Do Turkeys Gobble in the Rain? Unraveling the Mystery of Rainy-Day Gobblers

Getting up early to meet turkeys at their roost can be hard enough on the perfect day. Nasty spring weather often will send hunters back under the covers. But turkey hunting in wind and rain isn’t futile if you adjust your tactics. In fact, sometimes bad weather can even be good. Turkeys don’t stop breeding because the weather turns bad, so there’s no reason you should stop turkey hunting.

Here are some turkey hunting tips for filling your tag even when the weather turn rotten.

Ah turkey hunting. The thrill of the chase the anticipation of a gobbler’s call echoing through the woods… but what happens when the skies open up and rain starts pouring? Do turkeys gobble in the rain?

The answer, like most things in nature, isn’t a simple yes or no. While turkeys are generally less vocal during rainy weather, they can still be coaxed into gobbling with the right tactics.

Why Turkeys Gobble Less in the Rain

There are a few reasons why turkeys are less likely to gobble in the rain:

  • Hearing Difficulty: Rain muffles sound, making it harder for turkeys to hear each other. This means they’re less likely to respond to calls or gobble back.
  • Discomfort: Just like us, turkeys don’t enjoy being wet and cold. They may seek shelter under trees or in thick cover, making them less visible and less likely to gobble.
  • Food Availability: Turkeys rely on their eyesight to find food, and rain can make it difficult to see. This can lead to them spending more time foraging and less time gobbling.

Tips for Hunting Turkeys in the Rain

Even though turkeys are less likely to gobble in the rain it doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful hunt. Here are some tips:

  • Hunt Open Areas: Turkeys tend to move to open areas like fields and pastures during rainy weather. These areas offer better visibility and protection from the wind.
  • Use Friction Calls: Friction calls are louder than mouth calls and can be heard more easily through the rain.
  • Be Patient: Turkeys may be less active in the rain, so be prepared to wait longer for them to respond to your calls.
  • Use Your Eyes: Turkeys will be more visible in the open during rainy weather, so be sure to scan the fields and pastures carefully.
  • Stay Dry and Comfortable: Wear rain gear and bring extra layers to stay warm and dry. This will make the hunt more enjoyable and increase your chances of success.

Do Turkeys Gobble in the Rain? The Verdict

While turkeys are less likely to gobble in the rain, it’s not impossible. Even in inclement weather, you can still have a successful hunt with the correct strategies and a little perseverance.

Remember, turkeys are still thinking about hens even when they’re soaked. So, if you can find them and call them in, you might just be able to bag a rainy-day gobbler.

Additional Tips:

  • Use a rain cover for your box call or friction call to keep it dry.
  • Carry a good pair of binoculars to help you spot turkeys in the rain.
  • Scout before the rain to find areas where turkeys are likely to go during bad weather.
  • Be prepared to change your tactics depending on the conditions.

Hunting turkeys in the rain can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. By understanding why turkeys gobble less in the rain and by using the right tactics, you can increase your chances of success. So, don’t let a little rain deter you from getting out there and chasing those gobblers!

Turkey Hunting in the Rain

Primos’s chalkless Waterboard box call sounds good wet or dry.

Not all wet days affect turkey behavior the same way. Some rainy conditions actually make turkeys gobble more, whereas others shut them up. Thunder jolts Toms into silence, and the persistent drizzle and overcast sky seem to last well into the day. Toms eat a lot in the aftermath of a powerful storm to make up for lost time when the sun comes out. But a steady downpour, especially one that is cold, puts an end to gobbling and lets turkeys remain on the roost longer.

Where do birds go when it rains? Hunt open fields, like pastures and short alfalfa. During rainy seasons, turkeys prefer to walk in short vegetation so that their feathers won’t drag through soggy grass and underbrush. They would prefer to be in open areas where they can see predators rather than hiding in the moist woods. Stake out a field if you know birds use it. Hunting turkeys in the rain doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. Pop up blinds are made for rainy day hunting. Bring a thermos, set up a blind, get comfortable, stay dry and wait. Even if the rain has stopped, wet weather influences turkey behavior. Last spring I set up on the edge of the only picked cropfield on the farm I hunt. I thought that because of the rain the night before, the turkeys would prefer the bare field to the grassy ones nearby, roost nearby, and strut around first thing in the morning. I expected one tom, but three came in together for a memorable early morning hunt.

If you don’t want to sit, move quietly, glassing open areas for birds. Once you spot them, spend a few minutes determining their line of march. Get around them, set up, and call. Be patient; they may not respond as quickly as on a nice day, but they’ll come.

Use acrylic or graphite strikers for pot calls, and keep your box call inside a sealed plastic bag when it’s raining. There are a few chalk-free weatherproof box calls on the market and they sound great wet or dry.

I don’t like shooting wet turkeys, but I will take wet turkey over no turkey any day. Soggy turkeys photograph like something the cat dragged in. Spend a few minutes drying the feathers with a blow-dryer before you take pictures.

Do Turkeys Gobble in the Rain?


Is it worth turkey hunting in the rain?

Precipitation: Why You Should Hunt in the Rain The rain also helps to hinder birds’ hearing and visibility, which makes it easier for the hunter to get close. When it’s raining, turkeys are likely to be out all day, giving you even greater odds of success.

What do turkeys do when raining?

Turkeys flock to open areas in wet weather, presumably to avoid brush-busting through water-laden vegetation. Soaked fields may also offer opportunities for productive invertebrate grazing. Target your efforts to open spaces during rain in whatever form available in the birds’ habitat.

Why don’t turkeys gobble in the rain?

Rainy days are not comfortable days for turkeys either and they will mostly be quiet. Think about what mood you would be in if you were wet and cold. The turkeys, like most everything else, are not in a good mood and will not be gobbling near as much..

Does weather affect turkey gobbling?

As the temperature increased, gobbling decreased. The average barometric pressure affected gobbling activity, as well. Lower pressure, often associated with rain, meant less gobbling. Birds were most active at 29.9 to 30.2 inches, and when the pressure fell below 29.7 inches, gobbling activity decreased dramatically.

Do turkeys gobble more when it rains?

Some rainy conditions actually make turkeys gobble more, whereas others shut them up. Thunder shocks toms into sounding off; steady drizzle and overcast skies seem to prolong gobbling activity well into the day. When the sun breaks through the clouds after a heavy storm, toms gobble hard to make up for lost time.

Where do turkeys go when it rains?

When the sun breaks through the clouds after a heavy storm, toms gobble hard to make up for lost time. On the other hand, a steady rain, especially a cold one, shuts gobbling down and turkeys sit longer on the roost. Where do birds go when it rains? Hunt open fields, like pastures and short alfalfa.

Do turkeys gobble?

The turkeys didn’t gobble, which was expected, but an hour after first light a lone tom appeared across the field. I had one of the best callers in the world sitting next to me, and in minutes, the bird was flopping in our decoy spread. We stayed put in the blind for a few more hours.

Do turkeys gobbling and yelping in the rain?

The bad weather and rain keep things noisy and you won’t be able to hear gobbling or yelping as easily. A turkey could be close by, strutting around, and you wouldn’t even know it. You should always keep your head up and your sight clear. What do turkeys do when it’s raining? In light rain – not much.

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