3 Tips for Scouting and Hunting Turkey

Plumage. Parts of beautiful thankgiving turkeyThanksgiving has passed, but in certain states, it’s still turkey season. There are many considerations to take into account before embarking on hunting turkey. From scouting your ideal hunting area to properly inspecting the tires on you car, a lot can go wrong if you’re not readily prepared. The better prepared you are before opening day, the more birds you can potentially target and hunt.

Scouting the Land

As any seasoned hunter will tell you, it’s always a smart idea to scout the land in which you will be hunting turkey before you pull the trigger. Observing the land will not only help you track your prey more efficiently, but it can also ensure your safety. Depending on the season, weather and topography of the land, you should prepare your vehicle to handle whatever hunting situation in which you’ll find yourself. Remember, not all tires are suited for snow and cold weather — and the wrong tires also have a greater tendency to get stuck in mud.

In need of ideal hunting areas? The ideal turkey habitat was once thought to be densely forested areas. At one point, this was a good assumption, considering turkeys roost in trees to stay away from predators. But biologists have found that turkeys can exist and inhabit in areas as high as 50 percent open land (pastures, croplands, orchards), as long as there is adequate food, water and shelter. Because the terrain can vary in these types of areas, take the time to walk through the precise locations where you will be hunting to check for fallen trees or other potential hazards.

Scouting for Turkeys

hunting turkeyTurkeys leave a lot of tracks wherever they travel, and they can also scratch you a ton when being fed and while situated on the ground and on trees. Basically, they’re jerks. But understanding their behavior and living quarters before opening day will help you find a bird quicker and more efficiently. Always look for fresh scratchings and droppings; both will look soft and moist when fresh. And, looking for dusting areas and drag marks where turkeys drag their wing tips while strutting is also a good way to figure out if turkeys are in the area.

Hunting Turkey

When hunting turkey, choose a spot as close as you can to your preferred turkey, but not so close that you scare off the bird. Instead, sit in a spot on the turkey’s predictable path and call out to it passively. Patience is key while you wait for it to walk toward you. There are a variety of turkey calls you can learn in preparation for hunting season. Knowing when to use these calls can make a huge difference in whether they respond and walk toward you.

hunting turkeyIt’s also important you blend in to the environment while hunting turkey. Wearing full camo will produce better results. When searching for a pair of boots, keep in mind you’ll have to cover a lot of ground while hunting. Also consider the type of terrain in which you’ll be hunting and the dangers that can be avoided by wearing the right boots. For example, If you’re hunting in areas with water, invest in water-proof boots; likewise, if venomous snakes are in the area, look into buying a snake-proof set.

Despite the potential dangers that come with turkey hunting, the measures you take beforehand and during your hunt can seriously lower your risk of injury and vastly improve your chances of catching birds all season long. It’s also important to recognize that turkey season differs from state to state. While it’ll last a while longer in Illinois, Washington and Montana, be sure to check your state’s website for turkey season close dates.

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Posted in: Gregory Beckman, Scrolls
Gregory Beckman

About the Author:

Hi, I am Gregory Beckman, as the main owner of Military Hunting and Fishing let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I am currently an active duty member in the United States Coast Guard. I have been privileged to traveling the world. My experiences have shaped the way that I see the world and my memories will stick with me for a lifetime. Although I may not live in the country, the country lives in me. Traveling the world I have had the chance to experience the wonders of nature in many different places, meeting many different people and tasting wild game that the normal person would not get to experience. Although these experiences have kept me away from home, it has instilled a deep passion of hunting and fishing in my blood. Thank you for joining our site, and I look forward to interacting and sharing stories of our hunting adventures. Gregory A. Beckman
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