For more than ten years, spring has marked the return of an activity much appreciated by hunting enthusiasts in Quebec: turkey hunting. Professional hunter and owner of Aventure Express, Mario Huot, tells us how to make turkey hunting a successful outing.
Open from the end of April to the end of May, turkey hunting is fairly recent in Quebec. Professional hunter Mario Huot, owner of Aventure Express, says that the species was introduced to the province only a dozen years ago, when we wanted to diversify sport hunting in Quebec. According to Mario Huot, this particularity is to the advantage of amateurs, especially beginners: “The advantage we have here is that the turkey is also a beginner. On the other hand, it evolves very quickly! So the hunter who starts today has a good chance [of harvesting one], but in 5 or 10 years, we will already be at another level. »
He explains that the evolution has already started to be felt, while the turkeys exhibit new behaviors: “We see an evolution compared to the nervousness of the turkey, for example. There are certain sounds that now provide negative results, i.e. the turkey will hear them and not approach. He adds, “The first few years were almost ridiculous; we called the turkey and it came for a walk around us! »
Mario Huot compares turkey hunting in Quebec, which is relatively new, to that of New York State, where the animal has been hunted for 50 or 60 years: "It's definitely an easier hunt in Quebec , because the turkey is less educated! In New York State, cases where there are 3 or 4 turkeys arriving at the same time are much rarer, even in young turkeys. Over there, when they “catch” a big turkey, they do like us with the moose: they celebrate for a week, and yet they have a lot more turkeys than we do! »
Evolve to the rhythm of the turkey
If Mario Huot has any advice for turkey hunters, it's to let yourself be carried away by the animal's new reflexes: "Over time, we too have to evolve, and become better strategically. The easiest way to attract a turkey? The lures. “When we are in this period, it is that it is the mating period, as for all hunts, explains Mario Huot. You have to imitate the sound of the female in heat to attract the male, so rain or shine, rain, sun, wind, it doesn't change anything: it happens once or twice a year, so the male doesn't want to miss his cut! He adds that it is not uncommon for a decoy to attract several turkeys, given the competition between the very jealous females and that between the dominant male and the other turkeys, who try to beat him by finding the female first. “It’s funny to say, but hunting is a big game of…lies! he says, laughing.
Camouflage clothing: the key to success
However, Mario Huot specifies that decoys are not the only tactic to use to attract turkeys: “Turkeys have a visual acuity of one kilometer. If he is 50 m from us, we have to imagine that he can see us blinking. So before even luring him, you have to know how to camouflage yourself well. » For spring hunts such as turkey, the experienced hunter favors the collection X-Unity Light, whose pale tones blend well with spring colors. "For other animals, including the turkey, the dark, it looks like a bear, a predator," he explains. Me, 90% of the time, whether it's hunting elk, mountain goat, or hunting anywhere else in the world, I'm dressed in X-Unity Light, so I don't look like a predator if ever I am surprised in the forest. However, he brings an important nuance: “If you hunt from a tent, the inside is often black! At that time, obviously, you have to dress in dark. Me, if I'm in a tent, I put the Windshield coat by Jason Morneau-Tremblay over my set. He reminds us that it is always preferable to opt for a silent suit, even if hearing is not the strength of the turkey.
Psitt... We know how eagerly awaited the Windshield coat by Jason Morneau-Tremblay! The whole team is working very hard to offer you a new arrival soon.
Family turkey hunting
In the eyes of Mario Huot, turkey hunting is the perfect family hunt, especially because it is inexpensive: “It’s a family hunt, where you don’t need much. We take a gun, we hide a bit in the woods, one or two decoys… We don't need all the gear! Grandpa can bring his grandson, a father can bring his daughter, it starts before sunrise and at noon it's over. It is a great hunt to practice with friends. »
Planning on taking part in the turkey hunt this spring?
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