Evolutionary race: Wild turkey blind timing and hunting strategy

A lot of turkey hunters believe seasoning blinds, and brushing them in, is unnecessary. Peterson disagrees, especially when targeting pressured toms, so he sets several blinds well before the season opens.

Last Sunday a buddy and I placed and brushed in three blinds. At almost a month before the mid-April opener, that’s probably overkill, but I’m less inclined to take chances these days.

In my experience, the turkeys that will tolerate a brand new blind in the wide open are becoming rarer with each season. I know an awful lot of hunters who think it’s unnecessary to season turkey blinds, but many of them are also hunting killer spots that receive little hunting pressure.

The properties I hunt are just the opposite, and I’ve spent plenty of time watching birds strut by well outside of shooting range. Some probably had other reasons for not swinging through my decoy spread, but others likely saw a big camouflage cube and decided they’d been down that road before.

Part of it, I’m sure, has to do with the sun blaring down on a blind that has a shiny exterior. We’ve all seen blinds like those out in fields and they simply glow. I refuse to believe a gobbler will fully accept something like that as soon as it shows up in his favorite strutting grounds.

I’m also of the opinion that turkey blinds, just like deer stands, are their best with the first sit. I’ve seen turkeys grow shy of certain blinds after I hunt them a few times, so I always try to have a few backup spots brushed in.

In fact, of the three blinds we placed Sunday, one of them is purely a backup spot. It’s in an island of trees out in a field, somewhat in the middle of nowhere. It also happens to be a good place to find turkeys in the mid- to late-season, when our beginning spots have gone cold.

If you’re gearing up for spring turkeys and plan to use hub-style blinds, consider setting them out now and brushing them in well. If you’re worried about a late snowstorm collapsing them, or maybe the wind destroying them, prop up the top with a cut sapling and stake them down well. Usually that’s all it takes to get a blind to survive Mother Nature long enough for you to sneak in and experience a quality hunt.

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