain, you’ll need to dress to keep yourself and your gear dry. If the weatherman expects severe storms, you need to determine the potential for lighting.

Keep your phone’s weather app running and check it frequently. It’s OK to keep turkey hunting in heavy rain, but the minute lightning becomes a possibility, seek immediate shelter.

Hunting turkeys in the rain is potentially more profitable for two reasons. Turkeys are not bothered by it and simply relocate to more open spaces. And many hunters hate sitting in the rain and will stay home.

What do turkeys do in the rain?

In the rain, a turkey’s primary senses of sight and hearing are degraded. Heavy rain and strong winds will cause branches and leaves to sway. Heavy rain also makes loud noises when it hits nearby foliage and the forest floor. The loss of these senses makes turkeys more vulnerable to predators.

During an early morning rainstorm, turkeys will remain in their roosts and wait it out. They will fly down and seek out open space if the rain slackens. Turkeys will avoid places where raindrops make a lot of noise or create a lot of tree and branch movement. An open field will swallow up all the loud noise and confusing sights the rain makes and restore some of the turkey’s senses.

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Turkeys always stay out of the fog. If the ground below their roost is foggy, the turkeys will not come down into it. Instead, they will wait for the haze to clear and avoid any remaining murky areas.

Do you know what else turkeys do in the rain? They feast on the insects, like worms, that only surface when the ground is wet.

Turkeys love to eat in the rain & cold weather. Why? When the rain trickles down in the ground, the worms, insects, or bugs come to the surface. As they feed, they allow you to accomplish your mission faster.

Tactics for hunting turkeys in the rain in the morning.

If the forecast calls for heavy morning rain and a later clearing, use the shower to close your distance to their roost. Locate the nearest open field they are likely to land in and set your stand there while remaining undetected.

If you have created a turkey food plot, you can expect the turkeys to head here right away if the rain has kept them roosting for too long.

While the turkeys will continue with their morning turkey talk, don’t expect as much gobbling as you’d hear on a clear day. And be prepared to either use mouth calls or ensure your hand callers stay dry. A tom or jake will still respond to a goggle, so be ready to tell the difference even in the rain.

Related: How to find a wounded turkey.

Using a blind for turkey hunting in the rain.

We have all been here! The turkey blind keeps us out of the rain and wind, but warm and dry come at a price. The noise inside is either irritating or deafening!

Today’s turkey hunting blinds are easy enough for one person to carry and set up. Placed early enough before the season, and the turkeys will completely ignore them. The shoot-through windows and extra space inside make turkey blinds seem luxurious.

Turkey blinds are perfect; until the rain starts pattering and drumming on the canvas; suddenly, you are inside a drum and unable to hear anything around you. Is there anything you can do to prevent this fatal flaw in blind manufacturing?

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To reduce the sound in your blind, you need to think like an erosion control specialist. Preventing erosion mean keeping the rain from splashing directly against the soil. The same idea can be applied to turkey hunting from a blind.

Now, before you start adding branches and other vegetation to the roof of your blind, remember this, your blind’s shelter cannot take much additional weight without collapsing or folding. And, trying to create a separate shelf above your blind to keep the rain from falling directly on it is problematic.

My suggestion? Cover the top of your blind in a layer of hay. That is the number one way to stop rain from causing erosion on a job site, and it will work for you. Hay or straw is readily available from your local feed store. A thick layer can be spread across the top of your blind, and the weight won’t deform the structure. And yes, it will dampen the sound by 90%.

How to hunt turkeys in the rain from a blind.

A turkey blind may be one of the best turkey hunting tools, but it must be set up correctly to give you maximum advantage.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, add the layer of hay noted above, and stake it down like you were expecting a tornado to pass through. No matter how long it takes, perfect assembly is worth the price. I’ve found too many flattened and ruined blinds to ever half-ass erect one again. Take your time. Do it right. Otherwise, you will waste your money and disturb the turkeys by swearing and struggling to get them back into shape.

If you need to install a blind just before turkey season starts, you’ll need to brush it into the existing background. Even turkeys will be wary of strange structures popping up in the middle of nowhere.

Slip your turkey hunting blind in amongst some existing trees to help conceal and make the blind look more natural. Late blind installation is possible, but you’ll need to make its angles disappear in the background clutter.

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Calling while you hunt turkeys in the rain.

Your calling sequences can remain unchanged, but the volume of your sounds will need to be increased. The distance your sounds travel will be shorter, especially in heavy rain. You may also want to increase the frequency of your calls to ensure the turkey can hear them.

The rain will undoubtedly affect which turkey calls you can use when it is raining. Calling a turkey in the rain requires a loud, quality turkey caller. Slate and box calls can’t be used if they get wet unless specifically designed for it. A turkey tube caller, however, isn’t affected by rain and carries a long way, even on a windy day.

A turkey mouth call is perfect, even in a downpour, but it takes practice to use correctly, so don’t wait until the last moment to hit the field and start trying to call turkeys in the rain with it.

It’s raining turkeys!

Be especially on the alert when you are hunting turkeys in the rain. But you may not spot them as they come in! The rain may give them enough cover to slip in unnoticed by you. And rain can do more than just mute the sound of a responding turkey; it can also make the turkey call far less frequently or even stop calling.

Using turkey decoys in the rain can be exceptionally profitable. In terms of concealment in the rain, you get as much benefit as a turkey does. But in the rain, decoys look even more realistic to a turkey, and they may gladly seek the supposed group safety they represent.

When turkey hunting in the rain, set your turkey decoys 10-20 yards ahead of your hunting location. At this range, you should have a clear shot, despite the rain, and yet remain completely unseen.

As you can see, rain isn’t necessarily a reason to stay home—especially considering the limited number of days you have available to you during turkey hunting season. So get out there, change your strategy a bit, and get that giant gobbler before anyone else even gets off their couch.

Turkey hunting in the rain may be the best thing you ever did to score a prized bird!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>