Nate Garrett: This Is Why You Scout for Turkeys

It was a breezy, cool April morning. I was out looking for a long beard with three other hunters. With … Continued

It was a breezy, cool April morning. I was out looking for a long beard with three other hunters. With the strong wind, we were kind of skeptical about the turkeys gobbling or moving very much. But we went out anyway and all headed to our separate hunting spots.

I headed toward a big power line that ran down the middle of the property in a patch of chufa that we had planted for the turkeys. I set the decoy out and started calling. I never heard a gobble, but with the wind it was hard to hear really anything. Still, I was confident that I was going to at least see a turkey, because I had scouted hard and seen turkeys here for the last week. I stayed in this same spot for hour and a half before I decided to move on.

As I was walking around, off in the distance where Nelson MacCrea, one of the hunters in our group was, I heard, Boom-Boom. Sure enough, when I headed back to the camp, there was Nelson at the cleaning table with a nice tom. The bird had a 10-inch beard and 1 ½-inch spurs. We couldn’t weigh the bird because we didn’t have a scale, but it was a good gobbler.

Nelson said he was sitting there and never heard a gobble, and he started to give up. Then, out of the blue, three big toms appeared. He said they caught him off guard. He lifted his gun, aimed and shot…and hit a tree! He said the bird was running off, but he shot again, and this time he connected.

Now, that morning I was planning on hunting where Nelson killed the tom, but I wanted to hunt the power line because I had seen more turkeys there. The moral of this story: Always evaluate each spot and scout as much as you can, because these birds moved from one area to another in a half a day. And try to find out where the birds are roosting and feeding and where the trails they’re traveling. This will make you become a better and successful turkey hunter. And maybe you’ll be the one who shoots a bird, not another guy in your hunting party.