“He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive.”
Find out where the turkey's roostLet’s get one thing straight: turkeys can fly. They don’t flutter around in the air like sparrows or anything, but they can certainly cover a big distance and hide in a tree. That’s what ‘roosting’ is. Turkeys roost in the late evening. So your scouting should begin in the afternoon, listening for calls. Then, about 30 mins to roost time, you want to start locating where the birds are flying up for the night. Chances are, they will be close to where they are roosting at night by then.
Use your locator calls to get them to speak upWhen turkey hunting, you should bring coyote and owl locator calls, as well as your standard turkey calls with you. Wait, what? Locator calls? Yeah, you want to use some predator calls to ‘shock’ the toms into gobbling. At roosting time, use your coyote and owl calls to get the toms gobbling! This is how you will find out exactly where they are roosting for the night. Make sure you take notes of where you find them, and what time they went up to roost.
Go out early in the morning to where they are roostingThis is where your work the night before will pay off. Remember, being too early never hurt anyone. Getting in there 30 mins before the turkeys start to chatter will allow time for the woods to settle down after you’ve traipsed through them. If you are using your locator calls to get them talking, make sure you stick with an owl call. Your coyote call will make gobblers apprehensive about coming down out of the trees.
Watch how you make your callsIt’s not so much the accuracy of your call, but more so the tempo. Make sure you listen to other hens and try to mimic their pace when calling. Our App has some real-life hen calls you can practice mimicking. You don’t want to call too much, too quick or too slow. Also bring a variety of calls (scratch, box, diaphragm). You never know which ones the turkeys will prefer.
Set up your decoys in the opposite direction you think the gobbler will come fromThis is important for two reasons. One, it keeps the decoys out of the way of any shot you want to take. Second, the gobbler will (hopefully) be focused on the decoys and walk right past you. You want to make sure that your decoys are set up within good shooting range from where you are sitting (25-40 yds).
Stay quiet and don't moveTurkey’s have incredible eyesight and hearing. Not to mention they are wicked skittish. Someone who knew what he was doing once told us, “A deer thinks every man is a stump. A turkey thinks every stump is a man.” So make sure you are well camouflaged and try not to move too much, especially when the turkey comes into range. Make sure your shotgun is up and ready to go.
That should be enough to get you going. Stay quiet, enjoy the wilderness and have fun!