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Go Back   Bayou Bucks Hunting Community > Louisiana Hunting > Turkey Hunting

Turkey Hunting The Most Challenging Game

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  #1  
Old March 4th, 2019
gerald gerald is offline
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Default Pattering roosting habits

Just wondering what is your experience ......

Do you find that turkeys have a roosting spot that they use most of the time????

OR.... do you find that turkeys generally roost in a certain area [say 5 - 20 acres] but not just one or 2 trees in a small spot?

Or..... is it more, here today..... somewhere else tomorrow?

Or...... They Gobble one morning letting you know where they are and the next day [or next time you scout] they are there, but not gobbling.
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  #2  
Old March 4th, 2019
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Lamplighter Lamplighter is offline
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Back in the day, when the turkey woods were calm, i found that they would very often roost in the same small area. Today’s times, on public land, they get bumped quickly and go silent.

Now, not factoring in people, yes there is a time early in the season that they take off on a mission and are unpredictable. Never roost in same area 2 nights. But as the season winds on, and hens sit on nests around 9:30-10 am, then i found that they do stay in the same area. I used to follow them at Tensas and learn their habits. I knew about their girlfriends, times they hooked up, times she went nest and he went strutting, everything. Killed quite a few like this. Actually walked away from some too. Just had no interest in killing 2.


I Do Not have that kind of time now and have not for several years. I am not far from getting that time back.

I do not pressure roosts too much. I like to listen for that ground gobble and learn where he likes to go.

So, yes back in the late 80’s and all of 90’s in the piney woods i did find that they very often did use the same roost.
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  #3  
Old March 5th, 2019
docadams docadams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplighter View Post
...there is a time early in the season that they take off on a mission and are unpredictable. Never roost in same area 2 nights. But as the season winds on, and hens sit on nests around 9:30-10 am, then i found that they do stay in the same area..
I've hunted the Bogue Chitto from 2000 to 2007 and regularly killed good birds there. Hurricane Katrina decimated the turkey habitat and the hunting is tough because the numbers are down.

I've seen this "mission" that Lamp is referring to. On the Chitto it coincides with the flock moving towards more favorable nesting areas. Every spring the Bogue Chitto floods and the turkeys know to go to higher ground to nest.

The turkeys love to roost in cypress trees over water. So typical means to locate roost trees will not work. I struggled to piece this puzzle together for a while. Finally was sitting in the woods before the season kicked off just listening, and watched a flock fly up one evening, It was a cool 'Ah ha" moment.

It boils down to putting in the time in the woods and being observant.
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  #4  
Old March 5th, 2019
Phillipshunt Phillipshunt is offline
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You will not have much success trying to pattern an Eastern Turkeys roosting sites. Rios or merriams in areas with few trees but not here. Lovett Williams did a few study's with tracking roosting sites of Osceolas, they had favorite roost sites across there range which they used sporadically and with no pattern. Easterns here are the same. Sometimes a Gobbler will roost in the same exact tree 2 nights in a row or move a mile every day. When you throw in hunting pressure it is useless to try and pattern them. I had a place on public land that had an old fence row beside a clearcutt the fence was about a mile long then turned into private land. Everyday of the season you could expect to hear at least one Gobbler sometimes 4-5 all roosted along this old fence row. You never knew were they'd be and they never gobbled at roost time. The best I could do was park in the middle and wait in the tree line until one Gobbled.
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  #5  
Old March 5th, 2019
gerald gerald is offline
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I asked this question, because of my experiences in over 20 years of hunting turkeys. Finding a roosted tom is never a sure thing.

About 3 years ago, I had found several different areas where toms were roosting. The evening before the season opener, I went to an area that I though there could be a tom roosting. I already had other good spots in mind to hunt the next morning.... just looking for another option.

I very slowly drove up to my listening spot, to find another truck parked there. I talked with this hunter while we waited to hopefully hear a gobble. As it got darker, I was surely thinking it was pasted time and any tom would have already flown up and be settled in for the night.

