Hey I am a resident of NC, and would like to get in to turkey hunting. My father owns land right on top of 6000 acres of game lands in the mountains, so I would be in this area. I have read through many tips and pointer for turkey hunting on all sorts of websites, and they all seem to be the same, saying that 25 to 40 yards is the normal range to try to take a turkey. Where I'm at it does seem like there is any open area that is more 25 yards wide and in many cases I have ran into 10-12 turkeys on an ATV. They generally wont even move unless you get with in 10 feet of them (I have literally had staring contest with a bunch of turkeys 15 feet away from me). To me it doesn't seem like it would be much of a sport to drive a ATV around until I ran into a bunch of turkeys? Is there a better way to go about doing this? Sound also doesn't travel very far where I'm at either, so I don't know how effective calls would be.
You've gotten good advice so far. Here's my take on it.
First off, you've conquered the hardest part I found-- finding turkeys. I got into the sport before the flocks had grown. I'd go all season sometimes without a gobble.
The time to act is now, while the winter flocks are intact. Go out ( going on your ATV is fine ) and listen to the turkeys as they wake up in the morning and get down off the roost. Spend as much time as you can out in the woods learning their behaviors and the cadences of their calls. There will be no better education in turkey hunting. Match what you hear and see in the woods with the information you're getting off the DVD's, tapes, etc. and you will be ready for Spring. Learning to be a part of the ebb and flow of the turkey's daily routine is more important than anything else.
What you will find is that after the winter flocks break up and they get to breeding, turkeys can be rather uncooperative. The skill comes in getting a gobbler to come to you of his own accord and getting him within shooting range. Your observation about 25 yards being as far as you can see is correct. Once you're on the ground it is hard to see that far, let alone get a shot. I do not make a whole lot of effort to get out beyond that.
The one thing you don't have correct is how far sound can travel. Be out in a high place at sunrise later on in the Winter when the turkeys start to gobble on the roost. You'll see what I mean. Later on in the year, a little bit of soft yelping may bring a gobbler for a few hundred yards off.