In this episode of the How to Hunt Turkeys Podcast, Paul sits down with Mr. Jay Scott. Jay is the long time host of the number 1 Western hunting podcast, Jay Scott Outdoors. Jay has conducted hundreds of podcast all based around his decades of experience in the woods. Jay is a wonderful Turkey hunter and guide. In this episode Jay delivers a wonderful lesson on how he roosts Turkeys. Roosting Turkeys is an effective way to locate Wild Turkeys. The talk focuses a lot around Western birds but the lessons can be used in any state in the Country on any sub-species of Turkey. Eastern Turkey hunters there might be a new secret weapon in the Turkey locating game. Enjoy this episode.
Turkey Season is in full swing in Florida and opens soon in Alabama and Mississippi. Please keep the H2HT crew updated on your hunts!
[00:00:00] Welcome to the How to Hunt Turkeys podcast. I'm Paul Campbell. Join me as we dive into the world at Turkey Hunter. Every episode we'll explore the minds the finest Turkey hunters around. We'll take a look at the people, the places, the tactics, the gear, and the culture that creates the mystique around America's favorite bird.
That's right, I said it. America's favorite bird, the Wild Turkey. Throw on your Turkey vest. Grab your box, call. Let's talk some Turkey. How to Hunt? TURs Podcast brought to you by Go Wild. Visit time to go wild.com or download the app on iOS or Android. Go Wild has all the gear. The Wild Turkey Hunter. Camel clothes, hats, vest, Turkey calls, decoys and everything else.
Sign up for a free account today and get $10 off your first order. [00:01:00] Time to go wild.com. Wicked North gear. Delivering the very best gear for a life well lived in the great outdoors. From field kits and DIY tax derby solutions to hats, hoodies, stickers, and more. Visit wicked north gear.com.
Welcome back to another episode of the How to Hunt Turkeys podcast. I'm your host, Paul Campbell. Thank you so much for joining me on this episode. Again, listen, if you've been falling along with the Hale Hunt Turkeys podcast a few things. One, I love hunting wild turkeys. Two, I love talking about wild turkeys.
And three just generally I like talking, so I'm going to keep. This intro as short as possible. Couple reasons. One. The episode today is one of the best that I've ever recorded. We've got Jay Scott from Jay Scott Outdoors. J. Is a really good Turkey hunter. This episode is all about roosting turkeys.
So roosting is the process of [00:02:00] finding turkeys that are in the tree or headed back to the tree the night before, and then how to move in to, to hunt those turkeys the following morning. Jay is an absolute master at that. This is a really good conversation with him about that practice. We talk about a lot about hunting, or excuse me, roosting, turkeys out west.
I can tell you the tactics and the principles. This is the principles. That's what's important. , you will for sure be able to use those hunting Eastern turkeys, whether it be flat ground or the mountains that we have here, east of Mississippi. Unbelievable. Episode thank you to, to Jay for reaching out and for her, his time on this podcast.
Today is March the 13th, 2023. Tomorrow morning I'm headed down to Florida. I'm gonna be hunting turkeys Wednesday afternoon. Cannot wait for that. That's gonna be just a treat. Really looking forward to starting my Turkey season off this early. Speaking of Turkey season, you've heard me talk about it the last couple of weeks.
This is, this project is really important to me. Turkey [00:03:00] season.com is live. There's a ton of really good content up there. There's a ton of knowledge, there's a ton of just different creators that are putting their content on this site. It's really neat. Just a ton of knowledge and just really creative stuff on there.
Right now, I've got a ton of mouth calls, box calls, pod calls for sale. I've got rolling Thunder game calls, woodhaven Bone Collector. We've got Wicked North Gear sponsors of the show. We've got Newcomb Hunting Blinds. You can visit Newcomb and U K E m hunting.com. This is a really. Neat ground blind. And I hate to say ground blind because I know what you're thinking.
You're thinking of those bulky things that your grandpa used to use. I'm telling you, this is not it. I bought two of these last year. I, I hadn't used a ground blind in a while. I saw this thing work, and it is unbelievable how this thing operates. So Newcomb hunting and U K E m hunting.com, check those out.
These things are pretty sweet. You're gonna love them. I've got those for sale and Turkey season.com. Tunnel, wicked north gear stuff. Got some some really neat hats, some Turkey season [00:04:00] hats. I think you guys are gonna that goat rope. Sign up for the newsletter. You hit the roost.
Sign up for the roost is what we're calling it. Hit the fly up button with your email. You're gonna get some really neat kind of behind the scenes stuff Turkey content coming your way. If you were listening to the show and you buy something, Turkey season.com. I want you to find me on Instagram, find me on Go Wild.
Instagram is Paul Campbell 3 22. And I want you to say, Hey, man, bought something off your website, the first 25 people to do that. I've got something really cool. There's only be 25 of these made. So there you go. There's a little hint. And there will never be another one made. Got some neat gifts for the first 25 people.
We got a couple people already in the mix for that. So thank you so much for listening to this show. Good luck to the, to, to those Turkey hunters that are starting Mississippi. Starts here real soon. Alabama starts here real soon. Northern Florida starts. So good luck to everyone. Please keep me posted on your progress of the season H two HT podcast on Instagram.
How to hunt Turkeys on Go Wild, Paul Campbell on Go Wild Paul Campbell 3 22 on the Gram. Or you can just email me paul Turkey [00:05:00] season.com. So guys, please check out that website, Turkey season.com means the world to me. Thanks so much for the support. Enjoy this episode with Jay Scott.
