As turkey hunting becomes more and more popular across the U.S. and Canada, the chances of running into another hunter while you're in the woods are pretty likely. Here are a few tips to keep you safe on busy hunting days:
Never wave or move to get the attention of another hunter.
Call out to the hunter in a clear voice "Hey, there's a hunter over here!" and stand up. Never use a wild animal call to get the hunter's attention.
Never wear the colors red, white or blue into the woods. These colors represent the colors of a gobbler's head, and you can be mistaken for a turkey.
Always follow your state's laws on wearing hunter orange.
Never stalk turkey calls while hunting on public land. If you hear a gobble or a yelp, it could easily be another hunter. Find a safe place to set up and call.
Always identify your target. Never shoot at movement and make sure there is nothing between you and your target. Also, know what is on the other side of your target, you don't want to shoot in a direction that might hit your house, or a passing vehicle or cattle.
Set up against a tree that is wide enough to cover your entire back and shoulders. This will protect you from hunters who might stalk your calls and come in from behind you.
If you can't make a clean, safe shot, DON'T SHOOT! It is better to pass on a trophy gobbler than to take a risky shot that could hurt someone or just injure the bird.
If you bag a bird on public land, carry it out in your vest or in a game bag. The sight of feathers floating through the woods could draw the fire of an unsafe hunter.
Remember, turkey hunting is fun and very safe if you follow the rules. Sharing the woods with other safe hunters can be a great experience.