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I have learned (the hard way) that early season turkeys are down low and on the south facing hillsides. They seem to follow the green-up and move up the ridges with the foilage. I think that the leaves offer them food and cover from predators.

The south facing hillsides seem to green-up before the others and have more turkey food. (and cover)

Of course this only applies to the hill country turkeys.
 

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Never under estimate the importance of a fresh gobbler track

#1 If you arrive to a spot and see 4 wheeler tracks. Then get back in the truck and go somewhere else.
 

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Gobbling has always been pretty effective, but not real safe. If you're real tight on a Gobbler, spit and drum to him and scratch in the leaves. Alot of times he can't help but take a peek. To me it's alot safer than gobbling, but has done the trick alot for me.
 

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purcase quality calls that will help you sound like a turkey and practice, pactice practice. Then practice some more!!!!!!!!!!!

Patience

Be still

Scout

Make turkey sounds walk through leaves and scratch, flap a hat like a turkey stretching wings

Set up where the turkey cannot see you til he's practically in range

If you see real fresh sign sit down and give the spot a try
 

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You don't always need to get "just one tree closer" before setting up.
I also suggest minimal calling and maximum patience.
But the #1 tip I have is: Don't forget your gun and don't forget to load it. :biggrin:
 

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My best tip would be to call as soft as possible, you'd be suprised how far a gobbler can hear it.

I always try to get as tight to a gobbler as possible before setting up.

When hunting in the mountains, which is where most of my hunting is done, I never go straight to a gobbler. I'll go down the ridge a hundred yards or so, go up the ridge to get even or above him and then move in as close as possible.

I NEVER CALL TO A GOBBLER UNTIL I'M SET UP ON HIM

If the gobbler shuts up and leaves with some hens, get comfortable, he'll be back.
 

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Know the topography of the area you are hunting like the back of your hand. I mark roost sites, strut zones, and feeding sites on GPS and then put the waypoints on google earth or photomaps and look at the lay of the land in both topo maps and aerial photos. This helps me have an idea of where the gobbler is when he lets loose any time of the day, gives me a good idea what he is probably doing (feeding around or in a strut zone), and most importantly it gives me an idea of where to set up and anticipate the gobbler will come in from. Sometimes they will surprise you, but usually they do have travel patterns like deer do... A lot of times gobblers take other gobblers places and these patterns stay the same year to year. You also need to know the land around you to keep from setting up where the bird will encounter obstacles (fences, creeks, swamps, thickets, etc.) The past 2 years I've killed 4 good gobblers in the same general area, 3 with my back against the same tree. I'd never hunted the area until 2 years ago and had looked at topo maps and aerial photos and narrowed down where I would start to hunt. For example, this past season I had 4 different areas marked where several turkeys were roosting, a few places I'd found strut zones, and several feeding areas. All of these spots were within a square mile and I could go to any one of them fairly quickly. Knowing where and how to setup on a bird is probably the biggest step in drawing a bead on that red and white head. When I first started turkey hunting years and years ago, I seemed to always set up in the wrong spot or have birds come the wrong way and surprise me, but now I make it a point to really have a strategy planned out when I set up on a bird, before my butt hits the ground a get to working him...
 

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Learn patience. The hardest thing to do when you want to run and gun with them.

Scratching in the leaves, with clucks and purrs can be deadly. Pay attention to how turkeys scratch. There is a pattern to it, not just knocking leaves around.
 

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Don't call too much or be afraid to sit in a good area for an hour or more if necessary, especially later in the day. I killed one bird last year just by sitting up on a field I knew they would be by sometime that afternoon and making one series of calls every 15-20 minutes. I'd been there about 2 hours when I looked up and 3 longbeards came strutting into the decoys at 20 yards. They never gobbled or let me know they were coming, but only 2 left that field that day on their own... Also, keep your gun on your knee and be ready at all times.
 

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Good tips so far.

My tip: As soon as you click the safety off, start reminding yourself, "head down on the barrel, head down on the barrel."

It's all-for-not if you don't hit what you've spent so long tracking, calling, sneaking, scaring, surprising, praying for, or lucked in to. :up:
 
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