Scouting phases...

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Scouting phases...

Postby 1Morgan » January 8th, 2011, 2:15 am

What are your phases of scouting?

Deer season is long and my wife likes me home for a few weeks. Scouting this time of year is simply locating flocks before they break up. There's not much foot time associated with this and most of the time i'm watching fields on neighboring properties.

February will start some hog hunting on my lease. This starts the foot time. I will inevitably come in contact with the flocks where I can observe what the flock consists of, toms, jakes, hens. This will help for early season before most of the breeding is some and the gobblers move all over seeking lone hens.

March shuts me down other than listening the week before the opener on March 15th.

What's your plan?
South Carolina Low Country

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RE: Scouting phases...

Postby kenturkey89 » January 8th, 2011, 4:16 am

Hey Morgan,

Right now my only true form of scouting comes when I have been coyote hunting. The other morning I never made visual contact with birds but I did here one or two different flocks making some noise in the early morning on the roost. I plan on doing more coyote hunting within the next month or so, which will also allow me to do a little more scouting as well.

Whenever March rolls around I try and get out on Saturdays to do a little more in depth scouting, which involves finding roosting, strutting and feeding areas. Usually the last two Saturdays before the season opener I get out before light with a pair of binoculars and just sit and listen/watch for birds and try and find some of their direct fly down patterns and travel routes to give me as much of an advantage as possible come opening morning...and trust me, I need all the help I can get. Good luck this season!

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RE: Scouting phases...

Postby SpurHuntinHillbilly » January 8th, 2011, 10:51 am


Im right there with you! One more week of deer hunting/ Hog hunting here and I have already started looking around. Heard a few birds flying down this morning while sitting at the end of this oak/cypress bottom and it gave me goose bumps! I cant wait till March 26th down here in GA. I will we doing quite a bit of homework here come mid Feb right up until opening day. Speakin of hogs I had about 20 of em this morning run by at MACH 5 because some boys were going to work on em at the other end of the bottom with semi autos! They didnt even slow down to say hello![:D] Best of luck to you this spring!


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RE: Scouting phases...

Postby Treerooster » January 9th, 2011, 6:37 am

I don't scout really.

Most of my hunting requires travel so any trip spent scouting would mean less hunting. I like to hunt too much for that.

I do some "paper" scouting though. Info from biologists etc. I also map scout. And I go over maps and waypoints in areas that I have hunted before and plan to hunt again this season. I also look for sign during my fall hunts in areas that I will be spring turkey hunting in.

I can see where the planning & scheming would be fun, but its just not for me. I enjoy going into an area with maybe 4 or 5 days to hunt and just figuring out how to hunt it.

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RE: Scouting phases...

Postby grizzly » January 9th, 2011, 7:43 am

i start now watching the feilds seeing where the flocks are.the times of days they're out there then a month before the opener i scout the woods to see where they're roosting where they're going after fly down then i'll look for setup spots and trim the brush back so i can walk in and setup with little noise [:)] wayne

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RE: Scouting phases...

Postby mark hay » January 9th, 2011, 10:56 am

Always on the lookout and listening for birds . I've been hunting the same public land long enough to know where the birds are . I do go there and listen prior to spring season , but seldom get out in the timber before opening day . I won't say I have never , but I see no point , especially since there are so many people going in there as soon as the weather breaks to call and film turkeys ,,,,,,,,which I wish was only legal during the month of January or Februrary.

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RE: Scouting phases...

Postby longbeard.386 » January 9th, 2011, 3:51 pm

I pretty much hunt two WMAs here in Central Florida. I'll get out in the woods in January and February just to look over the land again and try to get into some far areas that I may not have dealt with in the past. Early March I'll be looking for bird sign, controlled burns, and very recent changes in the landscape. Just prior to March 19 (season opening) I'll be trying to course birds from roost Am to roost PM as time allows. I always take my "blown-up" Google Earth photos (18" by 26"), my topo, and my notes from previous years.
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RE: Scouting phases...

Postby Timber Chicken » January 11th, 2011, 6:24 am

I am very lucky because I live right around most of the land I hunt, so i can pretty much stay in touch with the birds. I call myself deer hunting in the fall, but I'm always keeping close tabs on the turkeys. I also love to take rides around the "loop" to see what I can see. About a month before the season I go to my favorite listening spots before work and just listen and observe. I don't know if this really helps alot because what's happening in March isn't happening later in the season. But it helps me get started besides I just love to hear them gobble. Once the season starts I ride every evening to spot them in the fields for the next morning. My trail cameras also help me greatly with keeping tabs on them. Then the cycle starts over again.
Experience is the best teacher.

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RE: Scouting phases...

Postby ajkrem22 » January 11th, 2011, 8:20 am

I am also very lucky in the fact that I live near much of the land I plan to turkey hunt. I also do a good bit of deer hunting where I turkey hunt so I am able to keep tabs on flocks throughout the winter.

January and February I just keep tabs on flocks, but once the weather breaks I try to locate roost tree's, strut zone's, and travel routes and mark them on maps.

Almost forgot, new to this forum but wanted to say hello and excited to talk to other hutners out there with a passion for turkey hunting.[:)]

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RE: Scouting phases...

Postby eggshell » January 11th, 2011, 11:02 am

My scouting usually consist of setting on the deck at my house and listing as I drink a cup of tea. Sometimes I may go to my primary farm a few days before season and listen from the ridge. However, after 39 years of hunting the same ground I pretty much just go hunting and they're in the same area. Most years I'm hunting out of state right up to opening day so I'm not around to scout home ground just before season. I just hunt baby, just hunt. With a month of season there's plenty of time to figure them out.

Now if your planning on going blind into a totally new area I'd scout more, but still I'd do most of it the 5 days prior to the opener. I would not do a lot of woods wondering in the early morning hours. If you need to learn lay of the ground then go in the afternoon.


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