Turkeys aren’t particularly fast. They also can’t fly far and they don’t have a great nose.
In the animal kingdom, where everything is fast and fierce, turkeys might seem like easy prey. But turkeys have impeccable eyesight, and spot danger from far away. That gives them a big head start on any predator heading their way.
Turkeys also have true color vision, as well as 180-degree peripheral vision. With just a slight turn of their head, they can see 360 degrees. Therefore, their eyesight is a serious challenge for bowhunters to overcome.
How do turkey hunters fool the wild turkey’s eyes? Modern camouflage is your best disguise. Hunters must cover themselves in camouflage, including the face and hands. A mesh facemask and face paints are two options to conceal your face, and camo gloves will hide your hands.
Facemasks slip over your head to conceal the shine from your nose and face, and even protect you from bugs. Some facemasks fit loosely, however, and can catch your bowstring. Pick one that’s comfortable but fits snugly. Be sure to practice shooting while wearing it so you get used to its feel.
Camouflage face paint, meanwhile, comes in several colors. You can get creative with patterns and colors to camouflage your face. It’s important to cover high spots such as your nose and cheekbones, because they stand out and catch the most light. Darkening these high spots alone usually conceals your face sufficiently. Face paint is available in sweat-proof varieties, and can be easily removed. Most archery shops offer a selection to choose from.
Be sure to wear camo gloves because you’ll have to move your hands occasionally. They’ll stand out like signal flags if left bare. Light gloves hide your hands, but still let you nock arrows and work turkey calls.
When it comes to camouflage clothing, you have options galore. Some patterns emulate leaves and branches, and modern digital patterns help you disappear into almost any surrounding. The camo pattern you choose should match natural colors where you hunt. For spring turkey season’s early weeks, the woods feature bare grays and browns. As spring unfolds, browns and greens dominate as fresh foliage sprouts.
Also choose clothes that match the weather. Spring often means cool mornings and warm days. Layer your clothing system to account for these changing conditions so you stay comfortable and stealthy all day.
The hunter shown in the video above has his camouflage right. Sitting still while wearing well-chosen camouflage makes you invisible to turkeys. This turkey is lucky to be a hen, which can’t be hunted in spring.
Camouflage is the most consistent way to beat a wild turkey’s eyesight. To get the camo and other turkey-hunting supplies you need, visit a nearby archery shop.