Turkey Hunting Tip: Stand Up and Shoot

At 20 steps the gobbler peeked over the knob, spotted me, and putted an alarm. Years ago, I’d have cursed and left. Instead, I shouldered my gun, stood up, marched toward the bird, and folded him at 35 steps.

Photo by John Hafner

Do you believe the only way to shoot a turkey is with your butt touching the turf? This can cost you a safe, lethal shot.

Last spring, I yelped up a Wisconsin tom that strode along one side of a ridgetop as I called from the other. At 20 steps the gobbler peeked over the knob, spotted me, and putted an alarm. Years ago, I’d have cursed and left. Instead, I shouldered my gun, stood up, marched toward the bird, and folded him at 35 steps.

I’ve used this same method to kill gobblers that have hung up behind brushpiles or other obstructions, or refused to crest a hill. Sure, some turkeys flush as soon as you stand up, but my experience suggests that most hesitate just long enough to give you a clean shot.