Approach for Hunting a New Area

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Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby Gobblerman » January 14th, 2009, 6:17 pm

I have read posts over the last couple of weeks, with great interest and curiousity, about how many of us go about our hunts, scouting methods, and locating techniques.  I thought it might be interesting to discuss our approaches for hunting a new area.  Below are two scenarios for spring hunts outside of your home turf and "comfort zone".  You have one month prior to the hunt to prepare yourself, but you are not able to actually visit the hunt area.
First scenario:  You are faced with hunting a tract of land that is, say, one mile square (640 acres).  You are not familiar with the property and you have three days to hunt it.  What is your approach?
Second scenario:  You are hunting a large area, for instance a National Forest area of 10 miles square (100 sq. miles or 64,000 acres).  Once again you are not familiar with the area and you only have three days to hunt.  What is your approach here?

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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby silvestris » January 14th, 2009, 10:50 pm

Kill them from the seat of my pants.  Maps, topos and aerial photos.  Where they ought to be is usually where they are.
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby greyghost » January 15th, 2009, 1:16 am

First one I would get the maps as Silvestris. If it is private land I would of course be talking with the owner and other contacts he/she may have on more specific details of the property (other then you get from maps) most topos and aieral's are a couple years old and may not show new clearcuts etc. and where they may have been seeing birds and try to mark them on the maps. This is assuming you will only show up the first day of the hunt and no time for a drive or walk around the property edge just to get the feel of the lay of the land. Not walk though it since it is a rather samll tract.
Second one the same on the maps but also contact the local forester and wildlife bioligist for the district or area, and were they or others have been seeing any birds. Again they can give you lots of info changes that may have occured since the maps you have were printed, resent burn areas etc. Check out the States harvest and turkey survey reports along with the info from the 2 departments mentioned.

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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby mark hay » January 15th, 2009, 1:44 am

mornin' fellers,
i must first say that i have never used a topo map and doubt if i could if i had one . [ you can laugh now ]
my approach to either area, based on no former knowledge of the area , would be to locate a stream , creek or river that runs through the area . i'd have to say that the first day i'd wait on daylight rather than go stumbling blindly around the woods in the dark . if possible i'd drive around or through the areas for a more rapid assessment. if not possible to drive , i'd strike the first stream and try to get to high ground above the stream and try to locate the birds by ground sign and locator calls . probably spend most of the first day moving a lot to gain as much knowledge of the land as possible , and slow down the following 2 days.

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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby trkyklr » January 15th, 2009, 1:51 am

as bad as i hate to admit it(hee..hee..hee) im gonna have to do the big "DITTO" behind the comanders post i'de aproach it the same way

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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby shaman » January 15th, 2009, 2:54 am

Here's how I figure it:

Morning 1 is going to be tough to bag a bird, unless you have prior intel.  Hopefully you'll hear some gobbling and be able to narrow your search to your best guess (based on topos, etc.) as to where the flock is going to feed.  It will at least help you narrow your search to finding the roost.  In the afternoon, see if you can get them coming back to roost. Some states don't allow hunting after Noon.  If so, you'll at least have more intel in the morning.

On day 2, you'll repeat the process, and also try and scout out one or more roosts.  Lather, rinse , repeat.

On day 3, you'll have 2 or more flocks to choose from, take your best shot.

All through this, be trying to fool a lone gobbler or peel one off of a flock.

I used to estimate that if I had 3 days to hunt in this way, I would at least get a shot at a bird.  The best I have ever been able to achieve was having a missed shooting opportunity in 3 days and a bird in five from a cold start.  My biggest flaw was working the same flock too much and not looking for easy pickings elsewhere.
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby wordbird » January 15th, 2009, 3:31 am

No doubt about it. I'll hit the topos and aerial photos and pick my listening spot for the first morning. That will be a spot that affords being able to hear the biggest part of the prime looking country. From there it's footwork to check out the other areas of interest from the maps. The maps are a time saver and a step saver and if you're not utilizing them, you're missing out.
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby wisturkeyhunter » January 15th, 2009, 3:43 am

I'd get there about first light and walk a in the woods a little and try to hear one gobble or to make one gobble at both places. I might go to the second place a day before I hunt but I'd tread lightly. I wouldn't walk much of it I'd try to find a trail I could stay on and mostly just listen and look for sign.

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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby tracebusta32 » January 15th, 2009, 5:25 am

All great replys, I would only add that I would plan on hunting all day especially day 1 if the area allowed it.
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby Morgan » January 15th, 2009, 8:51 am

I haven't been in a new area in so long...
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