It is important to go to the area you plan to hunt to see if turkeys are in the area. Look for signs such as tracks, droppings and feathers. These are good indicators turkeys are currently using the area. Turkeys like to roost in trees to avoid predators. So look for those roost sites. They are usually on north or east facing slopes in hill country and in tree groves in the flat lands. You will see an abundance of droppings and feathers on the ground below the roost trees. DO NOT use your turkey calls when you are pre-season scouting. This will only make the birds call wise and less likely to respond to you once the season begins. Use your locator calls such as crow, owl, coyote and woodpecker during pre-season scouting.
It goes without saying that camouflage from head to toe is a must. Most important is to match the camo to the foliage in the area you are hunting. Absolutely wear a face mask and gloves and dark colored socks when in the field. Your gun should be camouflaged as well. The least expensive way is to use either camo tape or a camo sock. Also, you will want a sling on your gun for ease of carry. Get yourself a good turkey vest with plenty of pockets to store items you will need in the woods. We will review those in next months tip!
Have a variety of calls and practice them often. I like the old reliable box call to use as a locator when walking and locating turkeys during the season. Also, a good slate and glass call will give you a variety of sounds. Gobblers will respond to one sound pitch one day and a different one the next. Last, but surely not least, is the mouth call. This call is very important, as you can use it to close the distance without moving! Get at least three with different reed configurations. Again, this is to create a variety of pitch in the sound tones. Most calls come with a CD or tape in how to use them properly and the turkey language such as YELP, CACKLE, CUTT, PURR, CLUCK, PUTT and GOBBLE. Most important is to practice using each call.
Next month we will cover turkey vest contents, decoys and tactics. See you then.
CJ & Shawnee