If you are going to hunt strange terriory, learn everything you can about that area. You will want to know if it can be successful, is take the time and scout the area.
When the hard mast crop is plentiful and general, such as good acorn year, flocks seem to stay in the woods in such a year and are seldom seen in the open, creating the impression that the turkey number are way down. Conversly, when the mast crop is poor and the birds must feed on grass, grasshoppers, small seeds, fruit pits, wild grain, and cornfield wast, huge flocks seen in the open create an impression of overpopulation.
Because of the above facts, the general location of wild turkeys can be found by driving the back roads. General location from road scouting is fine, however, you'll need to do final scouting on foot to find the specific locations where hunting will be most successful.
Turkey seem to prefer a variety of food, from grains and nuts to grass and grasshoppers. Here in the East about the only food they will stay on continually, with little else, is acorns.
The normal eating day for a flock of wild turkey starts with flying into a field where corn was just harvested. Next they will head for a hardwood forest, searching for acorns, beechnuts, and seedpods from ash trees. In old pastures along stone walls and hedgerows they will find and feed on wild fruits, such as apples, wild cherries, and wild grapes. The sae area may have a hickory with a few nuts that the squirrels haven't gotten
Just scouting the woods and back fields on an early-fall day can provide almost as much pleasure as hunting. As a bonus you may gather some late-summer flowers for your loved one "guys." :-)
Finally, after a thorough job of scouting, you will see so much sign that the night before fall turkey season you won't sleep a wink.
If you can team up with another hunter, you both are fortunate. You could work along on either side of a ridge, or through an alder swamp, and after several hours arriving at your preset destination, still at the proper safe distance apart and opposite each other.
First and formost, you wll learn that wild turkey are constantly on the alert for danger. With their acute sensitive hearing and keen sight, they notice any movement or sound that is not natural to their surroundings. When a hen gives the "puck! puck!" warning, they are either going to just fade away out of shot-gun range, start running, or, if necessary, explode into flight. Second You will learn that you must learn to wait.
In late fall the flocks become large, feeding on cornfields or the corn from manure spread on the fields. If birds are seen in these areas near roosting time and are undisturbed, they often come sailing out into these fields at daybreak.
In such a situation it is best to let hens come and settle down to feed before shooting them. In this way you can take your pick, or, if the law permits toms only, you can pick out a red head and beard. Further more, if you are hunting with friends, wait until enough birds are down, and spread out so everyone can get a shot.
Decoys are of value if set in a field where birds have fed previous days, to make them less wary when coming out to feed. In such a situation you may put the decoy, out of range of your setup. Your setup, however, should be along the trail where you believe the birds will be coming. More than one hunter with more then one setup covering all possible entry routes is ideal and justifies the use of several decoys.
In fall season, especially in areas where either birds of either sex may be taken, be extremely careful about where you position your decoys and setup. Be sure that another hunter mistaking the decoy for a live bird will have to come out into the open and be seen by you before shooting towards you.