Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   



Fish & Game

Keep Safe on Your Gobbler Quest

Turkey hunting is a challenging and exciting springtime activity. Paying attention to these basic safety rules will keep it that way. 

Firearm Handling and Safety


The first rule of hunting safety is to keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction. If this rule was followed, virtually all firearm-related hunting incidents would be eliminated.


Firearms should always be stored unloaded with action open and separate from ammunition while at home, in transport and while entering/exiting cabins, stands or calling sites.


Your finger should remain off the trigger until the moment you’re ready to take the shot.


It's important to be sure of your target and what is in front of it and beyond it. Carry and use a good set of binoculars to clearly identify your quarry and surroundings before raising your sporting arm toward the target.



Some colors make you look like your quarry — the patriotic red, white and blue of a gobbler’s head or the black coloring of a turkey, wild hog or other spring target — especially around dusk.


Call turkeys to you; don’t go after them. Stalking the sounds of other turkeys, especially if you are calling, too, could make you the target of another hunter, especially on public lands. Never use a turkey fan (called “fanning”) to hide from and stalk turkeys.


Avoid alcoholic beverages, prescription medicines and other mood-altering substances and get plenty of sleep during your hunting trip. Most accidents occur in the late afternoon due to fatigue and related causes.


COVER DECOYS when moving to and from a hunting spot.

SELECT A GOOD SHOOTING POSITION in front of a tree, stump or rock that is wider than your shoulders and taller than your head.

ESTABLISH A “SIGHT LINE” that allows you 100 yards visibility. From your seated position, identify the clearest line of vision to your front.

SET DECOYS APPROXIMATELY 20 YARDS from your position near the sight line.

CALL OUT! Should you see another hunter, especially if they are close to your line of sight, call out to them in a loud, clear voice. Their presence has already compromised your location.

BE 360 DEGREES WARY if you are calling over decoys or moving to a new location. Ensure that no one is stalking your decoys before leaving
your setup.

From top  Chase Fountain | TPWD; Jonathan Vail; Steve Keller | Dreamstime.com; Chase Fountain | TPWD; Justin Hoffman Outdoors | Dremstime.com; Chase Fountain | TPWD x3

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2022/jan/scout11c_r3 Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine 
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