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Location: Mullica Hill,NJ
Joined: 10/28/2006
Posts: 27
Some Help

Guys I ama first time turkey hunter and live in CT. During the course of my scouting last week before it got too cold to stand outside I found numerous turkey prints on one of the state lands. This is what I am planning to do: I am planning to do more scouting and try to be there early morning so I can hear the birds. By the tracks it looked like there was an entire flock crossing that path. Plenty of deer signs as well. The only problem is there is no place to sit and hunt. Any advice for a new hunter?
Thanks!

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Offline
Location: Mullica Hill,NJ
Joined: 10/28/2006
Posts: 27
Some Help

Another set of tracks

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Offline
Location: Mullica Hill,NJ
Joined: 10/28/2006
Posts: 27
Some Help

Looks like an entire flock!

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redrider's picture
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Location: NE Kansas
Joined: 03/20/2006
Posts: 2603
Some Help

Looks like you have some good sign. When Spring arrives those birds will scatter, but will remain close to the area you are seeing them. Would be good idea to find some roosting trees and hunt in that general area. Do you not have any trees or brush or any cover at all? If not buy a ground blind, I prefer the Double Bull Matrix, will cost you some money but well worth it. When those birds come off roost in the Spring those toms will tend to head for a nice open area that they feel comfortable in ( strut Zone) so the hens can see them out flexin' their muscle. Toms will generally try to intice the hens to come to him so it will be your job to coax him to the hen (you). Use some decoys and practice some callin'!
This is a subject that can bring you alot of advice so get ready, I've only hit the tip of the iceberg!
GOOD LUCK!!!

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Location: Mullica Hill,NJ
Joined: 10/28/2006
Posts: 27
Some Help
redrider wrote:
Looks like you have some good sign. When Spring arrives those birds will scatter, but will remain close to the area you are seeing them. Would be good idea to find some roosting trees and hunt in that general area. Do you not have any trees or brush or any cover at all? If not buy a ground blind, I prefer the Double Bull Matrix, will cost you some money but well worth it. When those birds come off roost in the Spring those toms will tend to head for a nice open area that they feel comfortable in ( strut Zone) so the hens can see them out flexin' their muscle. Toms will generally try to intice the hens to come to him so it will be your job to coax him to the hen (you). Use some decoys and practice some callin'!
This is a subject that can bring you alot of advice so get ready, I've only hit the tip of the iceberg!
GOOD LUCK!!!

Thanks redrider. How do I find roosting trees? I have rarely ever seen birds roosting. I have travelled through a lot of land have found a lot of trukey marks but never seen a bird roosting. What sort of trees am I looking for? Very tall? Short ones? Any special types?

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Location: NE Kansas
Joined: 03/20/2006
Posts: 2603
Some Help

Generally looking for very tall trees, in our area usually around creeks or waterways, ditches, ponds, or field edges. Ideally for where I am I look for fields that have creeks close by and then find the tallest trees along the creek edge. Cottonwood and Oak seem to be the favorites here. You can try and go out about the time they fly to roost in the evening and try a locator call. Lots of times they gobble back at you and you know where to look the next morning. Crow and Owl calls are 2 favorites for locating and they usually fly up just before sundown!
Hope this Helps Thumbs up

Forgot to tell you, you can identify roosting trees while scouting by observing all the turkey poop under the tree and loose feathers. Another good sign for Turkeys is scratchings in the dirt and dusting areas. Turkeys only roost at night, sundown to sunup.

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Joined: 07/03/2006
Posts: 232
Some Help

Definately winter turkey time. Looks like a flock of hens with last years poults from the size of the tracks. They will be splitting up in another 5-6 weeks and starting to establish their spring haunts. Best thing you can do for yourself is set the alarm and get out there and listen once they start breaking up. Nothing beats hearing a gobbler two or three mornings in a row in terms of figuring him out.

RR give solid advice on looking for that am strut zone. Thats probably where your goign to be able to make your best play as a newcomer. However dont think in the eastern harwoods it has to be an opening. A logging road, logging deck, or simple hardwood flat ridge or saddle with sparse ground cover will suit and eastern tom just fine.

Id suggest you try and catch up with these birds late morning as well as afternoon during your scouting . Turkeys leave the roost and inevitably make a loop back to the same general area at night. While sometimes that loop may encompass a couple days or more knowing where they are at in the loop or where they have been but arent now will greatly help you stay on the birds.

Keep in mind what your seeing right now is winter behavior and not really worth putting alot of salt into. The pattern will definately change.