Tips for safe hunting this turkey season

MONTPELIER — Hunting safely during Vermont’s May 1-31 turkey season is easy if you follow tips issued by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.  With the opening of spring turkey hunting season on May 1, Fish and Wildlife urges hunters to consider these safety tips:

• Never shoot unless you are absolutely sure of your target and what is beyond it. Look for a beard as only turkeys with beards are legal during the spring season. 

• Never stalk a gobbling turkey.  Your chances of getting close are poor, and you may be sneaking up on another hunter.

• Avoid red, white, blue, or black in clothing and equipment. A tom turkey’s head has similar colors.

• Stick with hen calls. A gobbler call might draw in other hunters.

• Avoid unnecessary movement.  This alerts turkeys and attracts hunters.

• Don’t hide so well that you impair your field of vision.

• Wrap your turkey in blaze orange for the hike back to your vehicle.

• Always sit with your back against a tree trunk, big log or a boulder that is wider than your body. This protects you from being accidentally struck by pellets fired from behind you. 

• Place decoys on the far side of a tree trunk or a rock. This prevents you from being directly in the line of fire should another hunter mistakenly shoot at your decoy.

• Wear hunter orange while moving from set-up to set-up. Take it off when you are in position.

• If you see another hunter, call out to them, but don’t move until they respond. You may ruin the hunt, but you may have avoided injury.

• Make sure you know your effective range when shooting. For the most clean and ethical shot, make sure your shotgun is patterned and you are shooting within your effective range.

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