Then just as I was thinking it was time to head back to the campground for supper..... a tom sounded off shaking the calm night air. He was along a very small creek 300+ yards away and just a little north of where we stood.

As the woods got quite again, another tom gobbled a few hundred yards south along the creek. Wow!!!

Then a minute or so later, another tom gobbled maybe a 1/2 mile farther north. By this time it was fairly dark. But wait.... a fourth tom then gobbled 500 yards to the south.

While talking to the other hunter, he said he would hunt the tom farthest to the north, coming in on a different road. I decided to hunt the birds in the middle of this area.... but come in from the other side of the creek where I knew the area offered suitable open areas to see better and hopefully there would not be any other hunters on that side.

Next morning I parked 30 minutes before first light after driving in very slowly with no lights on...... another vehicle drove passed me just as it was starting to get light and I was heading into the woods. I walked about 200 yards to where the woods open up and waited.... and waited..... and waited. There was no gobble from any of these 4 toms. I set up and started hunting. Nothing.

Finally, about 1.5 hours after "gobble time" I heard the southern most tom gobble. He was probably over a 1/2 mile away and surely another hunter would be much closer to him. He only gobbled one more time. I did not hear any shots that morning.
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  #6  
Old March 5th, 2019
gerald gerald is offline
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Another experience......

I had found a roosted tom in an area where I had killed several birds over a few years.

Opening morning my partner and I walked in while it was still dark. We stopped about 250 yards away to wait. My partner does the calling and he wanted to get his calls out to be ready. To my surprise, he took off his jacket and laid down on the ground, putting the jacked over his head and out in front of him some. I could see that he turned on his flash light. After a couple of minutes, he got up and was all set.

As it started getting light, a tom gobbled. He was not along the ditch [250 yards away] where he had roosted a few day earlier. He was much closer. My partner slowly stepped back to a big tree and I went a few yards toward the bird to a tree. The tom gobbled several times while we got set up. I thought the bird was maybe 100 yards away where I knew there were a few big trees.

This tom gobbled 1 or 3 times a minute, but was not moving. This went on for 15 minutes with my friend making a few calls. Was he still in the tree or on the ground? There was a fair amount of brush in this area so I was not sure.

Then after about 20 minutes I hear wings flapping and spot the tom coming down 35 yards away. There was one small opening to take a shot, but my gun was still on my knee. My partner saw the bird, but too thick for a shot.

It turned out this bird was only 50 yards from our spot.
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  #7  
Old March 7th, 2019
Hooks Hooks is offline
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I have hunted a lot of different areas and different subspecies. There are some places I hunt that I can just about guarantee there will be a bird gobbling and other areas there is no rhyme or reason and it's a total guessing game. There are several areas that are definitely established roosts. I have developed a pretty good knack for guessing where birds are going to be on places I have never hunted. If I can find a place with a creek and a field on one side and a high wooded ridge on the other, I am in Turkey heaven.
Areas that have higher turkey densities are much more predictable. Less predictable are areas with few birds. My guess is that those birds have to move around to find hens, forcing them to have to cover a lot more ground.
I do know that it seems when I hunted back home in Louisiana, that those birds were the most unpredictable of any other place I have ever hunted.
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  #8  
Old March 8th, 2019
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Black Spurs Black Spurs is offline
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I can't say for sure. Roost sites have always been a mystery to me. Some spots seem to always have one roosted in them. In my experience, they do tend to roost in the same general area. If I can find a place that has big timber at the corner of a field with a creek nearby, I feel pretty good about my chances. I had one place like that, and I remember sitting there the evening before the season and hearing absolutely nothing fly up to roost, and I saw nothing come across the field that evening. A serious storm blew through that night. I had no other options, so I eased into that area. As day broke, four turkeys gobbled and a bunch of hens started cutting up within 75 yards of where I sat until dark the evening before. I killed one of them that morning.
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