The Benefits Of Scouting For Turkeys Online
You meant to get out there and scout. You really did. This year, though, the To-Do List at home and office was just too long, and you never got out. Not once. And now opening day is upon you. So tomorrow, you are going in blind. Or are you?
Fortunately, 21st century technology can help those whose boots did not hit the ground prior to opening day. "Cyber-scouting" is as easy as calling up an Internet map site on your computer, such as Google Maps, locating the new farm you plan to hunt tomorrow morning, and then following these standard turkey scouting tips.
How To Scout For Turkeys With Google Maps
I will assume you have located and gained permission to hunt 250 prime acres of what appears to be excellent turkey ground. And you have not had time to scout. At all. Your plan of attack, then? Call up Google Maps, select the satellite feature and find your farm by typing in the nearest small town.
Going to the map 3D feature will help you determine elevation, and that is important for this first step: finding the (possible) roosts. Picking a high spot, like the end of a hardwood ridge, serves two purposes: it puts you close to what might be a favored roost where, with a little luck, you will have a tom within 100 to 150 yards, and the high vantage point allows you to hear distant birds - gobblers that, while not within working range, can be set up on after a brief strategy session and relocation.
Midmorning Travel Routes
See that hypothetical two-track logging road winding down the ridge and ending at that little hidden meadow? That is a perfect place to sit midmorning over a single hen decoy. Get comfortable and call sparingly. Toms not finding hens at fly-down on the ridge top will often meander their way downhill to more open ground. Here, they can see and be seen by the hens they know will be watering at the small creek that snakes its way through the grassy valley. If there is a field corner up top bordered by bigger hardwoods, you need to spend time there, too.
Like whitetails, turkeys can be patterned as to their comings and goings. See what looks like a washout along the creek under the interior fence at the edge of the hidden meadow? Birds might use this as a convenient way of crossing from the timber to the open ground. Or where that long grassy valley narrows down in an hourglass fashion to what looks to be about 40 yards? That funnel makes for an excellent ambush site as toms travel from the heavy timber on the north to the tree-studded pasture ground on the south end of the property. Again, use a single hen decoy and light calling, perhaps from the security of a lightweight ground blind.
Nothing beats boots on the ground when it comes to effective turkey scouting; however, 21st century technology can help hunters get close to a tom, even if scouting was not possible.