Scouting For Gobblers
by Jay Gregory
Preseason scouting is the best way to locate your gobbler early on and score before the birds get wary and difficult to work because of hunting pressure.

Before turkey season, hens and adult gobblers are still in sex-segregated flocks and often remain that way into the early season. A large area of tossed up leaves indicates a flock has fed through that area. However, smaller scratchings, two to three feet in diameter, away from the main flock's feeding area is a sign that the gobblers are starting to break up.

Turkeys like to walk in open areas. Look for tracks on logging roads and sand bars. Gobbler tracks are usually about four inches long and gobbler droppings are tight and well-formed, often with a J-hook. Hen droppings are just a formless mass. Thus by keeping an eye on the logging roads, you will know how much travel they get and what's doing the traveling.

Early bird scouting is the best bet for an early bird.

Turkey Calling Practice
by Tom Miranda
There are a lot of factors involved in successful turkey hunting besides just calling, but it sure doesn't hurt to be a competent caller. If nothing else, having confidence in your calling ability is an important tactical advantage when the chips are down.

If possible, practice outdoors. Turkey calls sound different out in the open. Friction calls sound different at a distance and it’s hard to assess your mouth calling quality when the call is in your mouth. Set up a tape recorder 20 or 30 feet away and tape your calling. For basic calling instructions, most major call makers offer tapes and videos. It can be very helpful to tape a practice session, with a second tape recorder, while you play an instruction tape and then attempt to mimic the calls the expert makes on the tape.

Turkey hunting videos also offer plenty of calling tips and hunting tactics. The videos also can clue you in to turkey body language, which turkeys use to communicate.

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