It's one of those things that no matter what economic level you're at, where wherever you're at in your own personal journey of finances or whatever, we're all just Turkey hunters. We love turkeys. You get some of these other conventions where sometimes, it's just a stuffy club a little bit, and I just don't feel that it's like that at N W T F.
So it's it's an honor to be able to go there and be a member of N W T F and just be able to, share the hallways with other people. And man, there were legends there too. You've got, will Primos and you've got the Knight and Hail guys. You've got just the who's who of.
The mossy oak, the real trees the who's who of the Turkey hunting community. And it's [00:06:00] just so great to see them supporting the N W T F and supporting all the people that are their fans. And so yeah. But I'm excited how to hunt Turkeys to be on your podcast. I think it's a great title.
Thank you. And it kind of specifies and I'm sure you talk about a lot of different stuff, but I love something that's really focused, on my own podcast started back in 2015, I really tried to dive into the weeds and I know that's what you like to do as well. And, get a lot of experiences from people that you have on and get tactics and get other people's perspectives, which allows all of us to listen and learn.
And so I'm excited to be a part of this. . Yeah. Thank you. I, I think, and I've said this on the show too, though, I think for me, the best way to, that I like to deliver that knowledge that guys like you have is through storytelling. And it's just conversations about Turkey hunting.
And I never know what I wanna talk about with the guests. And it always like it. And it's neat. The [00:07:00] conversations just evolve. And I go back and I listen to every one of them, and it's from a selfish standpoint, because I know that I missed some tidbit of knowledge. And when you reached out you said, Hey, I wanna talk about roosting birds out west.
And I'm like, yes, absolutely. And it was 100% selfish on my part, Jay, because my first Western hunt is this year in Montana. I was fortunate enough, I went out to Bozeman, Montana this December. I was a guest of Mountain Tough. I went out there did some work with those guys. Went out to Stone Glacier, loved every minute of it.
Worked out, did a bunch of videos. It snowed. and it was so cloudy that I couldn't see more than 50 yards from where I was at any point. So I still, to this day, Jay, don't think that there are any mountains in Montana. I'm gonna find out, but Oh, you'll find out quick . Oh yeah, that's what everyone says.
So I, it's cause I've only hunted Easterns, and I'm fortunate this year I'm gonna do an Osceola hunt, a lot of eastern hunts, and then that, that Miriam's hunt. And I watch videos online and that's about my [00:08:00] experience. and I just look at myself. I'm like, I don't know what to do out there.
I have no idea. You've got like a patch of trees and then six miles of like grass . Yeah I'm like totally lost. I think the good news is you're cut your teeth on Easterns and so you're used to, how temperamental they can be and how much of a challenge they can be. And so I think going out to Montana and hunt Miriam's, you're gonna really enjoy the level of activity that those birds have and the amount of gobbling and stuff that they do.
If you can find some good spots to hunt 'em , where your Easterns can be pretty snooty at times and pretty persnickety, but I feel like the Eastern guys that have, cut their teeth out there on those hard birds come out west and hunt, let's call 'em a little bit easier bird.
I just think I've seen so much joy in the guys from the Midwest and the East coming out and really enjoying the West just because, those turkeys don't get messed with quite as much and it's a little bit more open country and you can run and gun 'em and you can see 'em coming, in from a long distance.
Whereas, a lot of your hardwoods and [00:09:00] stuff you've got your fields and you've got your hardwoods and a lot of times you can't see them coming from very far, 50, 60 yards out. Unless you're in a field where, out west sometimes, you can watch 'em literally strutting in from a couple hundred yards all the way to your set.
There's lots of things we'll be able to talk about with when it comes to roosting and how far away you can hear 'em and the best way to strike 'em. And yeah, let me know. We'll dive right in. We'll just this has been a good talk. So I think the episode has already started, but I don't know if my heart and my mind can take watching a Turkey and full strut for an hour and a half wait to me.
That sounds great, but like you said, I can't tell you how many turkeys you, you interact with, and you'll see him. Eight seconds and then you pull the trigger, because they're in brush or they're hills or oh man, Jacob, one of hit me with that. I know one of the big things I ta so I do gould's Turkey hunts in Mexico, and this will be my 13th season doing Gould's turkeys down there.
And one of the conversations I have with them is much [00:10:00] like when I would be hunting Miriam's in my home state of Arizona or around in the west, it's These birds are gonna act a little bit different than what you're used to. I know where you come from. Soon as you get that, 50 yard or in shot where you've got an open exposed shot at their head or neck, you guys are used to taking your shot when you can.
And I try and explain every time I get the hunters in the car and we're on the way to the ranch, I try and explain to 'em like, these birds don't get pressured. These birds are gonna act differently. You have plenty of time when they're 50, 60 yards and they're on their way in and they're strutting back and forth and you feel oh, I need to take the shot.
No they're gonna come in whether we're using decoys or not. Like they're gonna close the distance. They're going to be in your lap. Go ahead and enjoy it. Every year I have people that will shoot a bird out there at 50 yards as soon as they get a shot. Their buddies sitting behind with their back to a tree watching and they're like, why did you shoot?
We were just about to get the show that. That we all are [00:11:00] looking for. And I would encourage you as well as anybody else that's gonna come out west take a little bit more time. We all know there's a time when it's, time to shoot and it's over and you need to do it.
