Turkey Hunter Safety and Ethics


When turkey hunting, know and obey all wildlife laws. Hunters must always use good judgment and take responsibility for their actions. 

Safe Equipment and Gear
  • Make sure your equipment is in good working condition and properly sighted in.
  • Know the effective range of your gun. Pattern your shotgun before turkey season.
  • Never use shot sizes larger than No. 4. Larger shot is restricted and increases the chance of serious line-of-fire accidents.
  • Dress defensively. Never wear red, white, blue, or black while hunting turkey. 
  • Wear hunter orange when walking through the woods. 
  • Use hunter orange to identify your hunting location. 
  • If hunting from a tree stand, always wear a safety harness. 
Safe Hunting Practices
  • Scout the area you plan to hunt so you know where the boundaries, houses, roads, fences, and livestock are located on the property. 
  • Be cautious when approaching wild turkeys. Any calling you hear may be another hunter.
  • NEVER wave, whistle, or make turkey calls to alert an approaching hunter to your presence. Shout to reveal your presence.
  • NEVER identify a turkey by - or shoot at - sound or movement.
  • Positively identify a turkey before aiming. 
  • Identify what lies beyond any turkey in your sight. Other hunters could be beyond the target.
  • Wrap a bagged turkey or decoy in hunter orange while transporting it.

Report Accidents

Statistics Elements

If you are involved in a firearms-related hunting accident, the law requires that you identify yourself and render assistance. Failure to do so is a Class A misdemeanor.

Basic Turkey Hunting Ethics
  • Before hunting private land, obtain permission from the landowner.
  • Respect the property you are hunting on as if it were your own.
  • NEVER shoot at a turkey beyond the effective range of your shotgun. Remember that 30 to 40 yards is about the average limit for a clean kill.
  • If you do not kill the turkey instantly, make every effort to find the wounded animal. Permission is required to enter private land. 
  • Pick up litter, including spent ammunition. 
  • Clean and care for your game properly. 
  • Report observed violations of the law to a conservation agent or local sheriff as soon as possible.