Pre-Season Scouting - by Jonathan Navarro

Submitted By Admin Mar .21.2018

The time between deer season and the start of turkey season seems like an eternity. We start counting down the days until the day we can get the vest and ol’ box call out with hopes of getting a long beard into range.

Everyone has high hopes of killing that big gobbler on the first day they step into the turkey woods. I remember when I first started hunting turkeys, I would practice a call here or there and shoot my shot gun a time or two to pattern it. I would go out to the sacred spot at daylight opening morning and hit the hoot owl call to listen for the gobble of a roosted turkey. I quickly moved in to get in that perfect spot to catch them coming down off the roost. I got there quickly and put a decoy or two out. I would hit a few soft tree yelps to let the guys know where the girls where hanging out. You can hear the sound of wings flapping in the distance. It sounds like it’s headed my way, but to no avail the turkeys all flew down and went the opposite direction. I have learned a lot since then.

I will give you some insight that I use when hunting private or public ground that I hope helps you this year and years to come in the Spring Turkey woods.

Every year after deer season I keep my trail cameras going. I move them out of the thickets where my deer stands are and put them on watering holes and field edges. I try to find out everything there is to know about the turkeys I have on my place. If I can, I always have some kind of agriculture for them to scratch around in. I check the cameras every so often. I look at the times when the turkeys are around the most and do not go in and scout. I look for feathers on the ground, tracks, scratching, and turkey droppings. That will give me a good feel for where they are spending most of their time. If you find areas that have a lot of sign, put a camera up. I often times find these types of signs while shed hunting between deer season and turkey season.

As turkey season nears I spend every morning I can out there listening for the different roosting spots. I never call to them I just let things happen naturally. I take notes on which way the turkeys travel from the roost on any given day. I have found they will roost in different trees for different reasons. You want to be between where they are and where they are going. If you have done your homework, on opening day, you will have the edge by knowing where they are going and why.