But I would encourage you to, let it unfold and let things happen a little bit. And just enjoy it. Enjoy the strutting, enjoy hearing 'em spit and drum and maybe other birds will come into the set and, you'll get all that interaction. For sure. So the decoys, is that something that, that is I guess more prevalent out west than it is?
Because here, I think so. Yeah. I think so. I think Our birds are very visual out here. Hunting, a lot of running gun style open, broken, ponderosa pine country, some of that oak vegetation, oak grasslands where they can see a distance. For me, decoys and I get the, the whole argument on, whether some people like decoys, some people don't.
And that's their [00:12:00] prerogative and perfectly fine. But for me what it does is it allows a little bit more time for that bird to come in to see the decoy, to watch the bird display, watch him strut, watch him gobble back and forth, circle the decoys.
Whereas it's in essence for me, someone who likes to film birds. I try and film all of our hunts and for me it just gives more time. And then the bird has something to focus on so that he's not focused on you, trying to get a shot. He's focused on the decoy, and especially with our Gould, turkeys out west, in Mexico, I've got hours and hours of video footage where maybe that bird, if you didn't have a decoy, wouldn't see it, and he'd just keep right on walking by.
Where if the decoy is there, they're gonna spend a little bit more time. They're just gonna circle, they're gonna strut. They may stand 10 yards away and just strut back and forth. But [00:13:00] it allows an awesome opportunity, number one, to take photos and number two, to shoot video, which is.
What I love videoing turkeys. I love hunting turkeys, but videoing them at close range and just really monitoring all of what they do is what really gets me going. And with that, having good encounters, that's where, like I said, I wanted to talk about roosting turkeys out west because I feel like a lot of people that come and hunt with me, we'll I'll see, we'll harvest over 250 Gould's turkeys this year in Mexico on 50 different ranches and I'm running into a lot of Turkey hunters every year.
And so we get a lot of experiences, but I'm around a lot of people. And one thing that always hits me is a lot of these guys that come hunt, that have hunted for 40 years, they truly, really don't understand how to roost a Turkey. They don't truly understand the importance of hunting out west and roosting a [00:14:00] Turkey.
And now, Before I get into it I wanna say like I understand in the Midwest and in, and some of the places in the East, like the roos are not to be messed with because you have, either small tracks of land or you have neighboring situations where, hey, we're not hunting the roost. We're gonna let 'em fly down.
We're gonna let 'em come into the feeding areas, strutting areas, and then we're gonna call and hunt 'em. Totally get that where're, where out west plays in, you have all these vast tracks of land where you can just hunt in miles, in any one direction and they're not necessarily roosting in the same spot, in the same trees.
And so it's not going and. Roosting them the night before that you're going to interfere with that roost because likely the next night they're not even, they're gonna roost in a totally different tree, a totally different area, another ridge. So when dealing out west whether you're talking Miriam's, whether you're talking some Rios this applies to some Rios as well,[00:15:00] Gould's, turkeys being able to cover lots of country, being able to use your locator calls the night before to try and elicit a gobble strike a gobble, and then try and use your binoculars to be able to spot which tree the birds are in.
How many birds are there, gobblers, hens, the whole flock gobblers by themselves, two, three gobblers together. And make an assessment of, okay, I've got three gobbler in the tree together. The hens are 80 yards over here in a totally different tree. Then take it to the next level of trying to close the distance without them seeing you.
Where am I gonna set up the next morning so that I can be right in the middle of the action? One of the things, being a videographer, an amateur videographer that I love so much about turkeys is I love to roost them the night before and I love to go in, in [00:16:00] the pitch black dark. People always ask me, why are we getting up at two 30 in the morning?
This is crazy. Like the, it's not even getting light till five 30 or six. I said, cuz we need to get in there in the dark and we need to get everything set down. We need to, be quiet and then let the whole morning unfold. My favorite time of Turkey hunting is, 30 minutes before the sun comes up and.
all through the whole tree talk and as the birds are waking up and the hens are waking up and the gobbler are gobbling at, coyotes in the distance and such, that's my favorite part about Turkey hunting. And then being able to refine your Turkey setups so that you're, let's call it the roos setup is a dynamic thing that you go through in the morning.
And so when we do it on our gould's Turkey hunts and people see how much time I put into, like trying to figure out the exact tree that the bird is in, where is that bird gonna pitch out, where is it gonna pitch [00:17:00] out So it can be right in front of us and the whole assembly area where all the hens gather up.
I want that to be. To have us right in the middle of that and be able to witness that, have birds flying over our head, flying right down land in almost in our laps. That's to me what I feel like is a little bit missing. And it from the majority of my hunters, and I think a lot of it is the terrain and the vegetation in the Midwest and in the east a lot of times doesn't really.
Lend itself to being able to get ride on 'em on the roost. And then, like the factor I said of, if you have traditional roost areas that if you bump them off that roost, the birds may leave and you're dealing with smaller tracks of land. I totally get that. But we're talking wide open, for miles.
Either it's private land and that you are on for miles or public land birds that [00:18:00] are just out on the wide open landscape. Roosting birds is paramount. It's everything for having a good evening hunt and morning hunt. And y you may ask what about evening hunt? In that time when I'm sitting up under a tree in the morning and I hear the birds that were on.
but I can see across the valley and I see it getting light and I see another point, and there's a stand of trees and there's two or three more gobbler gobbling their brains out there. I make a mental note to that's where they're at, and I mark it on my map and say, that's the spot where if these birds, if I either shoot a bird or whatever happens tonight, I can be right over there.
