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 Turkey Scouting Strategies for Beginners 
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Post Turkey Scouting Strategies for Beginners
Turkey Scouting Strategies for Beginners
by: Esther Pearson

Don't depend on luck to bag a tom this season. Create your own luck in advance by scouting for the most popular turkey haunts in the area. Turkey hunting is unpredictable at best, but with a good amount of scouting preparation, you just might bring home a trophy long beard this year.

When is the best time to begin scouting? Ten days or so before the season opens or several days before you plan to hunt is the ideal time to start. If you scout too early before the season opens, the turkeys in the area may have relocated by the time you return to hunt. Turkeys often migrate between winter and spring habitats, so that flock you spotted several months earlier may not be around come opening day.

The best area to scout from is an elevated area or hilltop. Use a spotting scope or binoculars to get a good look at the turkeys without alerting them of your presence. Wild turkeys have radar-keen sight and hearing. Stay off their radar by staying as low profile as possible and keeping your distance or you risk alerting their sense of danger and causing them to clear the area and find a new location. A spotting scope allows you to observe from a distance--you can see the gobblers, but they can't see you.

As you observe, pay close attention to the number of turkeys in the flock and their size, sex, and age. Write down your observations, the time of day, and your location. Identify popular turkey hangouts on a topographical map or note their location with a GPS device. This will help you find the same spot when you return to hunt.

After the turkeys leave the area, move in to get a closer look. Determine the precise location of their hangout by examining the ground for telltale signs such as tracks, droppings, scratch marks, feathers, and wing marks. Note the difference between droppings left by toms, which are "J" shaped, and those left by the hens, which are smaller and corkscrew shaped. As you observe more and more, you'll find what makes a prime feeding area, strut zone, or roosting site. With enough practice and observation, you'll soon be able to spot a turkey-friendly habitat before you spot the flock.

Leave your hunting calls at home, as this only serves to make the gobblers call shy and encourages them to leave the area for safer feeding and strutting grounds. Turkeys are wary creatures and quick to identify artificial calls. Never call in a tom unless you're ready to shoot. Wait for the gobblers to sound out on their own. It may take more effort and patience to scout an area without calls, but the effort will be worth it when the turkeys are still around after you come back for the hunt.

Don't depend on areas where you've hunted successfully in the past. If your lucky spot proves cold this season during scouting, find new hunting grounds where your chances of bagging a bird will be greater. Sticking to the same area for tradition's sake will leave you frustrated and bewildered when the area turns cold or the gobblers stop responding.

About The Author
Copyright 2009 KillZone Hunting Outfitters. Looking for superior hunting and fishing equipment for the outdoor sportsman? Visit KillZone Hunting Outfitters at for quality products at affordable, factory-direct prices. Gear up for the season with turkey blinds, spotting scopes, shooting sticks, and more. Free shipping on all products!

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Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:46 am
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