Chris Hadley sent in 3 great turkey hunting tips that I am going to drop up on the site in the tips section but I also wanted to highlight them here for everyone to see. As well we are going to be heading into full turkey hunting mode in the next 2 months right up until about May 20th. We will be seeking out some great tips, tricks and we welcome all of your photographs in our photo gallery and in the forums.
Get to posting everyone and we hope these tips come in handy!
“Hush Up” When Scouting Spring Turkey’s
Never, under any circumstances use turkey calls when scouting before the Spring hunting season. Sometimes it is tempting, but it is definitely not worth the headaches you cause yourself during the actual hunting season by calling during the pre-season. Toms are dominant birds and expect hens to come to them. If you use your calls in the pre-season and you coax a tom in without a turkey load or a hen waiting on him when he gets there, chances are it will be tougher to get him in a second time during the real season.
I generally won’t even use locator calls in the pre-season. The turkey’s get used to the hunter made sounds of locator calls and decide to get quiet during the early morning hours during the season.
The simplest and best form of pre-season scouting is to let nature take care of itself. Birds will gobble in the morning (and evening) on their own without any coaxing from us hunters. Let them do the talking on their own terms. Then, lay out your plans for the perfect opening day hunt with fresh new sounds from your favorite call.
Patterning Your Turkey Guns
Whether you just bought a new shotgun for turkey season or a new turkey choke to try out, you need to make sure to pattern your gun. This process may take several shots and different distances. By the time you are finished, you could be looking at thirty or forty dollars in shells just to pattern your gun. Here is a tip to save you some money. Shoot regular 7 ½ field loads at multiple distances. This will tell you the most important detail in patterning your gun. Is your pattern left, right, low, or high? Until you shoot some rounds through your new gun or choke tube, you won’t know these answers. Why waste your money on turkey loads to find out the same answers you can with 7 ½ field loads. Once you have your gun or choke pattern nailed down, then you can begin to try out different turkey rounds to see which brand and shot size will give you the most pellets in the kill zone. Good luck and spend some of the money you save using this tip to buy an extra call or two.
Locate Mid-Day Hang Outs
Finding where turkey’s like to hang out during mid-day hours can be a very lucrative scouting tip. Most of us know what turkey’s do in the morning hours because we spend the majority of our time in the turkey woods in the morning hours. However, mid-day hunts can be just as exciting as those morning dawn hunts.
While walking the turkey woods in the weeks leading up to opening day, look for the areas you see the most turkey scratching. (If you are unfamiliar with what turkey scratches look like, imagine a miniature buck scrape on the ground where the leaves are pushed back in a circular fashion.) Usually turkeys will congregate during the middle of the day and spend a large portion of that time feeding. This is where you will find the majority of your “scratches.”
A large portion of the morning hours are spent breeding (they don’t stop breeding in the mid day), however, turkeys will find a sunny hillside to spend a majority of their mid-day hours. When the birds shut up in the latter morning hours, high tail it to these mid-day hangouts and wait on them. They’ll be there. Make sure to get there ahead of them. Set up a decoy or two. Kick back and relax. Call every 15-20 minutes and wait. This type of hunting is not as fast paced as morning hunting but it works during the middle of the day. After an hour or two in one spot, get up and move to another location. I’ve killed more turkeys using this method than any other. Let me know how it works for you.