Hunting The Sign
by Joe Drake
Good woodsmanship is a good deal when hunting anything and it is a valuable tool for the turkey hunter. All wildlife species have food and cover preferences and generally follow a daily routine if undisturbed.

Knowing the terrain and the habits of local turkeys can really help your hunting, particularly if the gobblers come down with a case of "lock jaw." A knowledge of turkey feeding and loafing areas gives you a good idea how turkey movement patterns will change as the season progresses.

Unless you locate a hot gobbler early on, areas of known turkey activity or where scouting has shown a lot of sign are good bets. A decoy or two, a good blind and regular but restrained calling can turn the trick on a "quiet" day. In the early season, hens go about their normal feeding pattern. Gobblers of course are looking for hens. So getting close to turkey activity areas is a good bet for success.

Location, Location and Location
by David Blanton
When gobblers are hot and ready to go, gobbling early and often, locating a gobbler seems simple. However on those mornings when gobblers won't talk or when a gobbler shuts up before you really get a line on him, you are left wondering what to do.

The eight-note call of the barred owl ("Who cooks for you; who cooks for you all") is a favorite for stimulating a "shock" gobble. Crow calls and piercing hawk screams also work. For those not gifted with the ability to mimic these sounds by mouth, many excellent calling devices are available. If hunting with someone else, stand a few paces apart so that one hunter can hear what the "hooter" might miss.

Gobblers also will gobble at a number of loud or sharp sounds including trains, planes, automobile horns, thunder, distant gunshots and many other sounds. When you are in the turkey woods and there is any loud noise, it pays to stop and listen carefully for a minute or two.

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