Maps and apps are all the rage but how you can effectively use them to scout for turkey hunting? The unavoidable truth is you must put boots on the ground to scout for turkeys effectively. But these tools can help you focus your time on the most promising areas. On this episode I talk about how to read maps and find the ideal landmarks that signify good spots to go and check out.

The single most important part of turkey hunting is picking an area that holds turkeys. If there are no turkeys nearby then it doesn’t matter how good your gear is, how expensive your TSS ammo may be, or how skilled of a caller you are, you will not be taking any turkeys. They must be there. And using maps and apps can help you save time. In truth nothing about this is new, it’s just done digitally vs. on paper. Old time turkey hunters used these same tactics to find good hunting spots. 

Using maps and apps for scouting turkeys is all about knowing what to look for, or rather what can be seen from a satellite photo or topography lines. Understanding how to read a map is critical to doing this but this podcast episode is not on the subject of map reading but rather using the knowledge gleaned from the map.

In order to locate ideal turkey hunting habitat, you must look for numerous features that intersect in close proximity. The first thing I look for is clearings. Turkeys like open spaces in the spring, natural or man-made. They want to be able to see each other and see predators at a distance and often they will spend a portion of the day in these open spaces. They prefer full clearings but will settle for open spaces in the woods, such as under mature oak trees.

Once I find open spaces, I begin looking for water. Turkeys do need to drink periodically but the bigger reason I want to find water is because soft wet ground holds turkey tracks and makes their presence easier to detect. Streams and possibly even better, muddy puddles, make it easy to see turkey tracks, which can give you a very important indicator that they are in the area. And if they are in the area, you can hunt them. You can also setup trail cameras around tracks to get more information about how often and when they are in the area. This intel can help you pick and prioritize spots. 

Streams and clearings are easy to see from satellite images, and often map apps will overlay stream info onto these images to make it easier to see them. To hear about the other things you want to look for, listen to the full podcast episode.