And likely those birds are gonna be somewhere in that general vicinity. So my mind is constantly running as a Turkey hunter and a, and, someone that guides turkeys is where k where is the next spot where we can put ourselves right in the middle of them? [00:19:00] And because of the nature of our birds out west, where they are constantly bouncing around, having those multiple areas where they roost is super important.
In order to be on birds, morning, night.
So I, years ago I had a, and this is years ago it was an epiphany and you just touched on it. It's where do the turkeys want to be? When I first started Turkey hunting, it was so much just he's over there, so I need to be here. And then that turkey's gonna go wherever and they want to be certain places.
And that's a very astute observation and a crucial point for Turkey hunters to understand is what you just said. You're always looking for the next setup. Where do those turkeys want to be? And where do I need to be to maximize the potential of a run-in? So when you're roosting birds out west and I have just this mental picture of being able to see for.
To the end of the world. How, [00:20:00] and this is a really, this is, I never hung out west. How far away could you hear a Turkey gobbling out west? Are you getting a thousand yards or if the wind's right? Obviously Yeah, I would saying in a real open country you can hear 'em and they're, if they're really going good, you can hear 'em probably a mile out as far away as you could think.
You could hear 'em. I'm, I've never specifically measured, but I'm close to a mile out. If it's absolutely dead still and they're just hammering, if they're, especially if there's two or three birds on the roost and they're really going, you can hear 'em out there, 1600 yards. If the more trees that you have in between you and where the bird's position is, the harder it is to hear a lot of times too.
A bunch of the Miriam's birds that I've hunted out west. If they're across a canyon from you and on an opposing face. And so they're facing right at you. And gobbling, I can't tell you how many birds that, in the dark in the morning. I didn't have anything [00:21:00] roosted, but they, I'm out on a point before light and I'm listening and I hear birds start going and I'm like,
Oh, they're just, they're close. They're right here. And you start moving in the dark moving. You're like, golly, they're right here. They're right here. And you're going and going and going. And you realize they're down across a canyon and they're gobbling straight across at you, and you think they're close, but they're, three quarters of a mile away and you're still walking and walking.
I've had it where I'm just like, I thought the birds were two, 300 yards, but they're facing me. And the, there's nothing in between, but open air. And then I've had the same thing where, you have, dark spruce or ponderosa pine and they sound so far away.
And then boom, they're right there because, because the pine trees, they're gobbling and it's absorbing that, that sound. See that's one trick that I use my binoculars a lot in the afternoon, and if I hear 'em gobbling either near the roost or if they've already roosted, [00:22:00] then I try and start spotting them and try and go, okay, there's, okay.
No, he's gobbled. No, I don't see him. And then, oh, he is over there. and then try. It's something that you'll learn. A as you hear, you'll be, I can hear birds. I'm like, that bird is facing away, or he is facing to my left. Or I'll hear a bird and I'll say, that bird's facing right at us. And guys will be like, how can you tell?
I've heard enough of 'em. I can tell if that rattle if it's coming right at me or if it's if they're facing dead away. But then if you can spot 'em in the tree that really helps. Once they've roosted. So Miriam's and Goulds, typically in areas where they don't get tons of pressure, they will gobble themselves to the roost.
Sometimes they'll gobble like crazy to the, but sometimes they'll gobble two or three, four times. Then they'll fly up into their tree. And then once they get in the tree and get settled on their. They'll either gobble one time and be done, [00:23:00] or they'll sit up there and gobble and gobble depending on the cycle of the season and such.
But that's when I think it's very crucial. The afternoon, the evening before to be up on a place and cover as much country where you can hit those high points where you can be hearing from a high point where birds might be gobbling. Then once either if they're still on the ground and they're gobbling you try and close the distance just with your, get a little closer and try and look and see where they're, I'm not talking about going over and try and hunting them, but get over there and try and spot 'em and then get those birds roosted.
And then once those birds are roosted and you mark it on your your mapping app, Go find some war birds and that's when, I use the coyote hower and I can go through exactly like step by step of how I like to do it. But then I like to come back to camp and be like, I have four different groups of Gobbler's [00:24:00] roosted, or I have two, or I have seven, or I have one.
And then some nights it's I didn't roost anything, but my hunting partners or the people I'm guiding with are doing the same thing. And what we're trying to do is establish as many places where those birds are roosted, so that if my buddy or one of my guides struck out and doesn't have anything going, I've got birds marked for everybody.
So it doesn't matter how far I am from camp, I will work my way back either on. On UTV or in a truck the whole way back trying to shock birds to at least, if someone in our camp doesn't have birds, hey, I've got 'em marked right here. I put some rocks in the road. It's a straight, 200 yards out.
And so many times I've come back to Camp Goig and my guides will be like, we've got three different birds roosted in three different spots. Fantastic. Or the same thing where, they have [00:25:00] nothing going or a couple of my guides, nothing. And I roosted, three different birds will now all three groups have a starting point in the morning and that's what we're all looking for.
You're looking, the reason roosting birds is so important is you want to have a starting point in the morning where you can be on birds. Because a lot of times when you get on birds that are roosted, it leads to other birds that are roosted. , it's rare to have, one group of birds roosted here and you go to that spot in the morning and it's, you don't hear anything else that's rare.
It almost seems like from that area, then you hear, oh, there's a group over here down, a quarter mile. There's another bird. Sounds like a single up here, a half mile. And so it's super important to be on roosted birds. Yeah. You're, everyone wants to be in the game and Yeah.
