Now that your done chasing whitetails, its time to change your scouting and preparation from food plots and rub lines to what trees the gobblers are roosting in. Season is only a couple months away, and you should be dusting off your calls from last season and practicing up. Depending on your personal preference, there are many different call manufacturers out there today. Find out what kind of call you want to use this year and get familiar with it. Make sure that you find a call that is easy to blow, if you are having trouble, or do not feel comfortable with it look around for something else. I prefer a 3 reed batwing or ghost cut( Center U shape cut). These provide deep, raspy tones which resemble that old mature hen. When I make the drive to school or back, I always have the mouth call I want to use in there with me. Make sure you go through a couple different sequences and fine tune anything that needs to be worked on. You should make sure you have your yelps, clucks, cuts and purrs down to a tee.
During the spring you want to concentrate on scratchy, coarse tones, be patient and let them come in. Make sure you know where the gullies, streams and fences are on the property, you don’t want that tom getting hung up and loosing interest. Also you may want to get a topography map, showing you differences in elevation. This will tell you where to set up, a gobbler will rather come up hill, than down hill and possibly get hung up in a creek or fence line.
Right now is a very good time to go out and not only look for sheds, but find out where they are traveling. The snow can give you a lot of information about there travel patterns, and droppings can easily be spotted amongst the white snow, letting you know where the have previously roosted. While you are scouting look for tracks, particularly tracks in the 2 1/4 inch and larger range, with a deep or clear imprint of the middle toe with the scales showing. This indicates a large heavy bird, usually a tom.
Also the snow will show where the turkeys have been scratching, in search of food; this gives another clue on where they will most likely be in the beginning of season. The first week or two of turkey season is just like that of the start of deer season. You know where they have been because of food sources and travel patters. It may take the gobblers a week or two to start firing up and begin pursuit of the female. If you can slip in and not let them know you are there you can harvest a bird with out even calling.
Now you have an idea on where the birds might be on the property its time to starting the process of patterning your shotgun if you have not previously done this. If your gun comes with a choke already in the barrel, try a few different turkey loads through it at 30 and 40 yards to see if you even need to purchase a turkey choke. If the pattern is not very tight, look around at different chokes. There are many websites that give an actual chart on what combinations work best as far as gun, choke, and shot.
Nitro Comapny gives a few examples for different guns and choke variations. Once you find what combination works best for your gun, make sure you find what distance you are comfortable shooting. Now that you have your gun and calls fined tuned, get yourself a good blind or find a place you will be well hidden. If you are comfortable with all of these steps, you should have a better chance at harvesting that long beard you had your eye on.