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Scouting Tips for Fall Turkey Hunting   

Two Turkeys Fall

The days are getting shorter and there’s a newfound chill in the air. While many hunters have their minds set on whitetails and waterfowl, the excitement of fall turkey hunting is also in full swing. Because the behaviors and movement of wild turkeys can differ from that of the Springtime hunting season, scouting for Fall turkeys should be a priority if you want to hunt them effectively. Studying their flocks can be both exciting and a practical means of finding harvestable Fall gobblers when the season is open. Here are 4 tips on scouting for your next Fall turkey hunt.  

1. Locate the essentials: Food and Water  

 

Fall Turkey 4

Turkeys are sure to stay within a close range of the necessities especially when preparing themselves for winter. Start by glassing areas where these three things are close together and they may not have to travel as far from food water and roosting areas as they conserve energy. Stay on the move but be subtle as not to spook them from an area. Hollows heavy with mature white oak can be a great place to find fall turkeys gorging themselves on fallen acorns, berries, beechnuts and a variety of other ground forage. Having water sources nearby is critical to them, aa they will walk to and from their feeding to drinking areas continuously throughout the day.  

2. Find Their Roosting Locations  

Locating roosting trees is a vital step in scouting for your Fall turkey hunt. Turkeys prefer tall broad limbed trees such as mature maples, oaks, and pines to shelter their flocks for the night. Arriving to your surveying area extra early before the first light of day to survey the tree lines for roosting flocks before they begin to move is a very wise move. The use of IR night vision optics, such as the Pro or Deluxe Night Vision binoculars can be extremely helpful in this situation as it allows you to observe the roosting turkeys from a distance and examine their behavior patterns while not disturbing them or giving away your surveillance. Avoid making your presence known, especially near where they roost and feel the safest. Stealth is key so the turkeys do no become wary of you and vacate the area.  

3. Look For the Signs 

Fall Turkey 3

Experienced Fall turkey hunters and scouters will tell you that although they can often seem elusive and constantly on the move, these birds leave many clues to their whereabouts. Tracks are a surefire way to see where they’ve been traveling. Much like deer turkeys prefer a path of least resistance and will use game trails forged by other animals. Sandy and muddareas near their water sources is a great way to gauge their presence and even the directional patterns they might be traveling. Molting feathers and droppings are the more obvious signs and are usually a great way to locate their roosting trees before they head back to them at nightfall.  

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How to Deal with Ticks When Hunting

Tree Stand Morning Fog

With hunting season in full swing, it is safe to say that ticks are too. Dealing with ticks is never fun—so here are some tips on how to deal with ticks when hunting so you can focus on the fun stuff and not these nasty pests.  

Tip #1: Wear long sleeves and pants 
Wearing clothes that cover up most of your skin can help keep ticks off your body. You can also notice them easier before they crawl onto your skin, especially if you are wearing lighter clothes. Tucking an undershirt into your pants is another way to help prevent ticks from crawling under your jacket and onto your arms, chest, or back.   

Tip #2: Tuck the bottom of your pants into your socks
Taking the bottom of your pants and tucking them securely into your socks helps to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs. Often, a lot of them can end up on your shoes and pants, so cutting off a point of entry at the bottom of your legs will help you keep these guys off you.  

Tip #3: Take a shower once you get back inside 
It is important to do a tick-check every few hours when you are out in the woods. This can help you catch some right away that may have gotten on your skin. If you are out hunting with some friends, it never hurts for them to help check as well if you have any ticks, especially in hard to see places such as your back. Additionally, taking a shower after hunting will help you to catch any ticks that might be hiding. This allows you to do a last thorough check.  

Tip#4: Wash your clothes with scent-free detergent 
Ticks are known to be attracted to scents. Washing your hunting clothes with a scent-free detergent will help lower the chances of you attracting unwanted pests. Not only this, but it also ensures that deer or other animals can’t smell you either! 

Tip #5: Use Tick Repellent 
Tick repellent adds a whole other layer *pun intended* of protection on your hunts. There are many different options you can choose from. As stated earlier, it would be best to find a repellent that is scent-free as that will help ticks to be less attracted to you. Any repellents with eucalyptus oil or DEET are known to be most effective.