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Turkey in heavily wooded areas

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Turkey in heavily wooded areas

Old 03-12-2012, 08:31 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Clermont County, Ohio
Posts: 12
Default Turkey in heavily wooded areas

Hello all. I am relatively new here to this forum and also to turkey hunting.

I have been an outdoor enthusiest for many years. I hike in the Shawnee State Forest of Ohio very often. A few years ago I remember it getting late and the sun was down and it was almost dark outside. I had been on a long hike with my son that day and almost back to the car. We heard something flying through the trees and making loud crashing noises. I recorded the noises on my camcorder. A friend of mine told me that the noises were turkey returning to the roost. Sure enough that is exaclty what I had heard because I looked it up on youtube and found the same noises.

Here it is a couple of years later. I am going turkey hunting for the first time in my life. I drove to the Shawnee forest yesterday and scouted around the area where I heard the turkey roosting. The area is dense forest and very hilly. There are NO flat places for at least a couple of miles in any direction. This is right smack in the middle of heavy forest.

Would it be possible that turkey should be in this area? It is at the top of a huge hill and is dense forest. Not really any farms or fields anywhere around.

Are the turkey found in dense tree cover forest for the spring turkey season? Would they have anything to eat in the forest? I am not sure if I am wasting my time trying to hunt this area. While I was scouting yesterday, I found no signs of turkey footprints, turkey scat, or feathers. Lots of trees are available to roost in. I wonder if turkey will fly for a few miles from a farm field to roost in a dense forest?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:43 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: SouthWest Ohio Somewhere
Posts: 255

While I cannot tell you whether you would find turkeys in that exact area this spring, I can tell you that the Shawnee National Forest would be a great place to sustain wild turkeys. The forest has lots of food to sustain them such as nuts, berries, and bugs. I have thought of hiking that place myself. You are definitely in the right area for turkey hunting. You have also found the right place (this forum) to learn how to turkey hunt. Read up and go experience it for yourself. Good luck.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:57 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tuscaloosa AL
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I would think turkeys would be there if the woods aren't real thick. Turkeys don't need flat land, never met one that minded a hill or being away from a farm. They've been around a lot longer than any farmer and think they can do just fine in the woods. I would just think they might be more spread out. Try getting their at daylight and just listen, maybe he'll tell on himself. It would be hard to find tracks in leaves in a large block of woods.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:35 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: Wye Mountain, Arkansas
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Turkeys will use wooded areas, as previously posted get there early and see if you can hear them gobbling. Good luck and welcome to the forum
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:25 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,186

Down this way (Al.), the Easterns like big woods fine. Especially with a clean under story where the Gobblers can strut in the open and tall trees for roosting. And often they will roost near a creek and pitch to the opposite side. But not always !

You already have gotten off to a great start by locating a roosting area. Typically, the same group of turkey will use the same general 3-4 areas for roosting night after night. A great way to determine if the roost is being frequented is by the accumulation of poop. But if you have heard them fly up, that's even better!

Here's a suggestion - ease into this area the evening before the morning hunt. Don't get too close. A couple hundred yards or so should be close enough. Listen for turkey flying up. Or right at dusk hit a owl hooter and listen for a gobble. If you are close enough to a roosting Tom, he's likely to gobble. Now you'd know where to start in the morning.

Slipping in quietly is a must. Listening is a must. If you can luck out , the "natural" owl may get the gobblers fired up come daybreak. If you have not heard a gobbler, shortly after daybreak (15-30 minutes or so) try to shock gobble one with a owl hoot or crow call. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:11 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Clermont County, Ohio
Posts: 12

I truly appreciate all of the posts to this thread. I was confused because I thought the turkey needed flat farmland but now I know they can use the forest too. This area does have enough space for the turkey to walk around between the trees. I guess that is what they are doing. I didn't see any feathers, poop, or anything turkey-related but they could be there I just wasn't in the correct spot. Lots of deer prints and scat.

I will keep scouting the area and I will try to see if I can figure out where they are. There is a creek nearby so maybe that is the key.

You know what is going to make this really tricky is all of the dead leaves on the ground. Every step I take makes loud leaf crunching sounds.

Thank you all again for helping a newb out
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:55 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 47

I can't say for your area but in virginia turkeys don't mind hills at all. When I have hunted the George Washington National Forest which is western rugged part of virginia all the turkeys head to the ridge lines. This is some rugged mountain country and they strut right up the mountains and hang out before going back to roost. I hunt mostly farm country and kill them in dense woods. Except when it rains and they head to the fields to have better vision and security.
Good luck!
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