Considerations for Good Turkey Hunting Ground Blinds
The warm spell the country is currently experiencing makes it feel more like April than about a month before the official first day of spring! A false sense of spring is the perfect time to consider what this spring gobbler season may look like. One consideration is will this year be the year to start using ground blinds for turkey hunting?
Reasons Why Ground Blinds Make Sense for Turkey Hunting
Hunting turkeys from a ground blind are effective because a blind offers many advantages that allow you to get close to birds. Unlike deer hunting where scent control is typically your biggest challenge, movement when turkey hunting is what gets you busted time and time again. A portable turkey blind conceals movement, provides more comfort and opens up more opportunities in spring turkey season.
The two best reasons for using a pop-up turkey blind this spring are the concealment and comfort they provide. As opposed to sitting on the ground, hunting turkeys from a blind hides almost all movements you may make during those critical moments when a long beard is approaching. Rarely does a gobbler come in perfect, which means you will need to probably make several last second position adjustments. Hunting blinds conceal movements allowing you to move when birds are close with the confidence they will not spook unlike when hunting on the ground where even the slightest movement can alert a gobbler.
In conjunction with being able to move more when hunting turkeys from a ground blind, a blind also makes for a more comfortable hunting experience. We are all familiar with birds coming in silent so when on the ground you really cannot move much at any time when hunting turkeys. In the blind, however, you are free to reposition your legs and stay comfortable the entire day. Ground blind accessories such as seats and gun rests can be added to increase comfort while hunting, making them ideal when hunting with kids or rookie turkey hunters.
Another important aspect of using ground blinds for turkeys is the fact that ground blinds can “make” a hunting area on both private and public land. For example, long beards may be working a particular area but that area may not have sufficient places to set up at. A blind can be used to ambush birds and create a concealed turkey hunting setup, right where the birds are.
What Makes a Good Ground Blind for Turkeys?
There are several characteristics that make a good blind for turkeys. These are things you want to look for if you are considering purchasing a ground blind for the first time or are looking to upgrade to a new turkey hunting blind.
The best hunting blinds have good windows. Of course, all blinds have some form of windows, without them would make it difficult to hunt otherwise, but good windows relate to the number and type the blind has. Good ground blinds have multiple windows on each side of the blind to give you different angles to shoot incoming birds, especially important when a bird may come in unannounced. Windows that are various sizes and shapes, such as diamond and triangle shape, give you greater ability to shoot from. Larger windows are good for those who are archery hunting from blinds for turkeys and also make it easier for kids to be able to see and shoot from.
Another factor in a good portable turkey blind is weight. No doubt blinds are large and heavy to carry compared to the equipment you need for hunting on the ground but some are lighter and more compact than others. These are the best ground blinds for hunting. With deer hunting, a larger blind is fine because you are typically set up in an area (food source, trail, etc.) and probably do not need to move the blind often. However, turkeys can be in one area today and another tomorrow so having a lighter, more compact blind lets you easily move it several times a day if needed with ease.
Additionally, ground blinds that are built tough are a must. Again, you are most likely going to be moving your turkey hunting blind setups at least several times this spring so you want a blind that can take repeated put up and tear down without fault. Look for a blind made of high-quality fabrics that increase their longevity and shed weather well. Also, blinds with rugged zippers make for continued smooth operation and will keep windows and doors working day after day and season after season.
Features to Look for in Ground Blinds for Turkey Hunting
Along with the factors that make a pop-up turkey blind, there are a few features to look for when buying a blind for turkeys. First and foremost consider the camo pattern. Most blinds feature camo fabric to make them blend into the environment, but the camo can vary and should be considered based on where you are hunting turkeys.
- Eastern birds in the early part of the season will be hunted before leaf out so camo patterns that have more grays and lighter tones are better to blend the blind into the natural environment. As the season progresses into late May, more vegetation and thus more greens in the camo is important.
- Southern birds will have more vegetation present so ground blinds with more greens and vegetation contrasts will prove effective in matching to the habitats your hunting these turkeys in.
- Hunting western turkeys in the spring from a blind should have tans, grays, and greens mixed in the camo pattern to match mountainous terrain coupled with conifer vegetation.
Ground blinds are different than clothing in that there are significantly less camo pattern options available, which leave few choices to match your hunting area like discussed above. The solution is to pick one as close to your environment but also add vegetation and debris to it to enhance its concealment specific to your location.
To do this, some blinds have added straps along the sides and on top of the blind. These straps are a feature to provide a means to attach vegetation to make it blend in better. So, for example, you may have a leafy camo pattern on your blind in the early spring season in the northeast but you can add branches and other natural structures using the straps to break up the blind better.
Finally, with hunting turkeys in spring, the weather can be unpredictable. Spring winds and rains can come at any day. The nice part of a portable turkey blind is that they keep you protected from the weather but you need good stakes, and plenty of them, with your blind to make sure you can secure it from high winds and weather. Blinds with “cheap” stakes can have your blind blown over and damaged in these spring weather conditions.
If you have not hunted turkeys from ground blinds before or are looking to upgrade your existing blind, there are several good reasons to buy one now. Look for certain characteristics that make for a good turkey hunting blind along with extra features that will improve your spring gobbler season this year.