Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Scatter a Turkey Flock and Score.

© By Othmar Vohringer

One of the easiest methods of scoring on a fall turkey is to scatter a flock of birds and then wait for the flock to assemble again. Here are three tips of different flock scatter tactics that have produced time and time again.

Scatter Tactic Tip #1

Scout an area for a turkey roosting tree. It may not be the same tree where the turkeys roosted in the spring so you really should go out and look around to find that tree. Roosting trees are easily identified. You either observe a flock of birds where they are heading before dusk and follow them at a safe distance to their roosting tree, or look for feathers and droppings under a likely roosting tree.

Wait until it gets dark and the turkeys are roosted. Then slip undetected under the tree. Once under the tree start making a racket. Holler at the birds, throw sticks in the treetop, do whatever it takes to drive the birds off the roost. Then go home and get a good rest and sneak back near that tree before dawn. Set up near the roosting tree using good head to toe camouflage and wait for the birds.
The turkeys naturally will return at daybreak to the roosting area to try and get back together. You do not need to call, but if you want to call use a kee-kee run, the assembly or the lost yelp.

Scatter Tactic Tip #2

The most popular method for hunting fall turkeys is to sneak undetected up on a flock of birds. The idea here is to get as close as possible without alarming the birds then run towards them as fast as you can waving your arms and yelling at them. Try to make this attack a complete surprise and penetrate the flock as deep as you can to split them up in different directions as they take off flying.

One caution please. Never run with a loaded gun. Make sure that your gun is unloaded before you rush the flock. Do not use this tactic on public land when you know or expect other hunters to be in the area. You do not want to spoil other hunter’s tactics or run the risk of being shot at by mistake. Also know the terrain well, as you run like a world champion you do not want to trip accidentally over a wooden log, a hole in the ground or a stone and break a leg or worse.

Watch in which direction the birds are flying and then try and get between the birds set up and call with lost yelps, assembly yelps and kee-kee runs. The other turkeys will think that you’re one of the lost birds and will come looking for you.

Scatter Tactic Tip #3

This is the same tactic as the one above but instead of exerting yourself with a mad-dash-sprint you can use a turkey-hunting dog. Several states have legalized the use of hunting dogs for fall turkey hunting. Read your states hunting regulations. When the dog busts the flock leash it and proceed as above by mimicking a lost turkey with your calling.

Here is a less common tactic and one that I have never tried but have been told works very well: The dog finds an individual bird or flock and then points them, like pheasant dogs do. The moment the hunter gives the appropriate command the dog flushes the bird and the hunter shoots the turkey on the wing. Below you can watch a video clip of the two different tactics commonly used when hunting with a turkey-hunting dog:

Video courtesy of America Gun Dog.

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Marc - Founder and Editor of NYbowhunter.com said...

Great tips for fall turkey hunting. It's hard to get used to the idea of scaring the birds away, but I've done it and it's the only way I've been able to call birds in. I heard some turkey's when I was bear hunting last weekend and tried to find them with my buddy, but all we found were two groups of hunters with some birds, guess they got to them first.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thanks for the comment Marc. Yes it does need some different thinking to scatter a turkey flock but it works great.


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