If you want to have success in the spring turkey woods you have got to do some planning of your hunting strategies, practice ALOT with your various turkey calls and maybe the toughest part, do some dilligent scouting!
Tomorrow morning I am headed out to scout a large tract of property where I have a turkey hunting membership and I have only been on it twice last fall! Talk about a need to scout! I will get my old four wheeler filled up with non-ethanol gas and trailer it down to the property on the Montgomery County, Pike County line and spend a large portion of the day just riding across the property to get “the lay of the land”.
Just being familiar with the land is a big advantage to help you understand where a gobbler is calling from such as the roost at dawn. If you know the way the ridges and valleys run it can help you out -flank a gobbler and get to a strut zone or green field before he shows up, If he is vocal coming off the roost and continues to gobble for hens on his way to his favorite “strutting and displaying” spot in the morning.
For some gobbler that is the end of a ridge where his gobbles will carry down several valleys to alert hens to “come see him.” Some gobblers will choose a spot in a greenfield or an old log landing clearing, or a stretch of dirt road, especially if there is a long staight section with a ridge he can be seen on. There is such a road and ridge where I have been hunting the past few years and every spring there will be a gobbler that stakes that spot out as his favorite strut zone. It has proven to be a deadly spot for me and I have taken several old Toms down who were ”the king of that hill”.
Trail cameras with some food out in front of them are excellent ways to determine where the Toms are, especially on small green fields or logging roads. Just be sure the feed is gone 14 days prior to the start of season which is March 15th. If you plan to participate in the Youth hunt on March 7th adjust your feeding accordingly to not be breaking the law!
Below is an interesting article from the NWTF about how hunting is under tremendous pressure both politically and just due to habitat loss for all birds every year! Please consider joining the NWTF, DU, Quail Forever, Pheasants Forever as they use their collective resources to help save our outdoor habitats for great American Games Birds such as the Wild turkey!
Four of the nation’s largest wild bird conservation organizations have joined forces to ensure that wild bird habitat conservation and our shared hunting heritage remain strong for generations to come. Ducks Unlimited (DU), the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the goal of furthering sporting traditions across North America.“By entering into this unique partnership, we will be able to reach more than 1 million conservation supporters throughout North America,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “This MOU is the first step to ensuring our hunting heritage remains strong. I look forward to working with each organization and I know that together we can accomplish great things.”
The goals of the partnership will be achieved through the support of an engaged and growing community of sportsmen and women and other outdoor enthusiasts, including the members and supporters of the partner organizations, who all share similar visions.
“We’re losing 6,000 acres of habitat every day. Hunters fund conservation but now we’re at the point where less than 10 percent of the American population hunts, so the funding source is going away,” said NWTF CEO George Thornton. “We know we can’t solve this alone. It’s bigger than one organization.”
This historic partnership also takes cooperation to an entirely new level, proving that conservation organizations aren’t always competitors. Rather, this MOU shows how separate organizations can come together to achieve common goals.
Combined, these organizations have helped conserve more than 30 million acres of wildlife habitat, and through this partnership, shared conservation goals will be achieved more efficiently.
“In the face of the most rapid loss of wildlife habitat in modern times, it simply makes sense for our organizations to team up wherever possible,” explains Howard Vincent, President & CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “From our local chapters holding youth mentor hunts to state land acquisition projects, our goal is to accomplish more for current and future generations of bird hunters as partners in conservation.”