You, there's, that's the easiest way to be in the game. The moment you step out of the truck in the morning is to know where a Turkey is that, that morning. [00:26:00] So let's unpack a roosting expedition, sure. And I let's just play, pretend here. I'm dropping you off in some western state that you've never hunted and you don't know the terrain.
So let's go down to the, the very basic stuff of, you're on your map, go hunt, I would assume, right? Yep. You're on your map. What are you looking for to say, okay, this is where I'm. , this is my first stop, so I love going where you've got long ridge lines that you can either A drive or B walk.
Whether it's driving in your truck, UTV, quad, bicycle, whatever it might be, covering country on long ridge lines and or where, a lot of times out west, those roads will have old forest roads on them, but they're blocked off and you gotta walk 'em, which is fine. I want to get where I can hear off of both sides.
I want to be able to be on a long projected ridge that's, couple miles long, but that I can [00:27:00] go right down the center and it's actually a steep ridge on the left and on the right. So I have really. , either a visual or B audio where I can hear in loss of direction. And if I can find areas where, let's say that it starts at a center point, like the spoke of a wheel, like a point of a mountain, and then there's these finger ridges that work off in every direction.
I'm gonna try and cover at least one or two of those ridges in an afternoon and evening. I might set my hunting partner and have him go the opposite direction. So for me, roosting starts, in the afternoon, typically we're trying to run and gun, 2, 3, 4, 5 o'clock in the evening on those same ridges, trying to call and project, get any kind of birds To answer off of that, a lot of times I'll sit on a ridge line like that for 15, 20 minutes.
I'll call. Listen, if nothing happens, I'll [00:28:00] walk down another quarter, half mile sit call and I do this all afternoon with the whole idea of I'm trying to hear a bird or strike a bird. But my ultimate goal is I want to at dark, be able to hear and be able to roost birds off of this ridge. So if I'm on foot, I go very slow and just meander around on top of the ridge, sit for a while, call for a while, sit for a while, call for a while.
Then there's times when I just sit for an hour because I'm at, let's say, where the point goes down and then let's say it comes to a point and, but I can hear in a canyon in front of me, I can hear a bunch of different areas that I think birds will be roosted. And so I just sit and listen and might be an hour, it might be two hours I might.
Call. I might not call. What I'm trying to do is, oh, I just heard a bird gobble down off in that [00:29:00] canyon. Okay. A lot of times I won't call to him, I won't do anything. He's too far away. I can't get to him anyway. I'm just gonna sit and listen bird gobbles again. I'm like, okay, there's a bird. Then I look at my map, I'm like, okay, he's, half a mile this way.
It's where these two, and I try and mark, okay, bird, and I put the bird icon and I'll either write heard bird, 4:00 PM gobbled twice, and then as I'm sitting there to my right, boom, I hear a bird gobbled way up in the canyon. I'm like, okay, if I stay here till dark, there's a really good chance that I'm gonna be able to look across because of the steepness of the canyon.
Once they get up in the tree, I should be able to, when they're gobbling. Actually see their location or see them, first bird flies up and you hear, you can't see 'em, but you can hear it and you're like, okay, get your binos up and boom. You catch up, a glint of a feather of their wings.
And [00:30:00] it's a, he flying up another hand. Another hand, and then get your map out and you're like, okay. And you mark right there, put the little roo symbol and then you look. Then all of a sudden a bur gobbler flies up. Goes, usually they go up to the top, get out on the limb, boom.
He gobbles. You're like, okay, is it a Jake, is it a mature bird? Like sound, did it sound like a, Jake? Did it sound like a mature bird? How many gobbles are there, gobbler Are there, where are the hens? Are they all together? The reason I'm asking that is oh, it's three gobblers.
They're together. I see no other hens. There's no hens with them that I can see, or the hens I hear are 200 yards down the canyon. I'm processing all this because why, obviously gobblers with hens roosted are harder to work than three loan gobbler or a loan gobbler that's two or 300 yards from their hens.
Why do you ask what the difference between that is? If I got [00:31:00] hens over here to the left and gobbler, or multiple gobbler, I'm gonna try and get in between them. Those hens likely in the morning are gonna. Start assembly, yelping and calling tree calling. Then as they'll hit the ground and they'll start usually going to the gobbler.
So if I can get between the gobbler and the hens, that's where you're gonna be in, in the money spot. I'll take that a step further. Let's say that I've sat there, I've projected my calls all afternoon and I haven't heard anything. No turkeys sounds at all. That's where it gets a little bit sticky in the fact that I need to get somewhere.
I, if I feel like that spot that I just worked for the last two or three hours, if I didn't see sign, I didn't see tracks, I didn't see scratchings, I'm like, man, I didn't hear anything. I need to really quick get up back either to the truck, to the utv, to my bike, whatever I'm using. I need to get over to another ridge and I need to cover [00:32:00] country or.
I like to get in my truck or UTV with my Coyote hauler. I wanna recommend to everyone out there that's gonna hunt out West y in my opinion. You can hear about all the different locators there is in the West. There's not one that beats the coyote hauler, in my opinion. Now there's different variations of that.
There's, like the, I've used for years. It's a, I've got four or five of 'em, but Primos came out with it years and years ago. It's like a three in one. It's a woodpecker, peacock, coyote hollerer. It's purple, it's four inches long. And to be honest with you, I can make a much more realistic sound with my dia elk diaphragm and sound lot like, more like a real coyote.
