scouting

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
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turkey junky
 
Posts: 745
Joined: June 25th, 2011, 4:46 pm
Location: I.G.H. MINNESOTA

Re: scouting

Postby turkey junky » March 13th, 2013, 9:30 am

keep it simple dan its not hard or very complicated no secret to scouting just get out in the woods & listen for birds to gobble & or yelp or see birds after a few days of doing this you will get a feel for where the birds like to roost/sleep & what they want to do after they hit the ground id guess the hens want to go get food & the gobblers want to be by hens & thus they go to the food also to strut for hens...

when i mean get in the woods i dont mean run around the woods & bugger all the birds off you farm... i mean just slowly walk around the area you herd or seen birds & try to figure out why they want to be there??? find a spot a gobbler likes to strut or gobble from daily & you set up there once the season opens & your golden...

you are on private land & can control how much pressure hunting wise is on that land that is golden also i hunt mostly 98% public lands & scouting is a must on them hard headed birds after the 1st few wks of the season...

just get out with binos & listen & look for birds at a distance then slowly move closer to once you think you know what the birds are doing on your land & find the kill spot... with 1,000 acres you should find a more then 1 spot to hunt birds will not just hang in 1 spot all day so... birds like to roost close to crops or a food source get in between the roost & food... turkeys need food/trees/water & a place they dont get bothered all the time...

simply put just get out & learn what the birds are doing on your land & try to put your self in the best place on opening day to kill a bird you have been scouting prior to season... learn the land if you dont know it like the back of your hand already you dont want a gobbler to hang up on a fence/creek/road ETC... you want to be able to hear a bird gobble on your land & know wear he is & how you can get to him with out spooking him or any other birds in between you & the gobbler you herd gobble last... try to find areas turkeys want to be its much more simple to call a turkey wear he wants to be then to call him wear you want him to be to kill him...

put all the odds in your favor & you should be good... much luck to you this season i got my 1st at age 13 after a yr of eating tag soup so hope you get a bird this yr dan take care...

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kygobbler
 
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Joined: October 22nd, 2010, 3:49 am
Location: KY

Re: scouting

Postby kygobbler » March 14th, 2013, 12:55 am

Welcome to the forum daniel. Everybody has given some good advice. The main thing is to be in the woods listening and learning what the birds like to do. The only other thing I would recommend is fight the temptation of taking your turkey calls with you. You don't want to educate them any what so ever.

If you find where the gobbler likes to strut then you done found your spot for opening morning. Just get there before he does. :D Good luck to you this spring.
Is it turkey season yet?

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Gobblerman
 
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Joined: April 8th, 2008, 12:47 pm

Re: scouting

Postby Gobblerman » March 14th, 2013, 10:27 am

Personally, I believe the most effective method for finding gobblers to hunt is by being on your land at the first hint of daylight in the morning,...not sunrise, not fifteen minutes before sunrise,...but at the time when you first start seeing the eastern horizon starting to glow. Pick the spot on your land that you think you would be able to hear the greatest distance in any direction,...and sit there and wait until sunrise.

If you have gobblers roosting on the property,...or even nearby,...you will hear them gobble at some point. If you hear gobbles, mark the location you heard them. If they are quite distant, move towards them until you have a good idea of where the birds are roosted. Try not to disturb them, and as has been stated, do not call to them. If you do, you are only hurting your chances of calling those birds in when the season starts.

Undisturbed turkeys will often roost in the same general location,...and often in the same trees night after night. Unless you will not be the only one hunting any birds you hear, it is likely that any gobblers you hear a week or two before the season starts will be roosting close to where you hear them while scouting.

