From my blog:
Last minute tips for 2011 New York Spring Turkey Season
In most areas of the great Empire State, things appear to be running a little late as far as wild turkeys go. Flocks have split up only in past few weeks, which is what one would expect first week of April. In Central New York from which I call my stomping grounds, the woods are wide open, affording little cover or concealment for positioning on gobblers. Expect to find sizable harems and a lot of areas with a boss bird keeping gobbling to a minimum. Patience is key! There should be some satellite two & three year old gobblers that may peel off to come check you out. This means being in the game at all times, to and from your vehicle, and not fidgeting around when not much is happening. These satellite gobblers are likely to come in silent, or only give you a single cluck. The 2010 spring hatch was spotty in many areas, and you may find only few jakes to stir up the action. Opportunities during early season are likely to happen quickly.
If you don't have birds roosted, and are not waiting on them close and well before first light, you will have your work cut out for you. It will be a good week or more before there will be much green-up to conceal moving from spot to spot. If you manage to get on to a bird early only to be defeated, it would be prudent to be back there again mid morning to see if he should return to check out that 'mystery' hen he heard sweet talking to him hours earlier.
With the woods being very open, there will be many spots so open, that decoys would be well advised. Just like open fields, a gobbler will come in just far enough to see what he wants to see. Open woods are no different. As with any good set up, if you can position yourself so that the gobbler will appear at the same time within shotgun or bow range, your chances for success increase dramatically.
As always: safety first! Do not hide in cover, or position your decoys so that you may be compromised should an unethical hunter decide to stalk your position. Just as in defensive driving, take it upon yourself to avoid a potential mishap, and place your decoy 20-25 yards out, and where you can spot an incoming hunter. A good reminder to all: DO NOT STALK HEN CALLS! For those that may use a gobble shaker, or other gobble call, do only in safe areas to do so. Same goes for gobbler decoys. While I am on my high horse, there is a product on the market that is essentially a decoy that mounts on your gun barrel for the purpose of stalking up on a bird. In many states the act of stalking a wild turkey while hunting is illegal. I cannot begin to describe how many safety issues and problems there are with using this product. All I can say to those that would insist on legitimizing and using it: I would love to buy you an insurance policy with myself as the beneficiary.
Last but not least, move through your hunting grounds much like a hunter who still hunts for deer, especially with the lack of cover. Run and gun, may not be a great strategy the first week. Another key to success during the opening week is active scouting while hunting. You may not get on to a gobbler first thing, but each bit of information, clues, and sign that you come across may be the ticket for putting a successful plan in place.
Be safe, shoot straight!
© 2011 Mike Joyner- Joyner Outdoor Media