BEAST tactics?

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cornfedkiller
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BEAST tactics?

Unread postby cornfedkiller » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:12 am

Any of you beasts got an tactics for me? I have only hunted turkeys twice (and Im already addicted to it!), and was with people who know what they were doing both times. This year I will kinda be playing guide (me and a friend are going) if we get drawn. I have a few questions, and any other suggestions you can give me will surely help!

How do you go about locating where turkeys are roosting? Can I listen in the early mornings a couple days before the season and try to follow the sound to figure out where they are?

Do they roost in the same tree/area every night? For days, weeks, months?

How do you scout turkeys? If I go to my hunting land a few days before turkey season, how do you suggest scouting them and figuring out where to set up? What should I look for?

The land Im hunting is mostly woods. Its not like farm country where there are open fields all over with just small tracts of trees. There are fields around, but with our property and the neighbors', there is probably like 1000 acres of woods, so Im not sure how well glassing in evenings, etc would work..


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huntinfool14
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Re: BEAST tactics?

Unread postby huntinfool14 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:17 am

turkeys usually roost in the same tree..not saying they wont go to different trees if they know they are being hunted..right before dark you can usually do a owl hoot and get them to gobble so you know where they are roosted, or once you get out in the woods in the morning, wait for the first gobble and then immediatly head for that location and try to sneak in as close as possible..the best way to scout is look for open fields but you said there isnt much where you hunt..turkeys like to head to grass/hay fields to pick the bugs and then toms can strut in the open and sun themselves..alot of times if the morning is slow..i just walk to all the open fields and glass until i find one to try and call in..
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Ack
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Re: BEAST tactics?

Unread postby Ack » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:14 pm

How do you go about locating where turkeys are roosting? Can I listen in the early mornings a couple days before the season and try to follow the sound to figure out where they are?

Listening for the birds at daylight is an excellent way to locate them....do not take any of your calls when doing this though.....you do not want to educate those birds. They will almost always sound off every morning before flydown no matter what, so leave the calls at home. You can also locate birds now with snow on the ground (tracks), but there is no guarantee that they will be in the same area come season. Look for large trees with horizontal branches.....around the roost trees you'll find droppings and usually lots of wing feathers. If you have large ridges on your property, the birds will usually roost on the edge of the ridge, then pitch down either on top or on the side of the hill, then move off to feed.

Do they roost in the same tree/area every night? For days, weeks, months?

See above.....this time of the year you may just have a winter flock on your property if the food is there.....not really a predictable time to locate where they will be during season. Normally birds will roost in the same general area from day to day on private land, but they can also have several roost sites depending on where the flock travels that day.

How do you scout turkeys? If I go to my hunting land a few days before turkey season, how do you suggest scouting them and figuring out where to set up? What should I look for?

You are going to have to put some time in on this one......you need to determine the roost areas by finding the sign I described above. Next, you need to determine where they are feeding once they hit the ground.....you can do this by glassing birds (if you can find them), or find where they have been scratching up the leaves in the woods. You will also want to locate their dusting areas....these are usually sandy areas, and you will see their dusting "bowls"......small depressions in the sand where they have dusted their feathers. These dusting areas are usually good to hunt in the late morning and afternoon. Obviously feathers and droppings are sign that the birds have been there, but once again you'll have to put some time in to find this kind of sign. During the spring the toms like to strut for the hens in fairly open areas, so try to locate these strut zones ahead of time and remember where they are. If the ground is bare you can actually see where the toms have dragged the tips of their wing feathers in the dirt or sand while strutting.

THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING is to know where the turkeys travel on the piece of property you hunt. It is very important to know where they roost, where they feed, where they dust, where they strut......travel patterns of turkeys is no different than travel patterns of deer. Don't get too wrapped up in hunting a roost site, because honestly they really don't spend too much time right there at fly down or fly up.....KNOW WHERE THEY WANT TO GO and set up in front of them.


Here are a few other tactics I have come up with over the years....these are mainly geared toward bowhunting birds, but they will also work with the shotgun........

-Patterning your birds is probably 75% of bowhunting turkeys. Calling, decoys, and everything else doesn't help one bit if you don't know what or where the birds are traveling. Now package the calling, decoys, decoy placement, blind placement with the knowledge of your turkeys....dead turkey. Remember that just because the birds are not gobbling DOES NOT mean they are not there. Trust your homework, and stay in one spot...they will be there!


-If you have enough property to do so or are hunting public land, don't be afraid to run-and-gun with your bow and blind....it can be done. You would do this the same as you would with your shotgun, but as soon as locating a hot bird you need to set up your blind IMMEDIATELY and be ready to shoot....don't even mess with your dekes if he is close. Practice setting up your blind and preparing for a shot before season.....go through all the steps over and over in your backyard until you can get set up as quickly as possible. This way you will be ready when the situation comes up in the woods...you won't have to search for that tree to sit up against like you would if you had your shotgun. You can pretty much set your blind up anywhere and the birds will pay no attention to it when they come through.


-If your schedule allows, definitely get out and hunt during the middle of the day. Many times after hanging with the hens all morning the toms will wander off by themselves or in small groups....this is normally when they are the hottest and the most willing to commit to a call. I would say that all of my birds from the last 7 years or so have been taken between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Don't give up if they've duped you in the morning...get back out there and put some mid-day time in.

-If I'm trying to set up on a specific bird and the terrain allows, I like to get into a position that will give me a shot as soon as that bird comes over the top of a hill, around a corner and so-on. If that bird can hear you but cannot see you many times he will come looking, and you will almost always get a shot as soon as he comes into view if your setup is right. If you can tell that he is getting close, STOP CALLING...he will usually stay on a straight path right into your setup.
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cornfedkiller
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Re: BEAST tactics?

Unread postby cornfedkiller » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:58 am

Thanks for the info Ack..Very helpful, and very appreciated!


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