What kind of terrain or area holds turkeys? Where should I look? I’m not sure if I should sit in a clearing or thick brush. I’m confused about where to go. There are a lot of turkeys on my lease, and I’m hoping to kill one in the spring season. — Caleb
Without trying to sound like a smart-aleck, turkeys are where you find them. They use open areas frequently for strutting, feeding and just being turkeys. Of course, they also require timber. If there are no suitable trees in an area, turkeys won’t roost there. Birds often avoid thick, brushy areas, but that’s not always the case, especially when hens are actively seeking nesting sites.
It sounds as if your lease has very good habitat. Your key to success is scouting, which will reveal how the birds use that habitat. Get out in the woods before light, and listen for roost-gobbling. Also, look for further evidence — droppings and wing feathers — of where turkeys roost. Observe where birds feed — likely ag fields, open areas with green shoots or acorn-strewn ridges — and then determine what routes turkeys often take from their roosts to those feeding areas. In addition, try to discover where birds loaf and hang out during midday and how they approach their roosts in the evenings.
After a few scouting sessions, you’ll start to see trends. I hesitate to say “patterns” because turkeys are notoriously random in their movements, unless they’re fixated on a super-hot food source. Just identify spots where birds are comfortable, and then locate good potential setups nearby. That might mean the edge of a small opening where you could place a blind or a narrow ridge turkeys use as a travel route to and from their roost. Or it could really be anywhere in between. Again, let the birds tell you where they hang out. Your calling always sounds better if you’re where a gobbler wants to go anyway.