We all have busy schedules and would probably love to spend more time hunting and scouting, but unfortunately that’s not always possible. With that said, we still want to be successful when season opens and we all need to learn to maximize our time in the field.
Ideally before any upcoming turkey hunt I’d love to go roost birds, watch fields, look for sign, and get an idea of what’s happening in the area I’ll be hunting. This takes time and depending on the location of the property I’m hunting, not always possible.
If you run into these same issues, remember that some of the tactics used in deer hunting can also be used for turkeys. Trail cameras are a huge part of my turkey hunting setup; especially in Minnesota and Illinois. I generally have a good idea of where birds like to frequent, but it always helps to get more details. Time of day, where they enter a field, roost locations, etc. All these details can make someone a more effective turkey hunter, and can help you put together a better game plan.
I’m a big fan of hunting from ground blinds, so one of the first things I do when arriving to a new location is set up a variety of blinds. Choosing what blind to sit can be a real challenge at times, but I actually put one or two Cuddeback’s at each location so I can see exactly what I may have missed. This allows me to get great insight on what I may have missed, and help craft any future decisions or location changes.
Trail cameras can also be extremely fun to keep in your setup while hunting. I really like placing cameras in my decoy spread, but often run into issues with batteries dying. So, Cuddeback’s have come to my rescue on numerous occasions. Trail cameras are triggered by motion, so they’re always catching the
action without the fear of dead batteries. If you’re worried about where on earth you can mount a camera in a field without a tree in sight, have no fear. I use the genius post mounts so that way I can place my camera wherever I want it without the need for a tree or post, and can also tilt it to accommodate any setup.
So now that you’ve maximized your scouting time, one thing I’ve found that you can do to help during your turkey hunt is to treat it a little like a whitetail hunt. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a turkey setup busted by deer. I usually hunt the same food plots I sit for deer, so in the spring there are deer coming in and out of the fields. It never fails that when deer get down wind they start blowing and will bust out. If there were any turkeys nearby, they’re usually long gone when deer run off. One way to help give yourself an edge is to spray down and use scent control much like you would if you were out deer hunting. This isn’t for the turkeys, but it really can help if you’re in an area with an abundant population of deer.
In the end, spring turkey hunting is an incredible time to be outdoors and watch the world wake up. Hopefully these are just
a few things that you can do to help prep for that time and make
you even more effective in the turkey woods.