What to do (and not do) when preseason turkey scouting


Preseason turkey calling will educate gobblers

With turkey hunting season just around the corner, many hunters are getting in the woods and fields to scout. But many hunters make a big mistake during the preseason according to veteran turkey hunter and call maker Richard Shively of Super Yelper Turkey Calls.

That mistake, said Shively, is using a gobble call. Actually, he said using any kind of turkey call during preseason scouting is a no-no in his book.

“Right now, during the preseason, hunters should be observing more than anything else. Go in the mornings and in the evenings to wherever you plan to hunt. Just watch where they are moving to and from the roost,” he said.

Shively said if you absolutely must call in order to locate gobblers on the roost, then use an owl or crow call.

Don’t disrupt their pattern and they will be there on opening day

“If you’re having trouble figuring out where they’re spending their time and where they are coming and going, an owl or crow call is a good way to get a response from them. They’ll gobble at either of those calls. But even then, I would do it very sparingly. Call once, and when you get a response, just note their location and leave. 

“The less you’re in the woods and the less you call to them right now, the better. They have their pattern and they’ll stick to it as long as something doesn’t make them change it. You don’t want to be the thing that makes them change it,” he said.

Once the season starts, Shively said he will use his scratch box turkey calls, but even then he’ll do it sparingly. And he prefers not to gobble at all. His calls simulate hens yelping, purring and clucking.

About Brian Cope 2494 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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