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Scoot

Snow!!!

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OK, I know I've said this a dozen or more times, but I don't know anything about turkeys. A guy I work with told me all this snow we're getting will wreck any chance of calling in a bird this weekend. According to him, cold weather and new snow will make the birds not respond to decoys or calls. His comments don't pass the sniff test for me, but I thought I'd run them by you turkey gurus. What say you?

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Poor weather usually shuts them down for me too. Snow might keep them from roaming much. If you have birds already located from scouting, they will still be in the area. If you are hunting days after the storm, birds still gotta eat and will probably be plenty active. Bust out the snow camo.

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Honestly, that's going to be kind of hard to answer because few of us have ever hunted in the extreme conditions we're facing now.

Cheetah's right though, they have to eat. They may stay in the trees longer and they may not be very vocal, but if you have a cattle feed lot, or standing corn, pine plantation, or somewhere else they've been feeding recently, these might be the places to hit. Think late December deer hnting.

That being said, birds have been gobbling the last few weeks during some pretty nasty weather. You just have to get out there and see what's happening in your area.

Look at the bright side. Should be easy to pattern them with the fresh snow. smile Just ask Powerstroke.

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I saw a big tom strutting in a 18" of snow at ripley last week, and last night in the rain i saw one struuting as well. They will still be looking for love just have to get closer to them when you set up

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With all this snow should one use snow camo, over entire body, or just lower body as your torso will still be up against tree(most of the time).

This will be all new to me.

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I've hunted them in the Black Hills in significant snow and they still gobble, feed and move there in he white stuff. But merriams tend to cover more ground, gobble, etc than easterns do in general.

I know about 5 years ago we had several in the contest shoot nice toms in 8-12" of fresh snow. My guess would be hit the sheltered areas and food sources if you got dumped on with lots of drifting.

Also if you find some of these areas near roosting areas they would be high on my list.

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I would say that the challenge with turkeys in the snow is not that they change their behavior, its that they change the location. Typically, in poor weather and snow birds will use an alternate roost if it provides more shelter, even if its farther from their food source. Also they will find easy food, so if scratching on a leeward hillside is easier than the cornfield, they will use it.

Another point about turkey behavior that I don't hear discussed often is that turkeys don't like wet feet. Turkeys may hang out around a waters edge for drinking or near a creek for strutting, but they won't walk down a road or trail that is full of puddles, they will walk 5' to the side on the sidehill even though its more work and more difficult.

If you're not sure where to find the birds then its time to hunt them like deer. Find a trail that they are using and get as much info from it as possible. Where they start, where they go etc. Turkeys typically move in a loop rather that go back and forth on the same trail. Who knows?

You can definately tag a bird in the snow, but the conventional tactics don't usually work. Most turkey hunters only know how to hunt one way and when the weather changes they just assume the birds stopped playing the game. If you learn their game you can tag them in any weather.

PS, there are no mosquitos in the snow!!

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The birds are still going to be heating up even in the snow. They might get a little less vocal once they hit the ground. You will need to scout some to were they are feeding now and find them strutt zones. They will still find areas to strutt and show off for the ladies. Even with the snow. If you find the right bird they still will come in and play the game. We have taken a few birds in snow storms. I've shot two in after we got 10 inches of snow still came into the calls and played the game.

Things do change a bit but they still have to feed and find the ladies. Just need some extra time for scouting after the storm or even during. Sure makes them east to track after the shot.

Like Powerstroke said roost sites could change up a bit from snow.

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Those spring storms sneak up on you. Used a blind this day snow was coming down fast and hard and needed cover. Birds still came into calls and strutted a ton. I do not use any decoys though seemed to help in the bad conditions.

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Did not pack a shovel

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This one was taken during the storm came right in from the roost in the morning. Day ended up with 5 inches of snow.

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Go and get them scoot , good luck. Get that scouting in. You don't have to be a great turkey hunter but a better woodsman. If you know your land and were the birds are going and coming you will have a good chance of taking a bird in any condition. Woodsmanship I take over a world class caller.

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This same thing happened to me about 11 years ago. Was hunting up north (Polk county,WI.) and hunted the first few days and then it got cold and snowed on the 3rd day so I said "heck with it" and went home. Then the last day came along and I thought I might as well go up and hit it hard for the last day because it's not going to come along again for another year. Long story short, it was mid-morning when I started hunting and they were gobbling and runnin' all over the place. Shot one within a few hours. If it's open, hunt it!

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Thanks guys! Season opens tomorrow and even with this new blanket of snow, I'll take your advice and get out there! I only have a brief window tomorrow, but I'll get my son and a couple buddies out tomorrow to give it a quick two hour crack at a turkey. If the weather allows, I'll be back out all day on Sunday. It sounds like Sunday might be a bust with more weather moving in though...

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Well good luck. Hope this weather makes a change i have the second season and was hopeing not to have snow on the ground, but it's not looking like that's going to happen.

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Good luck guys, I saw plenty of toms strutting this morning across the snowy drifts, the group of 80 or so is starting to dismantle, maybe 20 in that usual bunch this morning and a lone tom walking a wooded edge, starting to see the change of pace. Hoping the Sunday/ Monday morning weather isn't nasty where you are hunting. Buddy said 7-14" of snow with higher localized amounts, ish. Get him tomorrow!

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