Just like any kind of scouting, it all starts with having the right items available and having a game plan set of where to start your scouting. First item to have in your arsenal is a good pair of optics. This will come in handy during those days driving around looking/"glassing" for birds. The next item to have in your gear bag is a set of scouting cameras. We highly recommend you pick up a couple DLC Covert Scouting Cameras (www.covertscoutingcameras.com). Lastly, the most important thing to have with you is a little bit of time. Scouting can be done prior to a hunt, but a prelonged scouting period will help locate multiple birds to hunt during your particular season.
To begin scouting, what we tend to do around the end of February to beginning of March is begin looking at different maps (ie. Google Earth, Aerial Maps, etc.). From there I begin to look for areas with a nice south facing slope (especially if an early season tag is drawn) or for secluded fields. Birds will be drawn to the southern slopes due to the fields being more green and also easier for a boss tom to display himself in the sun. As for the secluded fields, a sense of protection is part of this game plan in a turkeys point of view. Next, if minimal moisture is around, start looking for bare areas where turkeys can dust themselves. This is needed to keep their feathers free of excess oils and flaked off skin. Lastly, having a good food source will always be a great thing to have on your side, whether it is a food plot, cut soybean field, or chopped corn field. A turkey needs to eat right!?!?!
Well that does it for your quick tutorial on turkey scouting. Turkeys may not have the brain that a majestic whitetail does, but having your homework done prior to hunting will definitely increase your chances in harvesting a big boss gobbler. Good luck scouting and hunting for a big longbeard this upcoming spring.. If you have more questions regarding your upcoming turkey hunt, please drop us an email. We will be glad to answer them!