Turkeys don’t enroll in time management seminars, but they do manage their time somewhat efficiently. And like you, turkeys follow a daily schedule and that can benefit your hunt. Decipher this schedule and you could be one step closer to turkey success this spring. Begin your clockwork strategy with a dawn assault.
- Most states allow hunting a half-hour before sunrise so be in the woods early. How early? Get to your setup site at least 30 to 45 minutes before shooting light.
- If you miss your fly-down meeting, then it’s time to alter your schedule for a midmorning rendezvous. Scout for the best areas near a roost that can provide grain, greens or insects. Trail cameras, like Cabela’s Outfitter series (www.cabelas.com), can be a scouting boost. Some turkeys spend midmornings on edges, while others find solace in timber. Hens will feed and toms will strut in these midmorning zones.
- You may have to stay mobile as you attempt to circumnavigate a flock on their way to a morning feeding area. Turkeys often rotate between locations depending on the weather or whim of the flock, so be ready to improvise and use your GPS to navigate invisibly.
The middle of the day can mean an end to your hunt if you live in a half-day hunting state. Darn! For others, it’s time to look for loafing areas.
- Be on the lookout for shady areas adjacent to field edges and feeding zones where turkeys go to seek shelter from midday temperatures.
- Turkeys also spend the midday dusting to rid themselves of vermin. Look for dusty, dished out bowls in these areas, a sure sign of turkey loafing. Remember, midday is when gobblers often find themselves alone, and calling can be off-the-charts great! Subtle hen calls with your HS Strut Smokin’ Gun slate call (www.hunterspec.com) could spark a conversation.
- Afternoons can also be lonely times for gobblers. A well-timed call on your part could begin your afternoon, gobbling delight. Call near loafing areas and in between food and roost sites.
Finally, many hunters shun targeting gobblers at sunset, but if it’s the two-minute warning, the risk is worth the gamble.
- You need to be precise because, if you do spook turkeys on the way to roost, it could ruin a good morning site. Turkeys will be on a guaranteed trail to their roost. Set up far enough away that the turkeys won’t be alarmed if the setup goes wrong. A surefire travel pattern demands a ground blind, like Hunters Specialties’ portable model, to ensure that turkeys won’t see you.
Wild turkeys may seem like they lead a sporadic lifestyle, but they do follow clockwork schedules. Decipher it to tag your tom this spring.