10 Trail Camera Tips for Turkey Hunters

10 Trail Camera Tips for Turkey Hunters

Use these trail cam tactics to get more (and better) photos of turkeys

Trail cameras are extremely popular for deer hunting. Too few turkey hunters use them to their advantage, though. There are plenty of reasons to deploy them for longbeards, and plenty of potential spots to post them, too.

What Are They Good For?

Trail cameras aid turkey hunters in numerous ways. Determining the phase of the breeding cycle is one of them. Seeing how birds are grouped up, strutting, and otherwise acting is beneficial.

Trail cameras also take surveys, and can help determine how many birds are on the landscape. It can even help you to identify each individual gobbler on the property, especially when you can see beard length, beard girth, spur length, feather coloration, and other unique markers.

And of course, trail cameras can help determine where turkeys are spending the most time where you hunt. Consider posting cams along these 10 locations to pinpoint potential hotspots for opening day.

1. Hang Them at Landing Zones

Knowing where turkeys roost is great. Of course, turkeys generally don’t drop straight down. They have an open landing zone (or zones) nearby. Position cameras in these spots.

2. Place Them Along Strut Zones

Gobblers have spots where they like to go and post up during the day. This is usually a shaded area where birds can see and be seen. Good spots are benches, mature cedar thickets, open pines, etc.

An opening in a pine stand is rock-solid place to look for turkey sign. 

3. Post Them in Pinch Points

Turkeys fly, but they generally walk between fly-down and fly-up. Like deer, they tend to use pinch points that offer the path of least resistance.

4. Focus on Fence Gaps

While this is a form of pinch point, people tend to forget about these. Post those cameras along these routes, too.

5. Locate Along Logging Roads

Turkeys love feeding, strutting and simply traveling up and down logging roads, especially in areas with lower hunting pressure and predator populations. That said, they tend to avoid them where hunters and carnivores are more abundant.

6. Set Them Over Sign

Find concentrations of turkey droppings, feathers or tracks? Strap a camera to a nearby tree and see what birds are leaving behind the sign.

7. Focus on Inside Field Corners

Deer commonly travel along inside corners of field edges. Turkeys do, too. Keep that in mind when scouting with cameras this spring.

8. Set Them Along Feeding Sites

Confined pockets of food sources — such as chufa or other food plots — are solid spots to position cameras. Turkeys commonly hit these areas from fly-down to mid-morning and mid-afternoon to fly-up.

9. Run Them Along Travel Routes

Any path that turkeys use to get from point A to B is a surefire place to scout with trail cameras. Generally, these are classic trails.

Finding a well-used travel route can be key to catching pressured birds during the middle of the day, when other hunters have gone home. 

10. Consider Past Kill Sites

Have places you’ve tagged birds in the past? Scouting these areas with trail cameras will help reveal if they’re consistent producers, or one-time wonders.

Bonus: Hang Them Lower

There are many subtleties of using trail cameras successfully. But one of the most important things to do is to hang them lower. People commonly hang them too high, and then capture only photos of heads or nothing at all. Positioning them 1 to 2 feet off the ground is the best height for most scenarios.

Article by Josh Honeycutt 

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