Scouting pays off so get started now.
Even if you are new to hunting, you know that scouting is key to your success. This is especially true in the case of turkeys. The great thing about turkey scouting this time of year is you can do most of it without getting out of your truck or waking up early.
If you know where you want to hunt or are going to be hunting skip ahead. For the rest of us fire up the satellite images on Google maps and look around for areas that are going to hold turkeys. They probably won't be where you were finding them in the spring, but they won't be too far away. I like to look for openings in and around heavy timber. That might sound like where you would find them in spring, but the denser the timber, the better, as the birds are seeking protection from the cold.
Go for a Drive
Now that you have an area in mind, go scope it out. Wait for a warmer, sunny day and keep your eyes on the open area you picked out. Earlier I said you don't have to wake up early or even leave your truck, a statement I recommend you follow. Leave late as the birds are trying to warm up in the sun and grab a bite. So sit in your truck with some good optics and catch some rays yourself. If you don't see anything after an hour it's time to move. Turkeys will move from several small flocks into larger ones for the winter, so you will have to find it.
I'm going to catch some flak for this one, but as long as you don't overdo it and stop by the middle of March, you aren't going to make any birds call shy. Turkeys are a vocal animal no matter the time of year, so you can try to call a flock to you.
I have used these tips to get a jump on my turkey season and have had some major success with them. The important thing is to keep on the birds as the larger flocks break up as spring approaches. Either way, it gives you something to do besides ice fish or cut trees.
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