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Scouting a new hunting area

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Scouting a new hunting area

Old 02-27-2012, 07:40 AM
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Default Scouting a new hunting area

I am trying to find some new turkey hunting areas and don't really know how to go about scouting an area for signs of turkeys. Is it just a matter of walking and walking and walking and looking for scratching, droppings, etc. Or, are there some things to look for that will help narrow down a turkey's area?
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:24 PM
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You can get up early before sunrise and take an owl hooter call and go out and try to locate the birds. Do not use any turkey calls when trying to locate the birds. Good luck
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:22 AM
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Yep. I agree with Arrowmaster. to locate a turkey, you must listen to the calls of the birds especially the owl, and if you heard turkeys replied, then you had the spot. People call these as "Roosting".
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:38 AM
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After you locate general area of the roost go in to that area after the birds have moved away a bit then find the roost and look for fresh tracks and droppings going away stay back but try to observe where they feed and strut. Travel routs can differ but strutting, feeding and roost areas can often be regularly used. Look over these areas and pick out set up points.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:26 AM
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As mentioned above, get up early and go listen, preferably before the season starts if you can. Turkeys will generally let you know where they roost by gobbling while still on the roost either before or right at first light. Once you get a general idea of where they are roosting you can inch a little closer and listen to see which direction they go once they fly down. Binoculars are invaluable in these situations, as getting too close can be detrimental in trying to establish a pattern of their movements after fly-down and throughout the day. I'd rather be 200 yards too far away than 10 yards too close. Good luck!
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:53 PM
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These guys are correct, but I think you want to know if an area holds any turkeys rather than pinpointing the roost. Sometimes there is no sense in looking for signs or owl hooting if you aren't even sure if the land holds any turkeys.

Start by driving around and scoping fields in late afternoon or evening. They are usually in a large flock this time of year, but should begin to break up into smaller groups soon. Last spring, I counted 88 in one field all together. If you find the flock, you have found the area. It will be easier to find smaller groups later towards the start of the season after they break up. (fields or other feeding areas)

Early April, you should be able to see a few come out and strut in the fields around late morning, early afternoon time frame. By this time, owl hooting works well as well.

If it is a largely wooded area with few fields, you may just have to get out and walk and look for signs. It all depends on the layout of the land in the area you are in. Your best bet would be to read up on turkey behavior and pay attention to the type of land they like. For example, they seem to like pastures and creek beds. They also like a place that has a few rolling hills with a few large trees along a hillside for a roost area. They also need a food source like grain fields and bugs/grasshoppers. There has to be a certain amount of wooded area and/or cover for protection.

This should get you started. Just pay attention to your surroundings and think like a turkey. Good luck.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:18 AM
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Lots of footwork,attention to detail,and a whole lot of listening. Try and get the hens travel patterns off the roost. And where they are up in the morning. Especially right before the season. Just in case your gobblers go silent. Gives you more confidence to hang in an area longer. Goodluck on the new stomping grounds.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:05 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Default Probably explains. . .

why new areas are getting so tough to hunt these days. To think someone could get out early, in their busy schedule, go out alone, walk and walk, and not hear or see one turkey.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:16 AM
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some good advice for sure. I actually find some of my most exciting hunts come from showing up at a new place with my calls and gun and no idea where a turkey might be. You are scouting and hunting at the same time basically.

If you're hunting in an area of the state that you know has turkeys then I look at habitat. Is there water, good roost loactions, ridges, valleys, feilds or openings. Is the hardwoods open at a turkeys eye level or extremely thick and choked down. If I see what looks like good turkey country then I look for actual sign. tracks and scratchings or feathers. If I assess an area as good possible turkey country then all I have to see is one track, one feather, one dust bowl, or some bush scratched up to know thew hunt is on.

I like to know the lay of the land as much as where I have seen a bird strutting or heard him gobbling if pre-season scouting. I want to know how that ridgeline runs, or if there is a tractor road running through the timber to the next feild. I want to know where the stand of pines is or the oak flat. Fences, creeks and other obstacles that will give me an idea of how to move or set up on a bird I have located once the hunt is on.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:14 AM
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Learning the habitat is half the battle imho
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