Killing Turkeys on Small Plots of Land

turkeyfarmI’ve heard it more times than I care to admit.  “I’d love to turkey hunt that place, but it’s just not big enough.”  Believe it or not, killing turkeys on small patches of ground is not an impossible feat and sometimes it can be downright easy…if you have a solid plan of attack.

While chasing birds through miles of big timber might be fun, it isn’t always necessary to get the job done.  Here in Pennsylvania, two of my most productive turkey spots are no more than 75 acres each.  Up here, if the place has trees, there’s a better than average chance some turkeys live there.  This is definitely turkey country.

You have to spend time there and figure out what the birds do on their day to day.  They’re just starting to break up right now but before long, they’re going to settle into somewhat of a routine.  Sitting and just listening to what is going on can tell you a lot.  It is also integral to hunting a small woodlot.  More often than not, the birds won’t even be roosted on the place you’re hunting.  But at some point, they’re going to be on your side of the fence and it’s up to you to figure out where and when.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – setup is everything.  By doing your homework, you should know where your birds are spending their time.  Try to pick a place where you know they’ll be a lot.  If you hear them fly off and then gobble on a point for 2 hours every day, there’s your spot.  If you see them in the corner of the same field every day at 9:30, that’s where you need to be.  Picking a spot isn’t difficult, but you can’t guess.  You have to put in the work to pattern the birds.

The main thing that sets this type of hunting apart from other types of turkey hunting is that you are picking a stand and standing it.  You don’t want to just be sitting against a tree.  When my dad first introduced me to this alternative method many years ago, there were no blinds to put up.  We made a nest out of old chestnut slabs and hemlock limbs.  You just need somewhere to hide so you aren’t out in the open.

Hunting a small wood lot is probably the easiest part.  You know where there birds are, you know what they’re doing, and you have a good observation point.  If everything works out perfectly, you’re back to the truck 20 pounds heavier by 7:15.  But it doesn’t always work out that way and herein lies the real brilliance of this setup on a small woodlot.  You’re hidden in a comfortable spot in a place turkeys are known to frequent.  You’re going to have an encounter if you’re patient.  Some soft calling and a little bit of patience has produced a lot of birds for both me and my dad this way.

This type of hunting isn’t for everyone.  Some guys aren’t happy unless they’re running and gunning and quitting by 10.  But if you’re short on options for land, or need a back up spot for when its raining, a properly set turkey stand on a small woodlot is pretty tough to beat.