Roosting Turkeys is a very important step to becoming a turkey hunter.
One of the first steps in becoming a successful Turkey hunter is roosting turkeys. So what does roosting a turkey actually mean? Quite simple it means finding where a turkey sleeps to in return use this information to successful hunt turkeys.
Why Do Turkeys Sleep in Trees?
Turkeys sleep in trees for one basic reason- its safe. Up in tress they cannot be eaten by predators in the darkness. Unlike many other quarry we will hunt (Whitetail Deer), turkeys will never move during the night unless absolutely necessary. For this reason turkeys are very predictable in the sense that they will always fly up in a tree at dusk and always come out to begin their day in the morning (weather permitted).
The Turkey Roost
Turkey roosts can be identified in a number of ways, the easiest being from calling turkeys either the night before or very early morning. To read about this practice check out the article ‘Locating a Turkey’s Roost with Calls’. The second way is finding sign. This can be difficult and not a first suggested method but something to pay attention to in the woods.
In areas where Turkeys roost you will see lots of bird droppings (no different than birds around your house, but larger) as well as a mix of turkey feathers. Often Turkeys will roost for generation in the same trees as long as factors to not alter the conditions that made them choose it. These locations can be hard to miss if you happen upon it.
Where Roost Trees are Located
Roosting trees tend to be located immediately next to an area where they can fly down with a clear landing. This can be as basic as a farm field to as shocking as a commercial parking lot (in urban America). Although this does account for the vast majority of roosting, there are areas of the country that turkeys roost inside a forest without a field to land in.
Roosting trees tend to have good size branches that lay parallel to the ground that turkeys will sit on for their nights rest. There can be as few as one to as many as dozens in a single tree. In the Spring as males being their search for breeding hens they can often change roosts many times and break from the larger flock.
Day Break at a Turkey Roost
Turkeys are a very vocal animal at first signs of light. Their morning will begin with a series of loud gobbles as they begin to wake up. This can last for a solid amount of time until eventually they will fly down and begin there day. For this reason there tends to be a lot of human/turkey conflict in developed areas where residents are awoken every morning by the chatter of Turkey roost. Sometimes people talking about this can be a great piece of Intel on where to locate a good Turkey hunting location.
Why this all Matters
Once you have located a Turkey Roost you have done the majority of the lead work necessary in harvesting a Wild Turkey. Setting up around Turkey roosts in the early hours can prove to be a deadly tactic which is covered in other articles here on Basic Huntsman.