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Thread: Question! Do turkeys roost in the same trees? yes, no, explain?

  1. #1

    Question! Do turkeys roost in the same trees? yes, no, explain?

    This will be my second year turkey hunting. Pretty much self taught kinda. All my info came from this board, primos mastering the art, some guys i know, and tv. Last year, I didnt get one or call one in, I thought i had located the birds, but I was far from it. they kept roosting in the same area (I think, i never found out exactly where, I stayed far away afraid to spook em).

    Iv been told they roost in the same trees, and that they dont. So heres my question. but first, Im hunting the hills of WV rolling mountains. And the area im hunting in particular is very hilly. Very little flat land. and no fields.

    okay. Do turkeys roost in the same trees? If not, do they like to roost in say the same, like 30 yard area of trees or something? Or just explain your experiances.

    thanks. I think this might be the last ltitle bit of info i need before turkey season.



    I was gonna buy a hunting magazine on turkey hunting today but it was $15. i cant see paying that for a magazine which most of the info was on my primos dvd, lol.

    aj


  2. #2
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    It can somewhat depend on the area and availability of roosting trees. Usually in agricultural areas where birds are on a "set" pattern, they will normally roost in the same general area every night. When you start talking about big woods birds, they can cover a lot of ground in one day and roost in different areas from one night to the next. Hunting pressure can also affect where they roost.

    When I was hunting the hilly ground in northern Michigan we would usually find that birds roosted in different areas from one night to the next, but may be back to the same area after a couple days. Look for them roosted above or just below the ridgeline in this type of terrain....they can either fly down on top of the high ground or pitch off to lower ground....it's hard to say what they will do. Hope this helps you a little.

    Fredrick Champion's Choice Calls
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  3. #3
    I have found when food is abuntant turkeys are very habit forming and will roost in the same tree or at least the same general area unless pressured. As was said the like to roost at ridge lines or 3/4 the way up a hill. This gives them multiple options when coming down. Pressure and bad calling too will change the way they come off the roost. Most birds at least in my area will pitch off and fly down hill or drop from the roost and walk the hill parallel. But when food is short and they have to forage for it they roost where they are so they do not was more energy than the food they have eaten can produce.

  4. #4
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    Do Not Despair!!

    The advice given thus far has been great. I too am a rookie of sorts as this will only be my third season turkey hunting. I didn't even get a shot off my first season (despite getting up at 4am every morning before college classes). Still, I kept coming back and mixing things up a little bit and success finally came my way. I was hunting in Rockbridge County, VA (right across the border from WV). THE FIRST DAY of my second season I was able to score on a huge gobbler due to lots of preseason scouting. I finished off the season on the last day by killing my third and final legal gobbler (limited out!).

    I've found that first thing in the morning, the toms will tend to head to higher ground. I think they do this so that their gobbles can be heard from a longer distance. One other recommendation: PATIENCE!! I can't tell you how many birds I've spooked when I stood up to leave. All three of my birds killed last season were killed from my original sit-down spot for the morning. Run'n'gun may work for some people but not for me. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by rc_racer_007 View Post
    This will be my second year turkey hunting. Pretty much self taught kinda. All my info came from this board, primos mastering the art, some guys i know, and tv. Last year, I didnt get one or call one in, I thought i had located the birds, but I was far from it. they kept roosting in the same area (I think, i never found out exactly where, I stayed far away afraid to spook em).

    Iv been told they roost in the same trees, and that they dont. So heres my question. but first, Im hunting the hills of WV rolling mountains. And the area im hunting in particular is very hilly. Very little flat land. and no fields.

    okay. Do turkeys roost in the same trees? If not, do they like to roost in say the same, like 30 yard area of trees or something? Or just explain your experiances.

    thanks. I think this might be the last ltitle bit of info i need before turkey season.

    I was gonna buy a hunting magazine on turkey hunting today but it was $15. i cant see paying that for a magazine which most of the info was on my primos dvd, lol.

    aj
    Turkeys will usually roost in the same trees. They have prefered roosting trees( usually large trees with an open area so they can fly up and down easily. Like a right of way or field or logging road.) Most of the time their roost is mid way to the top portion of the hill. When weather gets bad they will seek cover and go to a different roost location ( usually close to the first roost site.). Areas to look are low on the hill where they are protected from the wind, or a small bowl that offers wind protection.

    The winter roosts will be different than the spring roosts, so if the flocks havent broke up yet you will have to do some more scouting to find the spring roost sights.