If you hear gobblers, stay as inconspicuous as you can,...and try to observe what they do when they come off the roost. Turkeys are creatures of habit, and they will often follow the same routine day after day,...once again, assuming that they are not being disturbed too much. A few mornings of being in the woods at first light will provide you with all the information you need to have to kill a gobbler,...assuming they are roosting on your property or nearby. Knowing what your turkeys are going to do when they come off the roost,...and then setting up close to the spot where turkeys fly down to start their day,...is probably one of the surest ways to kill a gobbler. If you find a roost site, observe where the turkeys fly down, and after they have left to wander off for the day, you can find a good location for a blind, or build you one, as close as you can to the flydown location. On opening morning, you will have a great opportunity to get a bird first thing,..even if you do not know much about turkey calling (which I'm sure we will discuss more about as the season draws closer).

In the unfortunate circumstance that you do not hear any gobbling while listening for a morning or two, then your next step is to verify that you have turkeys using the property at all. During the day, you can ease around the property looking for tracks and droppings and using binoculars diligently to look for birds in fields and woods openings. We talk about "locator calls" a lot, and using locator calls to find gobblers is an art in itself. If you are unclear about locators, and their proper uses, let us know and we can get you situated with that, as well.

If you were to be unlucky enough not to have some evidence of birds working your land, then the next step is to talk to your neighbors and friends about places where you might hunt where there are birds. Do not discount public lands in your area if you cannot find a good place to hunt on private land. In areas where there are lots of private lands, hunters will often ignore public lands because a) they think those public places will get hammered by hunters, and b) because they often have really good private lands to hunt on,...and do not need to go to a public hunt area.
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Cut N Run
 
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Location: central North Carolina

Re: scouting

Postby Cut N Run » March 15th, 2013, 4:40 pm

You already got some great advice here Daniel. I'd just like to add a few things that may help you get your turkey. Patience is a big key to killing turkeys consistently. Learn to sit as still as you can and try to keep movement to a minimum when you're turkey hunting. I tell myself to "Be the tree" regularly to keep myself in check and limit my movements.

Turkeys are a prey animal and they just won't wait around to attempt to figure out what's after them. If something appears out of place or is moving, and can't be identified, they just run or fly away. Learn to take advantage of any shade you get from trees or rocks in the area, because that can help you blend into the cover and prevent you from sticking out like a sore thumb.

When you're scouting for turkeys and figure out where they like to roost, wait until they've left the area and go study what trees they were roosting in. Pay attention to which way they left the roost too. Then, see if you can find a place 75-100 yards from the roost that offers you good cover and shade, that you can get to quietly, and set up to hunt there. Setting up too close to the roost will scare the turkeys off. Making too much noise will do the same thing.

Gobblers have areas called strut zones where they like to go show off for the hens and show their dominance over the rest of the gobblers in the area. Lots of times a gobbler will go strut to show off and hens will be attracted to his calls and come there looking for him. If there's a place where you regularly see gobblers strutting (like a powerline cut, or hilltop, or even a pasture or field), look for an area within range of that strut zone that has good cover and shade where you can set up to hunt. If you can't get close enough to the roost to hunt it, but know that gobbler likes to come to a certain place to strut, you can get there ahead of him and be set up. It might take him some time to get there after he's flown down, but if it is a regular strutting spot for him, be patient, be still, and be ready when he starts coming towards you. It is much easier to call a gobbler to someplace he already wants to go.

You don't need to know how to use every call in the book to kill turkeys. Learn how to use one call reasonably well and stick with it for the time being. Listen to what the hens are saying and try to sound as much like them as you can. Pay attention to their rhythm, volume, and frequency of calling. A buddy of mine is 50 years old and he has only ever called with a push-pin type caller, yet he tags out each Spring because he knows where to set up and remains still when he's hunting. It is easy to get anxious when you're turkey hunting and want to call too much. That can do more harm than good. Turkey gobblers expect the hens to come to them. If they keep hearing the same calls from the same place, but never see a hen, they might get suspicious and leave the area. Once you get a gobbler talking back to you, I find it better to call less rather than too much. You can always call more if you need to. You can't call less if you've already called too much.

Good luck this year. Be safe, be patient, & have fun.

Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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