Hunting from a blind is a great way to get an edge on a wary gobbler, but good blind strategy will improve your odds, too.
Powell Kemp from Scotland Neck, N.C., runs a commercial hunting operation, Carolina Woods and Waters, in Halifax County, one of the state’s top counties in overall turkey harvest. Kemp uses blinds throughout the season with excellent success.
“Blinds are crucial because it enables us to hunt areas otherwise difficult to hunt because of visibility,” Kemp said. “I plan my hunts using blinds just as I do any hunt. I often set up blinds where I’m seeing turkeys in fields, so we’re hunting places gobblers already want to go. But when in the woods, I’ll often create a blind from the natural surroundings and materials.”
Kemp (252-341-9804) said fields are a prime target and when he sees gobblers strutting, he will often set up a blind for the next day.
“Gobblers have routes they prefer to travel, and I’ll locate the blind near where the bird is likely to enter the field,” he said. “It’s the same for strut zones in the woods. I’ll often hunt without a blind early when working birds off the roost, but if that’s not successful, we’ll get to the blind where that gobbler is going. Blinds are particularly productive in the afternoon.”
Kemp said gobblers often arrive with hens, and being quiet, limiting movement and being patient still apply.
“A blind gives us an edge, the gobblers and hens are vigilant,” he said. “Some think the blind shields all movement and noise from turkeys. Not so, but it helps minimize it enables us to get close. Full camouflage is still important.”
Kemp said blinds can be natural objects in the woods or made from materials when no portable blind is available. Use natural vegetation to enhance and create a 3-D effect.
“Concealment is crucial and blinds are always helpful if you’ve got time,” he said. “Use materials that blend with the natural vegetation. Don’t drag in green pine limbs in an area that’s undergone a prescribed burn, for example. Use materials in the immediate area.”