There’s a new way to social distance opening on April 15. It’s the spring turkey hunting opener. Alone in the woods or 6’ away from your partner is a great way to get out of the “shelter in place” order and get some fresh air. Scouting has already begun for the hardcore hunters but it’s not too late to give it a try.
Scouting is a great way to get a feel for what’s happening in any given area. Listening and seeing the sights and sounds will give you a good idea of the patterns the birds are using. Also, be on the lookout for turkey droppings, tracks and scratchings. These are sure signs of the areas turkeys are using on a regular basis. Using binoculars or a spotting scope in the early mornings or late afternoons can locate areas close to where the birds are roosting. During mid-day hours, you can try to locate areas the birds are using to feed and strut. Having multiple areas to hunt is also a good plan just in case one or more of your spots comes up empty.
Brushing up on the sounds a turkey makes prior to the season can give a good head start as well. The four main sounds are: the cluck, purr, yelp and cackle. Knowing when to use them will come with experience. Start off with the yelp, cluck and purr. These three calls will be more than enough to get you started. And remember, less is more when it comes to calling. Patience is another key. Don’t give up too soon. If you’ve done your scouting and you know birds are using the area, waiting it out can sometimes be the best tactic.
Good luck out there and always be sure of your target,