1. Scout out your location. Turkeys can be tricky sometimes and we’ve found the best way to enjoy your hunt is to know what to expect. This means knowing where the divisions between public and private lands are, as well as what the landscape and terrain look like. Turkeys love acorns, so areas with large amounts of Oaks along with low-lying shrubs are perfect areas to begin scouting. If you don’t have oaks, finding an area rife with native plants that have nuts or fruit along with shrubs will be a perfect place to begin. One of our favorite tricks before a hunt is to hop onto Google Earth and check out a good aerial view of the area we are heading to. Not only does this show us a good layout, it helps us determine which areas should give us the best chance of finding a good turkey. Plus, we also love Google Earth because we can then zoom in and get a great up-close ground view and map out key roosting spots and potential terrain issues. Once you get a good aerial, it’s always great to walk the location, but if you don’t have time Google Earth is usually accurate enough.
2. The morning of your trip make sure to check the weather. You want to know not only the norm (sunny, cloudy, etc), but also wind speed and direction. The wind direction will directly influence potential roosting spots and knowing the direction in advance will help you to pinpoint the best locations for success.
3. The night before your hunt, you should comb the area and look for the turkey’s roosts for the night, this will help you pinpoint precisely where your hunt should begin the next day. Once you get to your preferred area, do a quick sweep to look for signs of a flock. You should see scratching areas as well as some places with feathers, droppings, and some food remains. Since turkeys shift roosts based on the weather, make sure that the droppings are relatively fresh before setting yourself up to wait on the birds.
4. Pick a good set up location where you have a good sightline, but are still relatively hidden where you don’t mind hanging out for awhile. Sometimes hunts go quick; sometimes you get to hang out waiting for your birds for hours, so getting a spot that is comfy is key. Big trees not only provide a back rest, but also give good wind cover and provide nice shade. Brush piles are also good for concealment, though they tend to be slightly less comfortable than a nice tree. Lastly, you always have the option of a blowdown; whether you can find one or decide to make one yourself.
5. When you do your call, it is always best to make it sound like a flock of turkeys rather than a single one. The turkeys are more likely to respond to a call from multiple birds, plus the more calls, the louder the calls are and also the father they travel; making your hunt that much more likely to be a success.
6. While you’re scouting make a note of the time you notice the birds up and moving, going down to roost, or strutting. If you come back multiple days in a row you might notice a pattern, which can result in better placement for your set up location.
7. Check your gear! Not only do you want it to be in tip-top shape, but you want to make sure it is noiseless. Once you’re geared up, move around a bit; move your arms, legs, bend a few times, heck even take a jump or two. If you can hear it moving, you need to reconsider what you’re wearing.
Well, those are all of our favorite tips. Do you guys have any tips or tricks to add?