With wild turkey hunting season in full swing statewide through May 12, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Home from the Hunt™ safety campaign reminds everyone to take precautions to ensure a safe and successful day in the field.
“The main consideration for turkey season — or any hunting season — is to always think twice, and positively identify your target and what is beyond it before pulling the trigger,” said Travis Casper, state hunter education coordinator with the Wildlife Commission. “A rewarding hunting experience happens only when all hunters are safe and responsible.”
The Top 5 Safety Considerations for Turkey Hunting
- Leave the area if you think another hunter is already there.
- Alert another hunter of your presence by remaining still and saying “STOP” in a loud voice.
- Never stalk a gobbler, which increases your chances of being mistaken for game.
- Never wear red, white, blue or black — those are colors of a tom’s head and body.
- Make sure your decoy or harvested turkey is not visible when you transport it.
“Before shooting at a turkey, make sure that it is a legal bird,” said Wildlife Officer Barry Joyce, stationed in Rockingham County. “Don’t go by instinct just because you think you have spotted a turkey. Assume that every noise, movement or call is another hunter. If there is any doubt, DON’T SHOOT.”
Know and follow hunting regulations, and don’t hunt turkeys in an area influenced by bait, Officer Joyce said. He also reminded hunters to have their Big Game Report Card to register a kill promptly and properly. For more information on regulations, go to www.ncwildlife.org. To report any violations, call 1-800-662-7137.
Joyce is one of nearly 200 sworn, full-time wildlife officers across the state with arrest authority for any criminal offense committed in their presence, including state and federal violations. Wildlife officers enforce hunting, trapping and inland fishing regulations and boating laws to protect the resources of the state and the safety of its citizens.