To hunt turkeys you must find turkeys. Scouting is a critical part of spring gobbler hunting. On this episode, I talk about the 4 S’s of turkey scouting. These techniques will not just help you find turkeys but identify areas and tactics for optimal hunting. Scouting also gives you another great reason to get outside in the spring!
- Stealth – Turkeys are easily spooked and it can take weeks for them to recover and return to their regular areas.
- Make sure you are not seen or heard when scouting and do not enter into areas where you think birds are active.
- Do not probe deeper into an area than you need to, once you identify where the birds are and where is good to hunt, get out and disturb as little as possible.
- Sign – You can identify turkeys by sight, sound, tracks, droppings, feathers, scratching’s, strut zones, and dustings.
- These birds are one of the easier types of game to locate as the season approaches because of their sounds and impact on the land.
- A great times to go out scouting is 12-36 hours after a heavy rain, soft ground makes for more tracks and the dropping you find are likely to be fresher.
- Sight-line – Watching your angles applies to scouting for birds, but it is very important when it comes to scouting for places to setup and hunt.
- Ideally you want to limit a turkey’s ability to see you before it comes into shotgun range.
- With every step you take, scouting and hunting, think where would you setup if a turkey were on it’s way to you. Always look for good cover, good angles and good spots.
- Safety – As with all hunting, you need to know where your shot has the potential to end up.
- Turkey’s create unique safety concerns because usually you hunt them on the ground but it is possible to take a shot in the air.
- Be very mindful of whether it is advisable to take a shot at a flying bird every time you set up.
- Also remember you want to keep yourself safe from other hunters, be cautious everything you hear, human footsteps and turkey steps can sound very similar.