Spring is a happening time of year. The weather turns nice, grass needs cutting, kids have a hectic sport’s schedule, you’ve got plenty of chores to do, on top of your duties for your day job. Oh yeah, and turkeys are gobbling their red heads off. Even though you don’t want to admit it, you know in the back of your mind that you’ll only have a couple, maybe a few fleeting moments of time to squeeze a morning or an afternoon hunt into the schedule. Don’t waste those valuable, precious moments that you’ve bartered the love of your life for. Use technology to stay in the game.
Moultrie now offers a cellular modem for your trail camera. The Moultrie MV1 Field Modem connects to a Moultrie game camera and transmits new photos to an online server, which you can access with your smart phone via a free app or by logging on to MoultrieMobile.com. This technology allows you to stay in the game even when you can’t take the time to check memory cards. Here’s our top picks for choosing camera locations for “Boss” gobblers.
Those same food plots that you spent last summer manicuring for deer season are one of the hottest draws for spring turkeys. In the early season, prior to green up, food sources are severely depleted and turkeys will flock to these cultivated food sources to take advantage of the readily available energy foods like: winter wheat, oats, cereal rye, brassicas, and clover.
Walk food plots looking for turkey tracks and more importantly, turkey droppings. Lots of droppings indicate turkeys are spending a lot of time feeding. Be sure to place the camera in an area of the plot that has the most turkey sign. Always try to face the camera to the north so the sun won’t cause glare on your photos. If you hunt in an area with agricultural fields of winter-wheat, then walk the edges looking for the same sign. Once you do find sign, concentrate your camera efforts in that spot. Once you begin to receive photos from the Moultrie Mobile system, you can change your camera’s settings — via smart phone — for any fine tuning. You can change from photos to videos with the click of the button. Or you could click time-lapse mode, to pattern turkey feeding times, allowing you to safely slip into a brushed-in blind before lunch is served.
If you want a surefire way to tag a boss gobbler then find his strut zone. Gobblers will strut in front of hens when they are with their harams, but a mature gobbler will retreat or move to one of his preferred strut zones late in morning and throughout the middle of the day when hens go to nest. This is a form of advertising to attract any lonely hens that are out looking to be breed. A gobbler will spend a considerable amount of time at his favorite strut zone and many times will show up at or near the same time of day each day.
There are several places to look for strut zones. If you have a smooth dirt or gravel road passing through a food plot or feeding area, this makes the ideal strut zone for show-off gobblers. Another place to look is on top of man-made pond damns. These long, flat, mowed areas offer a perfect runway strip for a gobbler to strut his stuff. Long stretches of dirt or gravel roads through mature pine and oak forests are also hotspots. Often, a gobbler will seek these locations out right after fly-down in the morning and just before fly-up in the evening. Regardless of the type of road, look for “drag” marks in the dirt, gravel and sand. It will resemble long claw-looking marks in the dirt. These scratch marks are from the bottom of the gobbler’s wing feathers as he presses them hard into the ground while strutting. If you locate an area with a lot of these, and especially if they appear to be going in a semi-circle, then you’ve found an area where a gobbler has recently been strutting. Place cameras looking down these roadways where you find the most strut marks.
Moultrie Mobile allows you to tag images for quick and easy storage. If you locate several mature gobblers, then name each one and tag each image with its namesake. This will keep specific gobblers and locations together instead of in disarray. No self-respecting turkey hunter would share his best intel with another hunter, but the Moultrie app allows you to share photos and videos on social channels, too. Use #moultriecam for a chance to be featured on Moultrie’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Update to the latest trail camera technology so that you can spend more time setting up your trophy poses instead of your visual-surveillance network.