With most turkey seasons about to kick off in April, you'd better start strategizing or hire a guide. For early season toms, think like a whitetail hunter.
Despite it being an easy winter, turkeys still return to their standard winter routine of bunching up and spending time in hospitable environments. Look here first. Even though the warm weather may be scattering birds, a core group of homebodies sticks close to winter retreats year-round. Inevitably a gobbler—maybe even two!—sticks around with this group. Like whitetails, turkeys have a homeland attitude.
Early season turkeys stick to a routine. Just like a whitetail, you can pattern an early season turkey before they wander more during their "rut." A few hens may breed early, but later in the season is when most hens are bred, and gobblers may begin to stray from a pattern. Find that pattern now.
Finally, like whitetails before the rut, early season turkeys may not be as agreeable to calling; they're set in their ways, and not willing to leave a crowded field of hens. Locating a wintering area and noting a pattern can help you plan your ambush, and you can use a stand-hunting attitude for a win-win strategy.
Here are two extra tips for early season turkey hunting success:
First, use your scouting cameras to pattern birds. If you see sign in a field, put up a camera so you can note the time of day the turkeys are visiting the field and how many gobblers are with the group.
Second, set up a ground blind a week or so ahead of your hunt so the turkeys get used to the sight. Most don't mind a blind fresh on the scene, but why take the chance.
If the turkeys ignore your ambush site and you have to take the fight to the turkeys, watch the video below for one of my most aggressive strategies: