"At Blackbrier Plantation, managing the land requires a good bit of diversity in our woods," he said. "Having cutover areas, powerlines with food plots, open woods that we've thinned and the use of prescribed fire are all great places for turkeys.
"There are few things better for wild turkeys than a variety of open areas in combination with swamps, hardwood bottoms, pine plantations and good thick nesting areas. One attraction of open areas is they can see for a long distance, which is a safety factor for them. Also, a strutting gobbler can be seen a long distance, another reason for them to be attracted to any of these open areas.
"Getting set up properly in or adjacent to an open area is a key. A hunter has to blend in well or he will be easily spotted, but open areas are the type places turkeys like to go. A good, well-hidden set up and good calling with a decoy or two, especially early in the season, can be a longbeard magnet."
Peagler said that gobblers will often come to calls from long distances, especially from mid-morning through the rest of the afternoon, and especially across an open area.
"By mid-morning and through the rest of the day, the hens may have left the gobbler, and the longbeard will often become much more susceptible to calling," Peagler said. "My setup will be one where I am well hidden, but where I can see a long distance. I want to see the gobbler at the first instant possible, so if he walks out but is not in range,
"I can base my calling strategy partly on his visible response to my calls. Frequently a gobbler will step out 75 to 100 yards away to check the situation out, but then walk directly toward the source of the last call heard. If I can see him as he enters the opening, often just being quiet and not calling again will be my best tactic. Curiosity will prompt the gobbler to come directly to the location where he heard the last call and I'll be waiting on him to step within range."