scouting question

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NEbeardhunter21
 
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Joined: November 17th, 2008, 7:22 am

scouting question

Postby NEbeardhunter21 » December 8th, 2008, 4:28 am

I was just wondering....Do turkeys generally roost in the same spot year after year or do they move often? I'm gonna be scouting this winter for the spring hunt and was wondering if I find a roosting spot will they still be there come spring? Can you "bump" turkeys from a roosting area? Any help is appreciated.
May your shells be live and your Toms be monsters

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allaboutshooting
 
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Location: Southern Illinois, U.S.A.

RE: scouting question

Postby allaboutshooting » December 8th, 2008, 5:39 am

Hey Dennis,

It has been my experience that turkeys seem to hang around in the same areas year after year, during the same season, unless there's some drastic change to the habitat or unless there's too much activity there.

A few years ago a tornado went through one of my best hunting areas on some public land in Southern Illinois, knocking down hundreds of pine trees. That certainly caused a change! Other than something like that, I've seen turkeys in the same areas year after year, again in the same seasons.

I would however not put too much into winter scouting when it comes to where you'll find the spring birds.

Birds tend to group in very large flocks during the winter. Here it's not uncommon to see a hundred or even more in January or February. When spring comes, those flocks break up and scatter. I've watched winter flocks who stay in pretty much the same area and then go back to that area in the spring and not see a bird there.

I also think that you can "bump" birds from a roosting area with too much traffic. If, in the spring, you find a roost tree, especially just before the season, I personally would stay out of that area until the season arrives.

I certainly like to know the general area where turkey are in the spring but I don't do a lot of pre-season scouting of that exact area. I think that the turkeys are much more likely to see me that I am to see them and that may just cause them to move to another less active area for a while.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

trkyklr
 
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Joined: June 5th, 2008, 4:23 pm

RE: scouting question

Postby trkyklr » December 8th, 2008, 12:24 pm

hola beardhunter,looks like clark gave you some good pointers,let me see if i can add a couple to his pile,when you find a flock try to scout them out from a distance so they are less likely to see you,this will be easier to do as it gets closer to spring i call it scouting by ear just kick back in the distance & listen to the places they go to.
 
it seems like the birds around here change up their roost locations due to weather,they will be on the same 50 acre tract but they will roost over here if its windy or raining & they might roost over there if its calm & clear.
 
the best thing i can tell you is spend as much time in the woods as possible(as if you didnt know that one allready)
hope this can help you a lil'bit c~ya

NEbeardhunter21
 
Posts: 99
Joined: November 17th, 2008, 7:22 am

RE: scouting question

Postby NEbeardhunter21 » December 8th, 2008, 12:33 pm

Thanks for the pointers guys. The reason I was asking is I found a rather large group when I was out 2 weekends ago(aprox. 75). Half were still in the trees as it was early in the AM. From what we could tell they were all hens in their "winter group". This spot is right next to the road so I can check it by a slow drive by. Should there be toms in with them or do they roost seperate in the winter? I bet we see 100 hens for every tom or jake we find so I'm thinking they're somewhere else.
May your shells be live and your Toms be monsters

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mark hay
 
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RE: scouting question

Postby mark hay » December 8th, 2008, 12:51 pm

WISH I COULD OFFER SOME ADVICE  but i'm only familiar  with EASTERNS. I haven't seen them roost two days in a row on the same 5 acres. around home they seem to be what i call CIURCUT RIDERS. today they're here, tomorrow they're 1/2 to 3/4 mile away , and generally return here in two or three days, depending on the food. no matter what species or if they roost in the same area each day or not , i think they all probably make some type of cuircut as they feed or breed .and that cuircut may vary in size from winter to spring and so on. i've seen large flocks of jakes just wear out 75 acres in early spring,,,see them daily for weeks.  later

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Treerooster
 
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Location: Colorado

RE: scouting question

Postby Treerooster » December 8th, 2008, 5:01 pm

I have'nt hunted central NE, but I have hunted Rios in eastern Colo, Merriams in NW NE, and hybrids along the NE/KS line in the western 1/3 of those states. I would assume your birds follow a similar pattern.
 
The birds have a limited habitat for the most part. They follow the wooded creeks and rivers and of course the occasional woodlot. They tend to flock up in rather large flocks during the winter (150 to 200 birds is not unheard of). As breeding season nears and the weather warms they break up into much smaller groups and disperse over a wider area. So just because you see birds during the winter, does not mean there will be ANY birds there come spring. There certainly may be a breeding flock or 2 still hanging around though, so it is good to keep an eye on that area.
 
Also, some years flock break-up is delayed due to weather. This happened last spring as a matter of fact. There were several blizzards that hit NE in April and delayed the breeding/break-up considerably. If you were to hunt NE's early bow season, you would probably see turkeys that have not yet completely broken up.
 
Merriams in the mountains (talking northern birds here) tend to migrate much like elk. They head to lower elevations in the winter and migrate back up to their breeding grounds as the snow melts.

SamuraiTater
 
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Joined: December 9th, 2008, 1:27 pm

RE: scouting question

Postby SamuraiTater » December 11th, 2008, 5:08 pm

ORIGINAL: NEbeardhunter21

Thanks for the pointers guys. The reason I was asking is I found a rather large group when I was out 2 weekends ago(aprox. 75). Half were still in the trees as it was early in the AM. From what we could tell they were all hens in their "winter group". This spot is right next to the road so I can check it by a slow drive by. Should there be toms in with them or do they roost seperate in the winter? I bet we see 100 hens for every tom or jake we find so I'm thinking they're somewhere else.

 
Up until the end of winter you ought to see feeding flocks absent of toms.  But as spring approaches, you'll see batchelor groups of toms that begin to hang on the fringes of feeding flocks.  The boys know what's coming and they get geared up in anticipation.  You'll notice a dominant one or two that fans out and struts his stuff a bit as a teaser for the ladies.   Of course the girls will be oblivious to his attempts at impressing them until the time is right.   ....But when the time is right, you won't see any of them anymore.  They know when opening day is too.


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