John's Journal...

How to Hunt Bad Weather Birds

Secrets for Taking Turkeys in Bad Weather, Plus a Turkey Hunting Video with Will Primos

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Hunters can successfully take turkeys in bad-weather conditions, like driving rain, bad winds and snow. This week, we’ve listed some secrets to taking turkeys in bad weather, and today we’ll provide tactics for having the right clothing and equipment for bad-weather turkey hunting.

Some secrets to taking turkeys in bad weather include…
1) Go after the bird. You can’t take a turkey by staying in camp.Click to enlarge
2) Learn the daily routines of turkeys in the area where you plan to hunt. Then you may bag a bird, regardless of the weather.
3) Hunt with the wind at your back. The wind will carry your calls to the gobbler.
4) Take a stand where you expect turkeys to normally travel. Remain on that stand longer than you normally will, if you hear a turkey walking or gobbling.
5) Pray for a weather break. If the rain stops coming-down or the wind quits blowing, you may have an opportunity to bag a bird.

Clothing and Equipment for Bad Weather:Click to enlarge
During turkey season, I always carry a breathable rain suit in my backpack that keeps me dry and comfortable. I put my slate and box calls in Ziploc gallon-sized bags and the chalk for my boxes in a Ziploc sandwich-size bag. When rain falls, my hands often get cold. I keep the insides of my pockets warm with Hot Hands chemical hand warmers. If I hunt in dry areas, I wear Wolverine’s waterproof corduroy and leather boots. But if I hunt in swampy or wet terrain, I prefer La Crosse’s knee-high rubber boots. Remember to wear your rain suit on the outside of your boots instead of tucking the rain suit into the tops of your boots to keep the insides dry. When I come in from hunting in the rain, I immediately spray my gun down with some type of lubricant to Click to enlargekeep rust and sludge from building-up on the gun and in any of the working parts. If possible, I also take the gun apart and spray it. Too, I place my usually wet-boots on my Peet boot dryer to have dry boots to hunt in later in the day where the law allows or the next day if I can hunt mornings only. I carry all the gear I plan to hunt with in the field either in a waterproof turkey vest or in a waterproof daypack. To hunt successfully in the rain, you must take more time to make sure all your gear remains dry and functional.

Learn more about hunting legendary gobblers from John E. Phillips’ library of turkey-hunting books, including “The Turkey Hunter’s Bible,” “Turkey Tactics,” “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting,” “The Masters’ Secrets of Turkey Hunting” and “Hunter’s Specialties’ PhD Gobblers.” To learn more about these hunting books and others, visit, or call 205-967-3830.

Watch Video: “Will Primos – Best Place to Call a Turkey”

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Hunt Bad Weather Birds"

Day 1: Hunting Turkeys in the Rain, Plus a Turkey Hunting Video with Will Primos
Day 2: Hunting Turkeys in the Rain Sometimes Pays-Off, Plus a Turkey Hunting Video with Chris Parrish
Day 3: Use the Wind to Hunt Turkeys with Brad Harris and Allen Jenkins, Plus a Turkey Hunting Video with Chris Parrish
Day 4: Taking Toms in the Snow with Jim Zumbo, Plus a Turkey Hunting Video with Will Primos
Day 5: Secrets for Taking Turkeys in Bad Weather, Plus a Turkey Hunting Video with Will Primos


Entry 559, Day 5