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If you’re looking to bag a turkey this hunting season, you’ll need to know how to scout them first. In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about how to scout turkeys and take them down. From identifying the signs of a turkey’s presence to using calls and decoys to lure them in.
Table of Contents
Scouting For Turkeys
1. Roosting Areas
When scouting for turkeys, one of the important things to do is find where they roost. Turkeys usually roost in tall trees with large branches. One of the ways to find roosting areas is to be up early in the morning and carefully listen for the gobbling of the turkeys. This will give you an idea of where they are roosting.
2. Diverse Habitat
When scouting for turkeys, look for areas with diverse habitats that can offer a lot for the turkeys. Turkeys need food, water, cover, mature trees to roost in, and nesting cover. Look for hills, creek bottoms, ridges, woods, forest land, wetlands, plots of land with crops like corn, etc.
When you locate areas with diverse habitats, study them carefully for signs that turkeys are active in that area. Look out for droppings, feathers, and tracks before the season opens. Look along the roadways for fresh turkey tracks.
4. Trail Cameras
Use a trail camera in an area you think turkeys visit. From the trail camera, you will learn if turkeys are in that area and what is their behavior at different times during the day. Trail cameras are like an extra set of eyes for gathering information that works 24 hours a day. You can read about the best trail cameras available today from this review. Additionally, you can also learn the best trail camera tips to get the best use of trail cameras.
5. Calls & Decoys
Once the turkey season begins, you can add calls and decoys to your arsenal for luring turkeys to you. Listen to the sounds they make and imitate them. You can attract their attention by making the sounds they made and lure them closer to you. Carefully study the different sounds turkeys make. They can give you an idea of what they are doing and where they are located.
Before the season starts, you can take advantage of technology to gather information on turkeys. There are apps that you can use like, HuntStand, onX, TrophyTracks, and BaseMap, to locate possible roost sites, food sources, and travel routes. With this information, you can get to those areas and do boots-on-the-ground scouting to verify the information obtained from the app.
Turkeys scratch in leaves looking for insects and acorns. Keep an eye out for heavy scratching on the ground. Observe if you can identify their claw marks. Turkeys scratch down to the soil leaving their claw marks in the soil. This could be the work of turkeys in search of food. They usually scratch near roost sites. If you find feathers and droppings near the scratching sites, then it’s almost certain that they are the work of turkeys.
8. Travel Routes
All living things have habits that are repeated regularly whether they realize it or not. Turkeys are no exception. They tend to travel the same routes every day. When scouting for turkeys before the season begins, try to find travel routes. You might find turkey droppings, feathers, and other signs. The turkey apps can also identify potential travel routes that you can visit to confirm.
If you locate roost sites and feeding areas, the travel routes can easily be located between these two areas. It is a great place to hunt in the mid-morning and late afternoon. Deer trails, old logging roads, ridgetops, oak flats, river bottoms, funnels, and pinch points between waterways are often used by turkeys as travel routes.
9. Glass For Turkeys
You can also scout for turkeys by using a binocular or a spotting scope to look for turkeys in the trees. We did a review of the best spotting scopes available today to help you find the best scope for your expeditions.
10. Morning & Evening Hours
Turkeys are most active in the morning and evening hours. Locate a spot that you can set up with your binoculars or spotting scope and look out for turkeys when they are most active. When you spot them, you will get an idea of how many are in that area.
Always wear camouflage when you go scouting for turkeys. You don’t want to spook the turkeys away. Also, be very quiet and move slowly to not reveal your location and startle them.
The Bottom Line
Scouting for turkeys takes a little bit of time and effort but can pay dividends when the hunting season opens. There are a few things you can do to scout for turkeys that will give you the information you need. In this article, we discussed some of the ways you can scout for turkeys.
How to hunt turkeys is a hunting skill that you can get good at once you commit to it and put in the work. To help you become more successful when hunting turkeys, we discussed the best turkey hunting tips in this article.