But for whatever reason, that screechy kind of shrill. Coyote Haller, the birds gobbled to it. And if guys will say that doesn't sound exactly like Coyote. I said, [00:33:00] I know, but they gobbled to that better than anything I've ever used. And then people hear me call 'em my diaphragm and they're like, Jay, you literally sound just like a pack of coyotes.
I go, I know, but they answer that better. This isn't a pitch for Primos, but that's one coyote hauler that I have used for years. I always have one of 'em in my pocket, one of them in my vest. They're, several in the center console of my truck, because that is one of the most important keys, I think, for trying to strike a bird out west.
I haven't, I haven't used it for Osceolas or Easterns or, and guys can tell me what they use best, you hear the owl, and I was just at N w TF and there's the owl hooting competition and all that. Our western birds, not saying they won't answer, but they're not gonna shock to an alcohol if you're in close and you need 'em to if you don't wanna blow the coyote.
Because if you blow up coyote to a bird that, and you're too close, it will spook 'em. They will shut up and they, or they'll answer but [00:34:00] they're going the other way cuz they think coyotes under their tree. The coyote call from say 400 yards and out. There's nothing in my opinion that works better than a good loud coyote call and it's a simple, that's it.
And then shut up and immediately listen. Cuz they most always will hit it right away. One of the hard parts is I blow the call so hard and it's so loud. that a lot of times a burtle gobble. By the time I've shut it off and I didn't even hear 'em gobble. So you have to get to where you can blow it and then shut it off and immediately get your ears where you can hear, cuz they almost always hit it.
As soon as you finish that last note, jumping all over the place here. I just wanted to, there's nothing, this is great. There's nothing better in my opinion, in the western US than a coyote hauler. Now in the morning, that's in the evening, in the morning, [00:35:00] they will hammer a coyote hauler. But like I'm saying, if you get close to birds, you have to switch to something else.
Sound like a moo, a herd, a moo house, sound like cow elk, maybe like a spike bugle, maybe an alcohol, maybe a crow. Those are probably your best options. If I'm, if I have nothing going and it's still gray light, it's still dark, it's still pitch black dark. I'm gonna be hammering the coyote hollerer.
That's what I'm gonna be using as it's getting gray light. I still got nothing. I'm still using the coyote, still using the coyote cuz I'm moving. I'm moving and calling, just trying to get a bird to strike. Boom. A bird strikes. Now I've got a close in. Let's say it is just gobbled.
The one time I then put the coyote call away and I switch to another call. Because if you cl, if you get closer to them as [00:36:00] a ki as you're projecting like you're a coyote and you're getting closer to their tree, what do you think they're gonna do? They're gonna shut up. But as far as a strike the Coyote Hollerer, nothing beats it.
So I think we covered the afternoons scenario. I'm trying to walk and look at sign, trying to listen, and then trying to be at places where I can hear multiple canyons and a great distance that usually puts me up on a point, puts me up on a ridge top where I can hear in, in, in long distances. Now, I will tell you that a lot of times our Miriam's turkeys and Gould's turkeys, especially, in Ponderosa pine country, they typically will east on an or roost on an east facing ridge.
They, they want to be facing east. Not saying they won't roost on a west facing ridge, but they're, they also want [00:37:00] contour. So our birds out west will walk up a hill and fly back to the roost. They very rarely, like I see birds in the Midwest or in the east, just and go straight up. Straight up. Yeah, I've seen 'em do it.
But out west they typically will go up, walk past the roos tree and fly back in. And if that makes sense, picture a sloped ridge, you've got your slope. They're gonna walk up and past and then coast into the tree. Why? Cuz they exert very little energy when they pitch and land down and into a tree.
And then once they get there, that tree, a lot of times they'll hop up a couple limb. And gets, get settled in. And a lot of times the gobbler like to be on their own limb. They don't like to share limbs, but they, depending on the time of season, a lot of times they love to [00:38:00] share a tree with the hens.
But for whatever reason, they do not like to share the limb with the hens, which, that's a whole nother subject could talk about. But in the morning, let's say in the evening, you dropped me off in a place I didn't see much sign, didn't see much scratching, didn't hear any birds. I'm goose egg, got nothing.
Okay, I'm gonna get up early. They're depending on, let's say it gets light at five 30, I'm gonna be out trolling at four 30. One hour before it, they fly down and I'm gonna be running ridges in my truck or on foot with my coyote hauler howling. Just trying to strike a bird. Strike. Strike strike.
Move move. Drive. Drive till you get a bird to strike. Hopefully you strike a bird. It's gray light. You still have time to get your stuff. You still have time to go and move towards the tree. Once they're [00:39:00] gobbling, I am not calling to them. I am letting them gobble on their own.
I'm moving up. I'm moving up. I'm moving up. I'm moving up. Okay. The reason I do that is just like with elk, those animals live out there every day. If they keep hearing this noise and it's getting closer to 'em, they're gonna eventually shut up. So I try and strike 'em, hurt a bird, gobble this direction.
I look at my map, I go, okay, I think I can go down here and the whole time I'm hot footing it towards 'em as quiet as I can. I'm listening for them to sound off and gobble so many guys that I hunt with. Love to get a hundred yards call again. Get 'em to gobble a hundred yards call. That is the worst thing you could do.
