No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
thegwh3
 
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No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Postby thegwh3 » March 7th, 2010, 3:02 pm

Well, I hate to say it, but I'm forced to waltz into the woods blind. What do you mean by "blind" you ask? Well, considering I'm still in college, I'm forced to only be able to hunt on the weekends when I make my 200 mile drive back home (which isn't often). Because I'm nowhere near home and am completely unable to do any scouting, I have to walk into the woods on Day 1 not knowing anything about turkey movements, habits, or roosting places. What are some strategies or pointers you might have for going in blind?

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Fan Club
 
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Location: Calhoun County, Michigan

RE: No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Postby Fan Club » March 7th, 2010, 6:10 pm

You haven't given us much criteria to go on, especially not knowing if you are vaguely familiar with the ground and have hunted there before (back home?) or are just going to forage onto public property.

No matter, my strategy would be roughly the same. I would find a good spot where I thought I could see good distances when it got daylight and put my rear end down. Do a lot of looking and listening and call sparingly, every 20 minutes or so. If you just start wandering around, you'll bump 5 birds for every one you see and spoil an area before you can even formulate a plan. Just walking around on Public land isn't a very safe way to hunt either. Better yet, go mid morning on that first day and select a spot to approach before daylight on day two.

A lot of deer and turkeys have met their demise passing by sitting hunters after being pushed by someone or something else moving around. Turkeys are creatures of habit like deer and will most often travel the path of least resistance. They will cruise field edges, follow creek banks, utilize old logging roads and pass through farm gates.

You may have to move a couple hours after daylight to find a better vantage point. A high fencerow overlooking a couple fields, a place where several ridges or game trails intersect or a natural funnel where the timber narrows down would all be good spots. Avoid crossing open areas and move slowly using available cover. Remember where you spot turkeys, whatever has drawn them there will likely bring them there again. By the second day, and certainly by the second weekend, you should have a better idea of places that the birds frequent and be able to get a gauge on other hunters in the area.

Best of luck, hunt safely and don't be shy about asking more questions.
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icdedturkes
 
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RE: No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Postby icdedturkes » March 7th, 2010, 6:31 pm

I rarely scout anymore seeings that most ground I hunt, I have hunted for a decade... I try to scout new ground some to understand the lay of the land more than turkey movements and such.. With this being said hunting with numerous folks on property I have never stepped foot on and different properties throughout the country I do not know, you still put turkeys over your shoulder.

I am a mobile hunter and feel that I spook very few birds, moving very deliberately and paying attention to every thing will allow you to keep the woods un disturbed and work numerous birds in the process. I essentially scout when I am doing so and you will find spots with sign that are likely spots to work a bird on day 2,3,4 etc etc

The biggest part of the equation is knowing how to remain invisible while hunting/scouting the property

swpatrkyhunter
 
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Postby swpatrkyhunter » March 8th, 2010, 2:36 am

Hi thegwh3! Welcome to the forum!
   Like fan club had said, you have not givin much info to go by. But. Since it seems that where your hunting is in your home area i would imagine that you have at least one or two buddies that hunt who are still in the home area. if so, see if they could help you out with some pre season scouting. Get to know landowners, if you already don't, and keep a good flow of comunication with them. Meaning, Don't just call them up and ask how the turkey population is, but ask how their family is, Do they need a hand with anything, etc.... Also. A run and gun tactic might be the way for you to go. With little information to go off of I can only imagine that you have hunted before and have at least a little familiarity with where you plan to hunt. Go by what you know from previous hunts and make your best judgment call. Good luck!
If it gobbles,runs on gas, or is married to you it will give you trouble!

thegwh3
 
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RE: No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Postby thegwh3 » March 8th, 2010, 4:53 am

Thank you all for the insight. Here's the scoop: I hunt on roughly 250 acres of reclaimed strip mining property, where in the past I've killed numerous birds. Although you would say that the area is very well known to me, which it is, the land is so pressured that the birds don't really maintain day to day habits, or season to season habits for that matter. Just because I know where the birds are one morning or seasons past, means they will probably not be roosting in the same spot the next morning. To put it bluntly, on opening morning of season, it sounds like World War 3 around me. The turkeys never stay in one spot and are always on the move. Oh yeah, and just to throw this one at ya, I've only ever actually called two turkeys in my entire life. Why? Well, because where I hunt, the turkeys are SO call shy, that its practically impossible to harvest a bird unless you some how miraculously ambush them.

swpatrkyhunter
 
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RE: No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Postby swpatrkyhunter » March 8th, 2010, 6:57 am

Sounds to me like you need to find a new place to hunt! Not only are you dealing with highly pressured birds but your risking getting shot! Talk to eggshell about what it means to have an unfortunate accident. I am assumeing that you hunted other areas before. If not talk to a few guys in your area and find other places to hunt. Talk to a local game officer, they can sometimes be a world of information on game whereabouts that most people don't take advantage of. One area I hunt I learned about from a game officer who also gave me a map of the area and a load of info. Good luck.
If it gobbles,runs on gas, or is married to you it will give you trouble!

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Bobbyparks
 
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RE: No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Postby Bobbyparks » March 8th, 2010, 1:26 pm

I know that each time I hunt an area I gain info that will help me better hunt it the next day or next time. If like others have said, I hunt an area I know then I'll have a general idea of where to start and about past bird activity.

I used to drive for 2 hours to where I hunt and spend the night. I'd alway get down there early enough to walk the day before and walk the roads and look for sign to help formulate my morning plan. I might stay and listen as well hoping to roost a bird.

As bad as my memory is..any gobbler sign and turkey sign is stored in my memory bank even if I have to dump something else.

I'd suggest trying to get down there the day before, otherwise you just have to figure it out on the fly which some of us do pretty regularly.

From your last post there it sounds like a pressure cooker. Thats why everyone will always give credit to the boys that kill public land birds. I believ most will agree they are the hardest to make flop.
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tracebusta32
 
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RE: No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Postby tracebusta32 » March 9th, 2010, 1:45 pm

When you do get to hunt, use the run and gun method...that way you can cover as much ground as possible looking for sign, who knows you may luck up and stumble upon them.
Then the next time you get to hunt you will know alot more about the movements of the birds.
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thegwh3
 
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RE: No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Postby thegwh3 » March 13th, 2010, 7:08 am

The run and gun method seems to be the quality method of choice in my situation. Most of the time, especially in the area that I hunt, the method of ambush is an unlikely choice, and if you are able to get close enough to call to the bird, they will usually here the call, turn and go the other way. (This is the kind of hunting pressure these birds are put through)

I've found in the past, that if there's more than one person hunting the birds, one person will get on one side of the bird, one person on the other. Which ever person is predetermined to be the caller will begin the sequence of calling. 9/10 times, the turkey will go away from the caller and directly into the line of sights of the opposite hunter.

For the most part, some of you have stated I needed to find a new place to hunt. In my immediate area, there are no other places to hunt, because land owners have all land Posted and will not allow anyone to hunt, regardless of whether or not you personally ask, because I've tried. As for the public land available in my area, the hunting pressure is just as bad as the land I already hunt. So hunting the public land would be just as strenuous.

grouse
 
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RE: No Time To Scout....What Do You Do??

Postby grouse » March 18th, 2010, 6:20 am

Long as you know turkeys are in the area and you are confident you can locate one really no reason to scout.


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