Finding Turkey Roosting Areas When hunting turkeys, finding their roosting areas is one of the most essential steps. A great way to start is listening out for any birds flying back up onto their perches in calm evenings and listening out for any sounds that indicate where the birds might be perching for the night.
Listen for purrs (soft, rolling sounds) and cackles – loud cluck-like noises with increasing pitch – before using a caller to attract toms to gobble on their respective roosts.
Identifying a roosting area
Locating a roosting area is one of the key elements of turkey hunting. By knowing where they roost, hunters can safely approach gobblers without endangering either their safety or yours, and increase their odds of calling from there. To do this, start looking for signs of such places in nearby topography; look for clearings, open ground areas, creek bottoms and woody ridges where good roosts should exist leeward of these features – these features often serve as great roosts on leeward sides if there exists such features roosts exist within these features – any such sign could indicate where roosts exist in which case, hunt.
Locating roosting areas requires listening for the sounds of gobbles and other bird calls. A great time for this is just before sunrise when birds begin awakening from their night perches to prepare to fly down towards earth; you should hear wings striking tree branches before soft hen calls as they make their journey down towards it all.
Once you have identified a potential roost site, be sure to look for other signs. These might include droppings and feathers as well as ground scrapings and tracks – often used by flocks of turkeys for several days at a time; moist droppings provide evidence that this spot is in use.
After dark, use an owl hooter or crow call to call out to any possible gobblers that may still be around and give a “shock gobble”. This is an effective way to determine whether roosting areas are still active and worth hunting the following day, but be wary as shocked gobblers may run from you and avoid setting up too close; try setting up uphill from their perches if possible for best results and place yourself 100 to 150 yards from roosts if possible!
Finding a roosting tree
Locating the ideal turkey roost for morning hunting is key to being successful. Once found, sneak up before sunrise and get within 200 yards to the roost so once the turkeys fly down you can start calling them in using various sounds – it is best to keep calls short as their hearing can pick up even subtle sounds in darkness.
Turkeys often roost in mature pine and oak trees, as these provide optimal conditions for protection from weather while permitting easy flight. Furthermore, these sturdy trees should also be close to an area used as feeding grounds – look out for feathered droppings indicating usage as a roost site! If this occurs then chances are it’s being utilized.
Identification of roosts is easy if you know what to look for. Begin by watching out for turkey flocks during evening hours and then checking their roosting trees during nightfall. Turkeys will become vocal and talkative at this time and may fly back and forth from their nesting locations throughout the night – or listen for their sounds at dawntime; listen out for hen yelping or tom gobbling as an indicator.
Once you’ve identified a potential roosting area, it’s a good idea to scout it using binoculars or spotting scope. Look out for signs like turkey signs as well as feathers and ground scrapings near tree bases; feathers could indicate nesting activity while moist droppings indicate that this place is being utilized as a roost.
Once you’ve located a roost, set up a blind and wait for toms to come down from their perches. Make sure your blind provides clear sight of the roost without decoys or other obstacles blocking their flight path; additionally, having an area such as a field, food plot, clear-cut or burn within half mile will put you in an ideal position to intercept gobblers as they go to gather hens each morning.
Getting close to a roosting tree
Turkeys typically roost up in trees at night to protect themselves from predators and harsh weather conditions, before emerging to fly shortly after sunrise to fly down from their perches – this could take as long as an hour depending on subspecies and location. Therefore, it is crucial that hunters learn how to effectively locate and hunt roosting areas as they have a major influence on hunting success.
When looking for potential roost sites, seek mature trees with plenty of cover and spreading branches, providing enough room for a gobbler to perch comfortably and peruse. Also keep feeding and nesting areas close as this will increase your odds of ambushing one!
Once you’ve found a promising tree to hunt from, get as close to it as possible. Aiming to be within 100-150 yards will give you enough time to set up and call out without startling away the tom from his perch. When approaching, avoid creating obstacles between yourself and the turkey such as creeks, fences or deer trails – this should give the best chances for success.
To determine whether the roosting site you have found is being utilized, look for feathers and droppings underneath trees. If it is being utilized, listen for wing beats and cracking sticks as birds fly up their branches at nighttime – you should also hear wing beats and cracking sticks as the birds return at dawn; listen out for any hen calls – all this information can help pinpoint where turkeys roost before hunting begins.
Experienced turkey hunters frequently employ locator calls to coax a tom turkey from its roost and make him gobble, such as crow calls or peacock calls. These works because turkeys tend to become anxious in response to loud noises. Be wary when using locator calls as these could scare turkeys away from their roosts altogether – the best way around this would be walking quietly while wearing camouflage as this will minimize scent levels and your risk.
Getting close to a gobbler
Establishing contact with a gobbler requires careful thought and planning. Too often, hunters arrive at a roost without an organized strategy in place and find themselves hearing and being shut off by the tom before they even set up their calls – likely dissuading him until it comes time for him to fly down and search for hens; an experience which can be very disheartening indeed!
Before setting up, it is crucial to assess the terrain around the roosting tree and gain an understanding of where turkeys roost. Listen for gobbles and observe other turkeys’ behavior before looking for signs such as tracks, droppings, feathers and strut marks to see where birds congregate for resting purposes. Once you know their locations you can use this knowledge effectively when hunting turkeys.
Turkeys usually roost in areas that provide protection from predators while being easily accessible to water sources, and mature trees provide stability and safety. If the location of their roosting occurs on a hilltop, ridge, or creek bank it should be accessible quickly so as to not threaten them with danger.
Once you locate a turkey’s roosting site, take care to be as stealthy as possible. Turkeys can be very sensitive to noise in the dark, leading them to flee roosts in an instant if any unexpected sound enters. To prevent this from happening again and again until nearly daylight arrives – keeping out of their sight until nearly dawn comes up is best way.
Setup should preferably be uphill from their roosting location for easier turkey calling. Also try and stay on one side of any barriers such as fences, streams or gullies as this makes it harder for turkeys to spot you and prevents them from hanging up on you.
To maximize your chances of catching the gobbler, begin preparing your calls before dawn. At just before light, begin softly calling with either mouth calls or tubes until almost light comes. Remain patient; eventually the tom will descend from his perch and land near your decoys; once there, allow him time to call once or twice before trying to lure him in with decoys of hen and strut decoys.