Ken Bailey

Gunning for your first gobbler? Check out these 6 essential tips

The Greenhorn Gobbler Guide

A turkey tenderfoot’s take on how to topple a tricky tom (or not)

Patrick Walsh
Patrick Walsh

Lesson #4: Scouting

More important to success than decoying, calling and staying hidden is hunting where there are turkeys. It seems obvious, I know, but many hunters strike out because they hunt a property simply because they’ve found birds there in the past. But turkey hunting is much like waterfowling, in that if you don’t scout, your success rate drops accordingly. Turkeys can and do move considerable distances in response to a wide range of variables, and this is particularly true for toms during the breeding season.

So, do your homework, and that means talking to landowners, gaining access and scouting properties to identify where turkeys are regularly showing up. Of course, there are also opportunities on crown land, but private land offers much less hunting pressure. And by maintaining strong relations with private landowners, you can also make timely phone calls to learn where and when turkeys are active.

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