It's like hearing elk, bugle and bugling every a hundred yards as you get closer. I would rather try and sneak and get closer to the birds and risk, potentially [00:40:00] bumping them off the limb than calling my way into them. Because a lot of times they'll have struck, you'll be hot, footing it to 'em, and if you really listen, they'll gobble four or five, six more times before you even get into the range.
So boom, they gobbled, move up a little bit more, boom, they gobbled, move up a little bit more. Then when you get close to 'em, you can actually call and they don't feel like whatever. That shrill noise that I. The coyote that I gobbled to that pack of coyotes is not coming to my tree. Does that make sense?
It does. Trying to, almost trying to almost surprise them. Shock them. You shock 'em to gobble, but then you close in the distance like a predator. You're trying to kill 'em. And then let's say you get in close and it's just quiet and you're like, I know I'm close and they're [00:41:00] not gobbling.
I'm going geez, did they see me? Did they hear me? Likely, no. But that's what we tend to think. So a lot of times if I'm like, I don't want to go any further cuz I don't wanna bump 'em. I'm just gonna sit here, put my back to a tree and I'm gonna make my set right. , and then you just sit there and listen.
You're fighting the urge to get every call you have out. Nope. Help. No, let 'em do their thing. Okay. Boom. They just gobbled. They're only a hundred yards away. I'd like to be a little closer, but okay. I'm, this is it. I'm gonna make my stand here. And that's when you go, okay. Do I hear hens?
Do I hear a gobbler? Do I hear multiple gobbler, multiple hens? And then that's when you then play your situation of your calling strategy into that. So how and I know the answer to this, but how close do you want to be to a Turkey that you've roosted that you've struck up with a coyote hauler?
How, are you taking what the train gives you or are you really like [00:42:00] you. Push the envelope, especially if it's still dark out. Are you aggressive in that sense, or you just calm and let's get cut close? I'm really calm, but what I use is the benefit of time to my side.
And that's why I get up so stinking early and that's why I don't use a light. I stumble around in the woods, but I'm there so early. They think it's an elk, they think it's a deer, a bear, a cow, cow elk, bull elk, whatever it may be. And they're like, there's something just stumbling around over there.
But they hear that if you think about their whole life, four or five years, however long a Turkey in the west lives, they hear that stuff all night long. That stuff doesn't necessarily scare them. I want to get as close as I possibly can, as long as I don't get so close, they're gonna fly over my.
So it depends where are they roosted, how steep is it, where they are, where do I think they're gonna pitch down? Because let's take that slope again. They've walked up the slope and [00:43:00] they've flown across to their roost. Are they gonna fly? What's the easiest way for them to get out of the roost pitch?
Kind of sl gently down to a flat spot. So the night before, when I'm roosting them, I'm trying to look at where did they come from? They came from my side of the hill. They walked down the canyon, up the other sidewalk, walked up the other side of the canyon, pitched down in the tree. There's something over here that they probably are gonna come back to.
Is there water in the bottom? What is it? Is there a bench over there that they can easily just pitch right out? Cuz the, I've seen 'em up on the side of a hill and literally pitch down. , three, 400 yards, just like a 7 47 and land on the other side of the hill, fly over my head 200 yards.
And I'm like that, that didn't work. But I do notice that on those slopes they tend to find those little benches where it's a flat spot where they can just literally pitch 20 [00:44:00] feet, 20, 20. 10 to 20 yards straight out of their tree, right to a flat spot. And a lot of times the hens will come to that flat spot mill around.
The gobbler will stay in the tree, then he'll fly down to 'em. So part of roosting the bird the night before is I'm always asking myself, where do I see these birds flying down to? Where do I want to set up so that I'm in that area where they pitch down and they're still in front of me? The worst thing that can happen is they go right over your head.
Why is that the worst? Cuz you're facing the wrong way. They've pitched over your head. Now they have to come all the way back and around in front of you, or you'll have to pivot total 180 and now you're facing the other direction. So the question was, how close do you like to get? I like to get about a hundred yards if I can.
I like to get about 75 yards if [00:45:00] I can. If I get more than say 50 yards, that's when it's, the setup has gotta be perfect. And again, if it's a flat, then I can get closer to 'em, 50 yards. If it's a slope, I wanna make sure they don't pitch right over my head. So that, and that goes back to knowing where they want to be.
Not necessarily where I want to be. Is a Turkey hunter. So what when you and you touched on it a little bit, but I want to hammer that point. Cause that is a very important point. Because, man, I can't tell you how many times I've roed a Turkey and I watched him to sail right over my head.
I'm like, oh man, all that work is done. Yeah. Yeah. You got up two hours before everyone else did and you worked your way in and they flew over your head. I will tell you. Experience has taught me that sometimes as bad as you wanna get right in there in their kitchen and be right there for when they fly down and all of that.
Sometimes because of the [00:46:00] terrain, it's one of those deals where I don't know exactly where they're gonna pitch down. So I'm gonna get over there pretty close to 'em. I'm not gonna make a peep and I'm gonna let them do their whole morning thing. Hens calling the hens, landing assembly, yelping, gobbler flies down to them and I'm not even in striking, shooting range.
And then what is their next move? Okay, they're moving to the left. They're moving to the right, they're moving towards me or away from me. Okay, now they're moving left. I'm gonna circle back. I'm gonna get around in front of them. I'm gonna make my stand. If it's not to visually to my eye where I feel like I can go get right in between those two groups get set up and likely one of two of those gobblers is gonna come.
