For the most part wild turkey hunters do not like windy days. The wind makes it harder for hunters to hear the turkeys and for the turkeys to hear the hunter’s calls. Not sure about latter. A turkey’s hearing is so fine tuned they can probably hear the hunter’s calls it’s just that the hunter who can’t hear the turkey’s response. Blowing wind masks the sound of approaching turkeys perhaps causing a hunter to give up their setup prematurely in the mistaken belief there are no turkeys out and about.
Questions not usually considered or discussed much:
- Does wind alter a turkey’s behavior?
- If so how can a turkey hunter change strategies to bag a gobbler?
An article by Judd Cooney in the March 2014 Fur-Fish-Game titled Let the Wind Blow a Bird Your Way, Wild Turkey Tactics
This article got me thinking about wind and turkeys on a deeper level than in the past.
Mr. Cooney writes:
I speculate that turkeys, being heavy-weight gliders, have a tough time navigating on the wing through tree branches – as any hunter who has heard them going to coming from a roost in a thicket might attest. Flying into the wind gives them better control, much as a bush pilot always tries to land into the wind. It also makes sense that turkeys feel more comfortable feeding into the wind, when it is blowing with and not against the natural lay of their feathers.
Good observation there Mr. Cooney I too have noticed turkeys seem to prefer facing the wind. This is why a setup with the wind on the hunter’s back usually works out better. Not only will the wind carry the sound of your call more effectively… The turkeys are usually already pointed and upwind up wind. As on longtime deer bowhunter having the wind at my back doesn’t fell quite right because deer will smell the hunter and be gone. Fortunately, turkeys on the other hand have no sense of smell. However, I had not considered the wind effect on determining a turkey’s fly down direction. As I think back over past hunts where the turkeys went the “wrong” way it was very likely that the wind had something to do with it.
There is more in Judd Cooney’s article explaining his observations and conclusions regarding wild turkey behavior in the wind. Hunting turkeys on those particularly windy spring days is more challenging. A hunter with a good understanding of all the things affecting turkey behavior is better able to tip the odds in their favor. This is another tidbit of information to help in that quest.
Also read tips in How to Hunt Wild Turkeys in Wind & Rain