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Fall Turkey Hunting Tips & Tactics

During the fall season, the turkeys stay together in flocks which are usually made up of several hens with their broods from the current year hatch. These mixed up family flocks can number between dozen birds to several dozens and, in a good habitat, flocks of 100 turkeys aren't a strange thing. Many hunters encounter small bachelor flocks of gobblers, in most cases consisting of birds from the current year.

For a successful fall turkey hunting, you must first find the turkey - a hunter must locate its food sources, one of the most reliable places would be the grassy fields. Glassing fields with binoculars and driving back roads will give the hunter a good start at finding the prey. Hiking into remote forest openings, right-of-way strips created by gas pipelines and transmission lines, grown-over logging roads is a good opportunity to find turkeys as well.
Mature turkeys and their growing young feed heavily on acorns, beechnuts, wild grapes, cherries and blackberries, so if you know areas in which one of the above mentioned can be found, this would be a good place for finding turkeys. These animals prefer roosting in large trees with rather thick limbs and like to stay out of the wind during the night, that's why you should look for root sites in protected hollows rather than looking on the tops of ridges. During extreme cold periods and in inclement weather, a hunter must head for stands of conifers like pines and hemlocks that provide shelter from the nature's aggression.

The moment you have found the turkeys, the next thing to do is to bump into a flock. In order to do this you must keep in mind that the goal is to get as close as possible in order to scatter the flock to the four winds. Afterwards you must place yourself at the break-up point and start calling to the reassembling birds. One of the best time to locate these animals, if not the best, is right at daybreak. A flock of turkeys that hasn't seen much pressure when it wakes up in the morning will make a hell of a racket and you will hear its whistles and whines from long distances.

If you have the possibility to reach a flock like this before it gets too light you should flush the turkeys from the trees. During the poor light of the pre-dawn period you can get turkeys that fly off separately to all points of the compass. This will create a very good break and a good chance to call one back and take a shot. You also have the alternative to wait until the birds fly down and gather around on the ground and after that rush in and break them up.

Another excellent period for finding these birds while fall hunting for turkeys is during the night. These birds don't enjoy roosting by themselves and the turkeys that were separated from their group are, in many cases, desperate to find company before the fly-up time arrives. That means that if you split up a flock just before dark you shouldn't expect them to come back right away.

As far as hunting strategies are concerned, still-hunting requires strong knowledge of the hunting areas as well as knowledge regarding where the turkeys can be found. When this strategy works you will have a great chance for shooting big flocks, singles, small groups and in some fortunate cases a boss gobbler. Fall gobblers can be found in some cases in small bachelor groups/pairs/trios. These fall gobblers take their time reassembling and it might take a day or even more for them to return to the break-up point.

All things considered, fall turkey hunting can be a very adventurous activity and with a little bit of luck, and basic turkey hunting knowledge, you might get lucky and kill a few of these birds.

Fall Turkey Hunting Videos