with Calvin Perryman
On my third turkey hunt in Alabama this season, I went to a place I had hunted before, and I heard two toms gobble on the edge of a pond with a little hardwood bottom. I knew there was a food plot about 100 yards away from the pond, so I went to the food plot and set up. The food plot contained winter wheat and rye grass that had been planted for deer season, but I felt certain the turkeys would come there. About fly-down time, I heard the two turkeys fly out of the tree, and they started gobbling.
The vegetation around the food plot was thick in some areas and thin in others. I didn’t think the turkeys would want to walk through the thick vegetation, so I set up in one of the more open sections. When I got to the food plot, I only had to wait 15-20 minutes before I spotted the turkeys coming to me.
After the turkeys hit the ground, they were gobbling every breath. So, I poured the calling to them. I've learned to hen call with the same amount of enthusiasm as the gobblers demonstrate by calling back, and these two gobblers were really cranked up. Both of the birds were 2-year-old gobblers, which might explain why they were doing so much gobbling. I had hunted these turkeys previously. Even though they weren’t roosted in exactly the same spot where I’d located them earlier, they were in the same general region.
Sometimes I go out before the season to try and pinpoint turkeys. But other years when I'm really busy at work, I don’t do any pre-season scouting. I've hunted these same spots for 22 years. The places where I took some of my first turkeys are the same areas I'm hunting now. When I take a gobbler out of one region, I've learned that the following year, one or more gobblers will be in that same area.
There are certain spots in the woods where turkeys like to feed, strut, hangout and find hens. If you take a gobbler on a section of land one year, more than likely another gobbler will move into that spot the next year. The second year that gobbler may not roost in the same tree where you’ve taken a turkey previously. However, another gobbler may still be there the following year.
I have certain areas where I almost always take a turkey every year. If you don’t have time to hunt the pre-season, one of the best ways to find turkey gobblers is to go to the places where you’ve taken a turkey before.