Scouting for Wild Turkeys

After deciding where to hunt, you should know the lay of the land and where turkeys are located. Visit the area a couple of weeks before the season. Locate property boundaries, fence lines, thickets, swamps or any other barriers that may deter an approaching turkey. In addition, make note of where you will enter the woods. The forest looks very different in darkness. Topographic maps are helpful to locate landmarks and to record areas where you locate turkeys.

Look for turkey tracks along roads, trails, plowed fields and creek bottoms. Also look for droppings, dusting areas, scratchings, roosts and feathers. A heavy concentration of droppings under trees can indicate roosting areas. Scratchings help you determine if birds are in the area-if leaves are turned over and the ground is moist, birds are using the area. Leaves will often be piled directly behind a scratching turkey, indicating the direction of travel.

It's a good idea to scout multiple areas. Other hunters, weather or some other factor may require you to abandon your first choice. A major factor of ensuring success is having alternatives.