OG shop member gallery
OldGobbler
          bullet Forum Board      bullet Pushpin Turkey Call Blog      bullet Advertising Info     

OG Gear Store

Sum Toy
Dave Smith
Wood Haven
DC Cattle Ranch






Author Topic: Hill country scouting?  (Read 564 times)

Offline Missed mallards

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Hill country scouting?
« on: March 19, 2019, 02:16:47 PM »
I decided I needed to properly break in the new boots so I struck out to a new to me place in hopes of courting a long beard.

3 days from dawn until dusk where spent walking. I managed to see birds but their presence is still befuddling me. Other than them being there, sign was little.

Anyway, birds weren’t gobbling so my destination was rather unknown. I’d look at a map, find a creek, and merely walk. At some point around mike 20 I began to think I didn’t know what I was doing. Came home without a bird or much knowledge about the area so I assured myself I didn’t. So now I’ll ask.

Should I focus on staying in the creek bed, side hills, or tops of adjacent hills looking for sign. I can read the sign once I find it, finding it is something I’m struggling with.

I’m not lucky so to speak and lucking up on a spot with fresh sign is something I need to change. I need to figure out why they r there. To my eyes. Every holla, creek, and hill look the same. Covered to many miles looking for scratching, tracks, and strut marks to have nothing. Needing to figure out how to pick the right path to walk. If they gobble I’m ok. But if they don’t it’s a world wind of dissatisfaction.

So. What side of the hill, what path along the creek, or what is the trigger you look for?

Old man I ran into laughed and told me to leave my gun in the truck the next flock I saw just follow them. Merit yes. Desire too, none. I can’t keep up with them. Tried this morning, they disappeared quickly. Good idea though and one i may resort too.

Offline silvestris

  • The Boss Gobbler
  • ****
  • Posts: 961
Re: Hill country scouting?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2019, 11:27:14 PM »
If one is not finding sign, it is usually one of two reasons.  One, there are no turkeys there.  Two, they may not be there because someone has been walking all over the creek bottom.  They will give a man all the territory a man wants.  Set up on high ground and listen.

Offline tomstopper

  • 2019 SITE SUPPORTER
  • Long Spur Gobbler
  • ********
  • Posts: 10240
Re: Hill country scouting?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2019, 11:43:38 PM »
From my experience, I like to be on top of the ridges/hills and look and listen there first.

Offline GobbleNut

  • Paintbrush Beard
  • *****
  • Posts: 3096
  • Southern New Mexico
Re: Hill country scouting?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 07:59:05 AM »
3 days from dawn until dusk were spent walking.

My initial question is what are your definitions of dawn and dusk?  If dawn is sunrise, then you are getting there too late.  If dusk is sundown, you are not staying in the woods long enough after sunset.

When I first started spring gobbler hunting, it took me several years to figure out that I needed to be "in the woods" by the time the first hint of dawn appeared,...and I needed to stay "in the woods" until full darkness in the evening.  Why is that?  It is because that is when gobblers are going to "tell" you where they are at.  Finding gobblers to hunt is about HEARING them more than seeing them.

In finding gobblers to hunt, that first hour in the morning BEFORE sunrise is worth all of the rest of the day combined.  As others have said, find a spot(s) that you can hear the area you are hunting well, get there at the first hint of daylight, and listen for a while.  If you have an effective locator call and know how to use it, add that to the mix.  If there are active gobblers in the area, you will hear them gobble.
The Original Keyboard Commando
Member of the OG Troll A-Hole Patrol
(Join up!  Membership is Free!)

Offline Missed mallards

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: Hill country scouting?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 09:19:03 AM »
Thank y’all for the comments.

Seems I’m doing the right things just haven’t had one tell me yet! I’m seeing them so I know they’re there, just need to be patient.

Thanks again.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline GobbleNut

  • Paintbrush Beard
  • *****
  • Posts: 3096
  • Southern New Mexico
Re: Hill country scouting?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 10:40:17 AM »
One other thing MM, depending on where you are located, it could be that it is just too early for your birds to have started gobbling.  You might just be starting too early in the year listening.  The breeding season generally commences later the farther north you go, and the gobblers in your area may just not be gobbling yet.
The Original Keyboard Commando
Member of the OG Troll A-Hole Patrol
(Join up!  Membership is Free!)

Offline Missed mallards

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: Hill country scouting?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 11:14:30 AM »
One other thing MM, depending on where you are located, it could be that it is just too early for your birds to have started gobbling.  You might just be starting too early in the year listening.  The breeding season generally commences later the farther north you go, and the gobblers in your area may just not be gobbling yet.

That’s been my biggest obstacle. Gobblers are still acting as though it’s winter here. I’m in MS and I know some folks who are killing them. Spent 3 days and all 3 days ended up seeing birds, by random chance I guess. They just wouldn’t budge, or show interest in my calling. That and I’m seeing them in some odd places that I’ve never seen birds before. That said, I’ve followed them, back tracked them, and so on and the sign that says turkeys are here isn’t present. It’s as though I’m catching them scrolling through the woods on their evening walk. There’s no general spot I’ve been able to locate that says they spend time “here”.

Hopefully when they open up I’ll be there ready for them. Hard to find them when they aren’t vocal. Been hard to find period.

Offline catman529

  • The Boss Gobbler
  • ****
  • Posts: 763
  • Run 'n Gunner
Re: Hill country scouting?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 11:54:44 AM »
I always start near creeks, but I head for the ridge tops to listen in the morning. I want to be as high as possible before daylight so I can hear roost gobbles in all directions. If they don’t gobble I walk the ridge tops, hill sides, saddles and creek bottoms looking for sign. Any logging roads or exposed dirt is a good place to look for tracks or dust bowls. The main sign I look for is tracks, droppings and feathers as they are the most obvious. But what really helps me zero in on a gobblers location is to hear them gobble on the roost.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Offline Kylongspur88

  • Longbeard
  • ****
  • Posts: 1287
Re: Hill country scouting?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 09:14:33 PM »
I generally try to stay up top to locate birds then if I have to I'll work my way down. If you spent 3 days with boots on the ground and didn't find any sign I'd start looking somewhere else.