Finding the perfect turkey roosts can be the difference between a successful hunt and an empty-handed walk back to the truck.
Finding the perfect turkey roosts is something that can be done as late as the morning of a hunt, but it is preferably something that happens during preseason scouting. You should continue to watch the roost and update your information throughout the entire turkey season.
There are two distinct parts to finding the perfect turkey roosts; the first is to know what to look for, and the second is actually executing and finding the turkey roosts while using them to your advantage.
What to look for to find the perfect turkey roosts.
Knowing what to look for can dramatically reduce the time you spend scouting and walking through the woods looking for the perfect turkey roosts. At the same time, different landscapes and different parts of the country will drastically change exactly what the perfect turkey roosts will look like.
The biggest thing to remember is that turkeys roost to stay safe; this is their driving force when choosing a roosting spot. After safety, comes convenience. If a spot is difficult to reach, even if it looks like the safest spot, turkeys will probably go somewhere else rather than spend the extra effort to fly up into the spot.
Some key points to remember:
- The roosting tree will be one that is not likely to break.
- Turkeys will roost out of the wind if possible.
- The perfect turkey roosts will have maximum exposure to the sun.
- Turkeys will roost near food and water sources.
How to find the perfect turkey roosts when you hit the woods.
After you know what you are looking for, the first step to actually finding the perfect turkey roosts is to get out in the woods and look around. If it is land you have hunted before then you probably have a good idea of where to start looking but if not then you can do some scouting on the computer before you head out to get a better idea where to start.
The next step is to locate the areas that you think would make the perfect turkey roosts. Find the trees, or stands of trees that look like turkey roosts, and look underneath them. This is the easiest way to tell if they are being actively used. You will find feathers as well as droppings underneath the trees. If you find these signs and think you have found a roosting spot, all that's left is to check and see if it is still in use.
There are a few different ways to check and see if the perfect turkey roosts you find are still actively being used. What is possibly the easiest is to use a locator call after dark or before daylight to try to get a shock gobble from the roosting birds. Owl hooters and crow calls make some of the best natural locators for finding out where turkeys are roosting. Just wait until after dark and then blast the crow call or owl hooter a few times. You will, more than likely, get a gobble from the roosted turkeys that will let you know if they are where you think they are.
Once you have located your perfect turkey roosts, you just have to get set up to hunt them. Remember, don't hunt too close to the roost so that they fly over your head but close enough to call them in once the turkeys hit the ground in the morning.