    In the spring the flocks will usually fly down, feed several hundred yards up or down the hollow, and return to the roost at night.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

  6. #6
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    My experience has been that Turkeys roost in the same area, if not the same trees, every evening. I've seen them range a looong way and still return to their roost towards sunset.

    However, if anyone has ever shot them off their roost (illegal in most areas) then they'll find somewhere else to roost. It can take years for them to re-use a roost they've been shot off of.
    This is the place where brilliant minds assemble to willfully pool ignorance with questionable logic in order to reach absurd conclusions.

  7. #7
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    I couldn't have typed this info any better. Excellent post ack.

    Also note that turkeys tend to migrate around during the seasons... where you see them in the winter is not necessarily where you'll see them in the spring. The #1 key to success is PRE-SEASON SCOUTING!!!! Scout hard the 2-3 weeks before the opener. The closer to the opener, the better "intel" you'll have on them. Look for dropping and scratches (where they are feeding) and dusting bowls for tip offs...

    Going into and area cold (no scouting) is very tough. Going into an area cold after "Big woods" toms is almost impossible. (Been there done that! )

    Make sure you NEVER EVER use a turkey call during pre-season scouting!!! NEVER.... I mean NEVER.... seriously. All you do is educate the birds. I've had the most luck using a good owl hooter right at dusk or just after dark, after they've flown up during pre-season scouting. They always seem to gobble on the roost to my owl hooter.

    -ZA


    Quote Originally Posted by Ack View Post
    It can somewhat depend on the area and availability of roosting trees. Usually in agricultural areas where birds are on a "set" pattern, they will normally roost in the same general area every night. When you start talking about big woods birds, they can cover a lot of ground in one day and roost in different areas from one night to the next. Hunting pressure can also affect where they roost.

    When I was hunting the hilly ground in northern Michigan we would usually find that birds roosted in different areas from one night to the next, but may be back to the same area after a couple days. Look for them roosted above or just below the ridgeline in this type of terrain....they can either fly down on top of the high ground or pitch off to lower ground....it's hard to say what they will do. Hope this helps you a little.
    BLACK WIDOW PSAII RECURVE - "DARK HEART" - 54# @ 28"
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  8. #8
    Turkeys have favorite trees. They use them if they are in their area at roosting time. They may have 1-6 areas that they roost, and they use them depending on where their feeding travels have taken them that day. Usually they will be in the same area every other day, or every third day.

  9. #9
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    Turkey can be very predictable. I once hunted a large bird for several days in a row and was having no luck calling him in (henned up real bad). I finally built a natural blind where he dusted mid morning. Wasn't near as fun as calling him in, but it did put turkey on the table.
    Coming to a creek bottom near you.
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  10. #10
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    Yes, turkeys get hung up on seasonal patterns and roost in the same trees often. Obviously some factors can push them off these patterns, like storms or predators near flyup time. The birds on my farm roost deeper in the woods over a big creek during the fall/winter and feed more on acorns. If the nut crop is thin they will rotate to adjacent property and roost, just covering more woods looking for food. About the beginning of March they begin roosting closer to the edge of open fields over a swamp and often flydown into a field and feed in the open more often. As the breeding season wanes they disperse a little more, not as social due to more hens on nest. Good luck!
    KR

  11. #11
    Don't be afraid of getting closer to them this year. If they are gobbling before light, you can get very close without spooking them. Don't guess where they are roosting - know where they are roosting!

    Better yet, know where they are going once they fly down.
    watch our hunting and bowfishing webcast at AimNLowTV.com

  12. #12
    This is agreat thread, thanks for all the answers guys.

    I find it rather weird, that the on piece of info i keep getting is something the birds i scouted and hunted last year didn't do. A lot of people say they roost near the ridgeline or 3/4 the way up the hill. So last year I found the are (from the ridge i foudn the area) where they were gobbling from, So i just walked down the ridge about 40 yards and set up.

    After 3 days of not seeing any birds and me moving further and further down hill each day, i was still atleast 150-200 yards away from where they were actully roosting, so before the last day I hunted i had walked down to nearly the very bottom and found tons a big trees in a somewhat open area with a old logging road, didnt find any sign, but i thought it might be where they were roosting.

