Turkey Hunting in the Rain – Worth Your Time?

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Thinking about turkey hunting in the rain? There are a lot of misconceptions about hunting during a rain storm. While it might not be your typical turkey hunt, nailing a beard dragger in the rain is very, very doable. Some hunters report their best hunts have been in the rain.

Don’t let a bit of bad weather deter you from finding your bird. In this article, we’ll give you all the pointers we have when it comes to hunting for turkeys in the rain.

Do Turkeys Come Out During a Rain?

It may seem a bit counter intuitive to try to hunt for turkeys in the rain, but some of my best hunts have been in the rain – surprisingly enough. Turkeys may not cover as much ground in a storm, but they’ll definitely come out. Spring hunting season is widely recognized as the best season to hunt, and with spring comes rain.

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Turkeys are generally not affected by mild to moderate rain, and will even continue to go about their normal lives doing things, such as foraging for food, or looking for a mate. However, like most animals, turkeys may seek shelter if the rain becomes too heavy or if there is frequent lightning strikes nearby. Loud thunder will ruin your hunt – not rain.

Are There Any Advantages to Hunting in the Rain?

There are some advantages to hunting in the rain, but you need to be patient. Conditions aren’t perfect, so expecting a perfect hunt is unrealistic.

Rain make it more difficult for the turkeys to see you – which is a massive advantage. Turkeys have outstanding eyesight. Their great eyesight is what makes hunting them so difficult.

Another advantage is turkeys will not cover as much ground while raining. Flying in the rain is annoying for them, but so is walking around. If you did your homework on finding their general roosting area, you can almost guarantee that the birds will be there throughout the storm.

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Things to Be Aware of When Hunting For Turkeys in Poor Weather Conditions

There are some things that you should be prepared for if you plan on going out on a rainy day. Let’s go over them, briefly.

Safety

Don’t be stupid. If the weather is severe, or looks like it could get dangerous, don’t go out. Wait it out. You may have to call off your early morning hunt, and simply go out later. Sleep in a bit, get a nice breakfast, and head out when the rain calms down.

Calling

Calling for turkeys is going to be almost pointless during a decent rain. The rain drops drown out most sound, and the birds will likely not hear anything – nor will you. You can try calling, just don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work for you.

Decoys

If you are going to use turkey decoys, set up nearby their roosting around. A good hunter will have scouted out the area, and have a general idea of where they roost. Remember, the flock won’t travel too far during a rain, but it’s likely they’ll investigate decoys nearby.

Clothing and Hunting Gear

Dress appropriately. It doesn’t take freezing cold conditions to suffer from hypothermia. A good rain in the 60s or low 70s can be a very real problem for some people. At a minimum, pack some waterproof rain gear. Wearing the right turkey hunting gear for the right conditions is vital.

Toss a top and some bottoms in a small bag if you are anticipating rain. Do not be that guy who gets caught out in the middle of the woods without proper clothing.

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Firearm Covers

Some people may want to consider using firearm covers. These covers can be annoying to deal with during a hunt, but they save your bolt and chamber from getting things like mud inside which can jam your weapon and ruin your hunt, completely.

Make Sure The Weather Doesn’t Turn Dangerous

If you are knowingly going out into a storm to hunt, check your local weather forecast to make sure it’s not expected to get worse. Weather can turn from mild to severe in a split second, especially in the spring. The Midwest is notorious for what are called “storm cells” that spawn tornados. It can, literally, go from a light rain to a tornado warning within 5-10 minutes.

Always have an evacuation plan in mind, should things turn dangerous.

Common Questions About Trying to Find Turkeys in the Rain

Does a cold front affect turkey hunting?

A cold front can affect turkey hunting in several ways. Cold fronts are typically associated with a drop in temperature and can bring wet, cold, and sometimes snowy weather. This can make it more challenging for hunters to remain comfortable and stealthy in the field. Cold fronts can also affect the behavior of turkeys. As the weather becomes colder, turkeys may become more sluggish and may not move as far from their roosting areas in search of food. This can make them more difficult to locate and hunt.

On the other hand, a cold front can also bring clear, dry weather, which can be more favorable for hunting. Ultimately, the impact of a cold front on turkey hunting will depend on the specific weather conditions it brings and how these conditions affect the behavior of the turkeys.

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Is turkey hunting any good in the rain?

Sure, it can be great! It just really depends on the severity of the weather. A light to moderate rain without thunder should be good to hunt in.

Do turkeys move around in the rain?

Turkeys are also more likely to be found near sources of food and water in a rain storm, so if the rain keeps up and the ground becomes soaking wet and muddy, turkeys may move to areas where they can find food and water more easily. Ultimately, the total movement of turkeys in a rain storm will depend on the specific conditions of the rain.

Where do turkeys like to be in the rain?

You’re likely going to find your beard dragger near the roost. Turkeys might not move around as much in the rain, so they like to remain near their roosting area.

Typically, turkeys will prefer to be in places with a lot of food, water, and shelter. They may move to other spots if they don’t have these three things. If it is raining, turkeys may seek shelter under trees or other structures to stay dry.

Summary – Turkey Hunting While Raining

Thinking of hunting while its raining? Good! Don’t let a little bit of bad weather ruin your hunt. Chances are, you’ll be just fine. Remember, keep an eye on the weather, and don’t go out in obviously horrible conditions. Hunting in a light to moderate rain should be just fine if you follow the tips we gave you in this article.

As long as you dress for it, and know how to change your tactics around, you’ll be able to nail that beard dragger.

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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 >>