Turkey Hunter Safety and Ethics

When turkey hunting, know and obey all wildlife laws. Hunters must always use good judgment and take responsibility for their actions. 

Basic Rules of Safety

Safe Equipment and Gear

  • Make sure your equipment is in good working condition and properly sighted in.
  • Know the effective range of your gun. Pattern your shotgun before turkey season.
  • Never use shot sizes larger than No. 4. Larger shot is restricted and increases the chance of serious line-of-fire accidents.
  • Dress defensively. Never wear red, white, blue, or black while hunting turkey. 
  • Wear hunter orange when walking through the woods. 
  • Use hunter orange to identify your hunting location. 
  • If hunting from a tree stand, always wear a safety harness. 

Safe Hunting Practices

  • Scout the area you plan to hunt so you know where the boundaries, houses, roads, fences, and livestock are located on the property. 
  • Be cautious when approaching wild turkeys. Any calling you hear may be another hunter.
  • NEVER wave, whistle, or make turkey calls to alert an approaching hunter to your presence. Shout to reveal your presence.
  • NEVER identify a turkey by - or shoot at - sound or movement.
  • Positively identify a turkey before aiming. 
  • Identify what lies beyond any turkey in your sight. Other hunters could be beyond the target.
  • Wrap a bagged turkey or decoy in hunter orange while transporting it.

Reporting Accidents

If you are involved in a firearms-related hunting accident, the law requires that you identify yourself and render assistance. Failure to do so is a Class A misdemeanor.

Basic Turkey Hunting Ethics

  • Before hunting private land, obtain permission from the landowner.
  • Respect the property you are hunting on as if it were your own.
  • NEVER shoot at a turkey beyond the effective range of your shotgun. Remember that 30 to 40 yards is about the average limit for a clean kill.
  • If you do not kill the turkey instantly, make every effort to find the wounded animal. Permission is required to enter private land. 
  • Pick up litter, including spent ammunition. 
  • Clean and care for your game properly. 
  • Report observed violations of the law to a conservation agent or local sheriff as soon as possible.

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