Moderator: Stephanie Bernardo
Get out the week or two before opening day and listen at daybreak; you will begin to see patterns in their roost sites day to day, which narrows your options come day one of the season.
Allegan, I gather from your post that you are unable to roost birds in the evening only. Being in the woods at daybreak (morning), if you can do it, is almost always the key to finding gobblers. I have said this many times before, and I will say it again, spring gobbler hunting is about locating gobbling turkeys....and that occurs by hearing them gobble most of the time. When are they most likely to gobble, either on their own or from someone using a locator call?...During the first hour of daylight.
Assuming you are hunting a sizeable tract of public land, get where you can hear as far as possible at first light and be very quiet and listen for a while. If there are gobblers in the vicinity, they will most likely start gobbling a short while before sunrise. But if you have not heard one or more gobblers within thirty minutes before sunrise, then use a locator call....a really loud, obnoxious crow call usually works just fine. Give a couple of really loud quick blasts on the call....not too long because gobblers that respond will come back right on top of the call....so if you call too long, you might not hear them over your calling. Don't overdo the locator calling. Most often, any responsive gobbler in the area will fire back on the first locator call.
If on the first locator series, you don't get a response, wait 15 to 30 seconds and do it again. Always be still and listen quietly after you use the locator! Often you will hear birds that are just at the edge of hearing, and if you are noisy, or shuffle around, or have the vehicle running, or any other such nonsense, you will miss long-distance gobbles.
If you do not get a gobble response after the second locator series, and if you have the option, move on. If you are hunting a large area with a good road system, then jump in your vehicle and drive down the road another half mile, or to another good listening vantage.
Repeat this process as many times as you can, on as many mornings as you can, and in as many different good listening spots as you can, and you will find the gobblers if they are there to be found!
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