Call Softly and Sit Long to Take Public Land...

Transitional Turkey Hunting for More Success with Tracy Groves

Comments Off on Spend 80% of Your Time Scouting for Turkeys Turkey Hunting

Spend 80% of Your Time Scouting for Turkeys

Show This to Your Friends:

John’s Note: Tracy Groves of Sykesville, Maryland, is the Regional Pro Staff Director for Mossy Oak’s Turkey Division and enjoys hunting public lands. He is a licensed minister and has been the host of the “Real Deal” TV show on the Sportsman’s Channel for 3 years. He has developed a camp called Heartwood Outdoors ( to take youngsters from single-parent families hunting, to teach them outdoor skills and to work with special-needs children.

07 Spend 80 of Your Time Scouting for TurkeysAnother big mistake turkey hunters make on public lands is they use owl hoots to locate gobblers. Let’s pretend you’re a turkey on the opening weekend of turkey season, and you’ve decided not to gobble until after daylight. You hear a car come down the road, stop, a door slam, a series of owl hoots, and after about 30 seconds, the car door slam again, the car start-up and move down the road. So, you don’t have to be a very-smart turkey to know that if you hear a car door slam, followed by an owl hoot, there’s a pretty-good chance that owl isn’t sitting on top of that car. Hunters educate turkeys to the fact that when they hear doors slam and owl hoots that more-than likely there’s a hunter in the woods. So, when I’m hunting public lands, I don’t use an owl hoot or a crow call.

Now, if I’m hunting a large area in Oklahoma where there’s thousands of acres, I’ll use a coyote howler instead of an owl hooter. I’m often asked, “How do you locate turkeys on public lands if you’re not using an owl call?” I spend a lot of time scouting. One of my major secrets for successful public-land turkey hunting is to spend 80 percent of the time I’m in the woods scouting and only 20 percent of my time hunting. I hunt turkeys like I do deer. Turkeys have a daily routine they follow just as deer do. If you can learn where a turkey goes, why he goes where he goes, and what time he’ll show up at different locations, then you really don’t have to call at all. I truly believe if you spend more time scouting public lands than you do hunting public lands for turkeys, you’ll be far-more successful. Now, we all like to hunt a gobbling turkey. But on public lands, I’m convinced about 70 percent of the gobblers come-in silently.

08 Spend 80 of Your Time Scouting for TurkeysTo get John’s book, “The Turkey Gobbler Getter Manual,” for free, go to to download.

To learn more about turkey hunting from the masters, get these Kindle eBooks and print books by John E. Phillips, including: “The Turkey Hunter’s Bible (available as an eBook or in paperback),” “PhD Gobblers: How to Hunt the Smartest Turkeys in the World,” “Turkey Hunting Tactics,” (also available in an audio book from, “How to Hunt Turkeys with World Champion Preston Pittman,” “The 10 Sins of Turkey Hunting with Preston Pittman” and “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting.” Click here to get these books.

Next: Transitional Turkey Hunting for More Success with Tracy Groves

Comments are closed.