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TJ Nagel has been involved in the outdoors his entire life. Hunting and fishing at every opportunity!

In Plain Sight

TJ_Nagel_TurkeyI’ve been on many hunts across the country from the palmetto flats in south Florida to the Black hills of South Dakota, from Texas brush country to the hills of Tennessee and the one thing I can tell you for sure is that turkeys have the best eye sight of any big game animal….period!!! To be successful in the turkey woods the ability to hide in plain sight may be your best weapon.

If a Willey old Tom can’t see you or doesn’t know you’re there, your odds have increased drastically. Let me say first and foremost that there is no replacement for good woodmanship. Some hunters are lucky enough to be great callers that can entice even the wisest sultan from his harem to investigate the sweet sounds of that lonesome hen in the next field. Others, like me, are less than perfect with the calls but have managed dozens of turkey kills.

The world of turkey hunting has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last 20 years, none more than the world of camouflage. With today’s newest 3 dimension camo, a hunter has a far better chance of blending into the terrain around them. Here are just a few ideas for hiding in plain sight that I have picked up from some of the best in the industry. Try some this season and let us know how you do.

mossyoakInfinitylDescMix and matchit always amazes me how many hunters feel they need to have the exact matching camo head to toe. Don’t get me wrong it looks great to have everything matching, but take off your fashion hat and put on your hunting cap for just a minute. Not all areas of the woods bloom at the exact same time in the spring. In most areas of the Midwest the leaf and ground clutter are still dull and drab, while the small trees and underbrush are starting to bloom, greens and colors are starting to show up everywhere. Try some Mossy Oak Forrest floor or Break Up Infinity in early season. If there are still traces of snow, I use my Mossy Oak Treestand on the bottoms and mix it with Break Up Infinity on top. As the season progresses and greens I will first switch my tops including my hats and gloves to Mossy Oak Obsession, followed by complete suits of Obsession by late season.


Shadows are your friend, in the turkey woods!

Shadowswhenever possible use what nature has given you, set up in shaded areas or large trees rather than sun drowned areas. Any movement will be pronounced in such bright areas, whereas the shadows will help conceal your movement. Also consider setting up in downed trees or blow-downs, letting the branches help cut your outline. Often times I will look for just such an area that extends out from a timber edge into a field or known strutting area. This will still conceal my outline and any movements, as well as let me see further into the field on both sides. Sometimes the few extra yards make all the difference.

My favorite layer, is my Under Armour Hoody!

My favorite layer, is my Under Armour Hoody!

I have taken more turkeys at mid-morning than any other time of day. With this being said, you need to have a plan of action as the temperatures rise throughout the day. We have all heard of layer for deer season to stay warm, trapping layers of dead air between multiple layers of clothing. The same process should be used for turkeys at this time of year. A layer of Under Armour in the proper camo pattern followed with a light weight long sleeve shirt under a jacket that can be shed as the sun gets higher can keep you comfortable. It’s far easier to take layers off and put them back on as it gets later in the day, or if the weather changes as it so often does in the spring.

The Ultimate in Camo Storage!

The Ultimate in Camo Storage!

Second Place-often times I will move to more than one farm or property as the situation dictates on any given day. I always keep a second set of clothing in my Watson Airlock bag, so as I return to the truck I can change out any wet or uncomfortable clothes, especially socks or pants that may be wet from the grass or any streams that may have been crossed. The more comfortable you are the longer you can sit without moving around.  You don’t have to bring your entire closet, however a dry clean pair of socks and dry moisture wicking Under Armour have a way of renewing your energy and enthusiasm to go the extra mile.

Blind luck-If you haven’t ever tried hunting out of a blind for turkeys, you’re truly missing the boat. I have turned the lights out on a dozen or more rubbernecks from 10 yards or less in the middle of a wide open hay field without a tree within 100 yards. Find a good field that is a known strut zone, put that blind right in the path of his normal route and get there a good hour before the birds do and it will be the easiest hunt you’ll ever finish!!

These are just a few things to get you started as we are now right on the cusp of another turkey season. Have fun and be safe!! Remember to send us your success stories and pictures. We look forward to hearing about all your success.


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