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Scouting For Turkeys

Scouting for Turkeys


Seeing Turkeys when Scouting is great sign (Photo by Pete Rogers)

Some turkey hunters across the south will spend very little time scouting for turkeys in their favorite haunts. Referring instead to where they saw turkeys during deer season. Experience shows however, that turkeys seen in November are seldom in the same areas in April.

This is where scouting pays off. Obviously the best sign when turkey scouting is actually seeing turkeys. Noting where and what time of day will help identify their feeding habits when April rolls around. A good tactic is to scan fields immediately after a rain. Turkeys flock to the fields to feed on insects after rain. This can show hunters where they emerge from the woods and return to the woods. Hunting turkeys in these access and exit areas will put more fowl on the ground.

When scouting through the woods, the most obvious sign is ‘scratching’ where the birds have been feeding and scratching the leaves to reveal the ground beneath. This is a dead giveaway of the presence of turkeys. Finding fresh scratching is a good sign for setting up when the season opens.

Other sign to look for is scat. Turkeys will defecate up twelve times a day. This is a great sign of where and when turkeys were in this area. And of course tracks also give them away. Looking along logging roads, field edges etc, will reveal the presence of turkeys.

Lastly, listening for gobblers that actually ‘gobble’ will draw a direct line to their location for opening day.

Scouting for turkeys will definitely increase your odds of killing a turkey this season. It is definitely time well spent, anytime you can be in the woods learning from the animals we hunt, the better hunters we will become.