    So i went in there, got in that are before light hit a owl locator and got nothing. I heard a couple gobbles that sounded close so i put out my decoy and got set up. After about 40 minutes (neverheard any fly down, but i have never heard that in my life either) i had a big tom gobble rather close to me, so i let out a few clucks and waited for 2 hours. nothing. but i was close.

    so thats what is different from the info im getting, they are roosting (atleast all the ones i scouted) nearly at the bottom (theres also a creek down there).

    but I will diffinantly put this info to use when im scouting this season. I think this season if i do myscouting right and i know where they are ill go in the evening before and see what tree they fly up in and get in on em

    also, im on public land, Woooo! lol. I found this area back in december where it had tons of scratchings, and my buddy and i (while squirell hunting) snuck up on a huge flock of turkeys. So i think ill start my scouting there in april. probably around that same area im hoping.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Robin@AimLow View Post
    Don't be afraid of getting closer to them this year. If they are gobbling before light, you can get very close without spooking them. Don't guess where they are roosting - know where they are roosting!

    Better yet, know where they are going once they fly down.


    exactly. that was my problem last year, afraid of getting close and spooking them, but after you read my post above this one, youll see my full story, lol. This year im going rambo on em, lol.

  14. #14
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    Turkeys in the area that I hunt prefer to roost over water if possible. Also, you can get closer to a roosted turkey than you would ever think as long as there is low light. Move sloooow, quietly, and have a plan before you attack.
    KR

  15. #15
    I'm only a wannabe turkey hunter, but several years ago a buddy of mine was trying to get me in to it. The one question I had was "was where the heck do you find them?"
    His answer was "come with me"
    So during the last hour or so, we would cruise the several areas and listen for the birds to go to there roost. They do make a lot of noise.
    The next morning we went back to where they roosted (is that a word?) early before they came down.
    Once they started making noise he would call. Once they were down, if they didn't do what he wanted to. He just ran and busted the flock up.
    Then he setup again and called as if he was one of them looking for the others.
    This guy has a pile of beards.
    I tell ya, if I had the time.........
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  16. #16
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    I have found turkeys like general areas with good roosting trees. Don’ t actually roost in the same tree every night but in the same area, 40-80 acres. They love big, white oak and big, bur oak trees. Find some of these trees and you’ll find roosting areas.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rc_racer_007 View Post
    This will be my second year turkey hunting. Pretty much self taught kinda. All my info came from this board, primos mastering the art, some guys i know, and tv. Last year, I didnt get one or call one in, I thought i had located the birds, but I was far from it. they kept roosting in the same area (I think, i never found out exactly where, I stayed far away afraid to spook em).

    Iv been told they roost in the same trees, and that they dont. So heres my question. but first, Im hunting the hills of WV rolling mountains. And the area im hunting in particular is very hilly. Very little flat land. and no fields.

    okay. Do turkeys roost in the same trees? If not, do they like to roost in say the same, like 30 yard area of trees or something? Or just explain your experiances.

    thanks. I think this might be the last ltitle bit of info i need before turkey season.

    I was gonna buy a hunting magazine on turkey hunting today but it was $15. i cant see paying that for a magazine which most of the info was on my primos dvd, lol.

    aj

    Where I hunt yes and no, but if not its "usually" within 100-200 yards of thier "normal" roosting area. For instance, hunted the same bird for 3 mornings straight. First morning he was in tree "A". Next morning he was roosted in a different tree approx. 150 yards away from tree "A". Third morning he was back in tree "A". After the third morning he did not live to roost in another tree.. By the way...turkeys down here mainly roost in oaks and pines.
    Kravguy said I could have my mancard back.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by YD29999 View Post
    I'm only a wannabe turkey hunter, but several years ago a buddy of mine was trying to get me in to it. The one question I had was "was where the heck do you find them?"
    His answer was "come with me"
    So during the last hour or so, we would cruise the several areas and listen for the birds to go to there roost. They do make a lot of noise.
    The next morning we went back to where they roosted (is that a word?) early before they came down.
    Once they started making noise he would call. Once they were down, if they didn't do what he wanted to. He just ran and busted the flock up.
    Then he setup again and called as if he was one of them looking for the others.
    This guy has a pile of beards.
    I tell ya, if I had the time.........
    I have used th same method several times and have been successful many times using it. If the hens get to the gobbler first and you cant call either one to you, this can work and can be very very successful if done right. I have busted up a group of gobblers and hens (by accident) before and 5 minutes later the gobblers were sounding off trying to find there lady friends agian.....but it doenst always happen that way.
    Kravguy said I could have my mancard back.

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