Ruling the roost

The author uses roosting techniques at dusk in order to get close to toms at sunrise. 

The April sun just dipped below the western horizon in central Illinois. 

The slight breeze had died completely and the spring peepers were singing.

I made a single barred owl hoot with my voice, and not one but two gobblers responded from their roosts.  

These gobbles allowed me to know without doubt exactly where these toms were for our round the next morning.

There are lots of opinions and just as many methods on roosting spring gobblers. Let’s take a couple of minutes to look deeper into this very interesting topic.

Before we get into the “hows” of locating toms on the roost, let’s talk about the “whys” of this process. 

If you hunt the same property every year and have for many seasons, then roosting birds the night before may not be a top priority. These are creatures of habit.  

You no doubt have your favorite spot already picked out. You know where the established strut zones are located and you have previously determined the best routes to get to those spots.

All that having been said, how depressing would it be to bump a tom off his roost on opening day heading to your best spot? 

Roosting is easy and quick. Why take the chance?

The other great “why” to roost the evening before is if you are on a property for the first time.  

These days many of us travel from place to place and even state to state chasing spring toms.  

Getting to a new spot the evening prior to opening morning to locate the birds can make all the difference.

Now we will discuss the best methods to use as you put your gobblers to bed at night. 

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Other experienced turkey hunters prefer louder, more alarming calls with which to scare a tom to gobble. 

Crow calls and coyote calls are often used. Remember, you are not trying to call these birds in.  

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