Turkey Hunting: Pre-Season Work for Hunters


These Guys Have the Lay-of-the-Land Down Pat!


If you have access to the land you will be using for turkey hunting, now is the time to “get the lay of the land.”

Spend Some Quality Time

Knowing where the turkey roosts are – before the season begins – is an incredible advantage. Getting your searching done, without gun and all the other “stuff’ you take hunting, will make the task easier.

In fall and winter, the turkeys (males and females) travel in large bunches. In early spring, just before mating season, the bird groups separate. They each have important things to do.

The males work out their dominance “issues” between the young  jakes and other – more seasoned – gobblers.

The girls are out scouting for safe nesting areas, for the new “youngsters to come.”

Favorite Areas

As mentioned in a previous post, turkeys seem to favor agricultural areas, bottomlands and the woods.

Since turkeys have been introduced to new areas,*  they have adjusted to their new environments — even the edge of desert regions!

Gobblers seem to need to chatter; so listen for their gobbling. Gobblers talk year-round, with a huge increase before and during mating season.

Once the two genders separate, their roosts can be a long distance from each other.  The boys tend to give their location away through their (increased  and noisier) gobbling.

Once you have found turkeys, sit and watch for awhile. Listen to the calling and gobbling. What is the reaction of the other birds? When do they gobble? When do they “kee-kee?” Do you hear any “lost” yelps?

What’s the Pay-Off  for Advanced Scouting?

By doing this searching now, when the season starts, you can move in, take your limit and go home.

As the turkey season progresses, it gets harder to snare a gobbler. Turkeys are not stupid.

Remember their ‘fatal flaw’ (in a hunter’s view): Turkeys are not curious critters. They live to see another day by following one rule: ‘If I cannot locate/recognize the source of a noise, LEAVE immediately.’

* Turkey numbers dropped to ~ 40,000 in the 1930’s.  Wildlife departments of many states worked  to rebuild the herds by introducing them to locales where they had never lived before. Herds are now over 8 million — and growing!

Remember: Your fathers and grandfathers paid for the re-population of this mighty bird, through the excise taxes on guns, ammo, licenses, etc.!

The truth is that hunters are conservationists, too! Without hunters, turkeys would be extinct!


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on February 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. Man, I cant wait until May 1st. That is when our turkey season opens in NY.

  2. Dear Clifford,

    You have a great site (field-n-water.com); how is turkey season going to shape up in NY?

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