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Outdoors with Big Country—Turkey Scouting Time

TurkeyabcKENTUCKY (3/27/13) – It's the last week of March and it’s time to start your scouting for spring turkey hunting! The best method for locating birds is to get out early in the morning, at daylight, and get in a location that is high above the usual place that you expect birds to roost. Listen for early morning roosted gobblers sounding off their call of hens; toms will gobble several times to try to call to hens to gather for the morning routine. Depending on the weather, gobblers will be most vocal early, in the early part of the season. After the birds fly down, if the gobbler gets with his brood of hens early and follows and struts, the tom may go silent and strut and put on his show for the brood of hens. This is nature and as the season goes along the hens will breed and separate themselves from the group. By the middle of April the groups of hens will be smaller.

With early scouting the best method is to be silent and try not to disturb the birds. Location calls can legally only be used 30 days prior to the season and no hens calling to the birds. This will eliminate educating the toms.  A good pair of binoculars is handy to have while scouting. If you do decide to go scouting throughout the woods on foot, try not to bump the birds. Look for tracks and drag marks, small lines made in the dust by their wing tips, in the dust or road beds for these are signs of a strutting tom.

I highly recommend scouting in the early morning hours to get a better idea of where the roosting areas are and how many toms are gobbling on roost. Also, remember that as the season proceeds the birds will change their feeding and strutting areas, and how they handle hunting pressure. Large groups of birds are together at this time; I've seen groups of 20 to 50 birds with several strutters along the side of the flocks. As we approach the opening week of the season (April 16th) birds will break up into smaller flocks. Get your backpack ready for your hunt and gather and organize all the items needed for your hunt, such as calls, gloves, a mask, hats, mosquito repellant, a first aid kit, gun cleaning kit, tick repellant spray for clothes, GPS and orange hat for safety. Good luck to everyone this year and for the hunters that are already started in the Southern states, good hunting to all. Stay safe! Till next week...I'll see you in the woods or on the water.

 
Randy Adams
Outdoors with Big Country

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