I, I take the approach of I'm gonna get close to 'em. I'm not gonna call [00:47:00] to 'em. I'm gonna see what they do. Once I get a direction, then I'll make a plan. And I think that's where a lot of guys, they make a mistake, they get impatient, they get over there, they know the setup isn't right, but they start, calling and doing their whole thing.
And a lot of times those, hes will be like, I don't know who that is over there, but she's not part of our flock and I don't, I want to go the other way. I would rather let them have the gobbler fly down. He immediately goes into, They start working one direction, I go, okay, now they've picked their direction.
So I'm not changing anything that they're doing now. I'm going to take my approach cuz I can still hear the hes, I can hear him gobble. Every once in a while I'm gonna go out and around get in front of 'em and set up. Cuz now they've picked their direction. They're going right, I'm not changing anything that they're doing.
[00:48:00] I'm now in their path. Then when all of a sudden nope. Then the hand's oh, there's a hand up here. Not like, . Who's that Hindu there? She's not part of our group. It's a totally different mindset. Yeah. And I was gonna point out, that's the first time that you've talked about sounding like a Turkey ca, Turkey calling is when you've done all of these things.
You've moved you've set up, you've picked a good spot, you've gotten in front of 'em, use the terrain, use what you've got to work with, and then you Turkey call. That's, that, I'm guilty of that. They take off and you're like, oh crap. You start calling. And that, that rarely.
Rarely works. I think that's the woodsmanship that, that a lot of people, you can very rarely turn the whole group around. His same with elk. I find that if you are in their path and the direction that they are going and the direction they want to be you're a lot more apt to have them want to come over and see who you are and inspect you, and you're not a threat [00:49:00] if they're going the other way.
I do not call at 'em. I let 'em go because it's human nature. If you walked into a group of people and you were loud and obnoxious and they started to move away from you, and you started going, Hey, where are you guys going? If the same group of people was meandering this way, and you got out in front of 'em and you said, Hey guys, what's your name?
I'm Jay. They're gonna be like, oh, they're not gonna be. Yeah, they're gonna, they're gonna be more apt to say, Hey bud, what's up? They're not gonna be like, who's this guy? Same thing with turkeys. Yeah. Everyone, a common saying in Turkey hunting is patience kills turkeys. I think the virtue that every Turkey hunter needs to have more so than patients is discipline.
And that is, that's what you're talking about is discipline. And that is hard to do. And I think discipline goes right into roosting birds. I see so many people, they're back at camp and it's still light, and you get back and their, it's gray light and they're back at camp. And I'm going, [00:50:00] w what are you doing?
W I didn't hear anything. Did you roosting birds? I didn't even try. And you go where are you gonna go in the morning? I don't know. I'm just gonna strike out and try and go somewhere. So for me, it's being disciplined to, even if I've killed a. But I know other people in my camp haven't, let's say I killed a bird in the afternoon.
I'm gonna stay and I'm gonna roost. You can every spring if I'm in the woods, I am roosting, turkeys, whether I've killed a bird or not, so that I can be like, Hey buddy, you didn't hear anything. I got two different birds. Roosted. I like this spot better. This spot. There's there, there are two birds there, but it's not a great setup.
Go try this one. And I feel like if guys would put as much. Time into roosting birds. I think their success will go up a lot. And of course there's different states where you can only hunt till this time or that time. I'm not saying do anything that's not within the state regulations, but [00:51:00] there's nothing wrong with not having a shotgun.
If, let's say it stops at one o'clock or four o'clock or whatever it stops at, you can still be out there listening and roosting birds for the next morning that's not against the law. I'm fortunate in the state of Arizona or where we guide for GH Goulds in Mexico, you can hunt all day and there's, you can shoot a bird in the morning or in the evening.
There's no there's no shutoff time. Yeah. I think that we've been talking, obviously a lot of these scenarios have been out west and, but these principles. in Tennessee, they work in Alabama, they work in upstate New York, they work in southeastern Ohio, where I do a majority of my hunting. It's very similar.
You find the ridges, you find the high spots, and I think where difference in the east is that set up the next morning? I think that's where it's a little different. You mean as much you're gonna set up closer or not at not as close you as, you can't get close. I think that, I think with and [00:52:00] I'm just gonna use where I hunt Benton County, Ohio.
I mean it's our largest public access here in the state of Ohio. If I've got one Turkey or a couple of turkeys that are gobbling and I've got some hens there, my. Ability to get close to them I think, is a little harder just because of the train. So you've got well in the pipes laying on the ground as well.
Yes. The leaves are so loud, like Absolut, unless you're Absolutely, unless you know exactly which tree they're in, maybe you could go in the pitch black dark, but in gray light, you're, there's no way you're gonna walk up on those turkeys, man. They would pick you off. And that's and so it's funny, I, as you're talking I'm trying to, I'm visualizing areas in Vinton County.
I'm like, okay, I'm gonna try this approach. It's way different than what I've done before. And it's interesting. And I definitely wanna try the Coyote Haller. I'm gonna try that here in Ohio. There's one thing I wanted to add real quickly, and you'll have to check your state regulations, whether it's allowed or not, but it's something we use that's super deadly.[00:53:00]
On Aus situation the night before when, let's say that we're on one of those big long ridges or we're, we hear a bird gobble, but he is a long ways off, let's say three quarters of a mile to a mile and it's I don't know. He's that way. And let's say you're, you have a buddy, okay? So a lot of times we'll carry little walkie-talkies in our pack cuz if we spread out, I'll be like, Hey, where are you at?
I'm going back to the truck or whatever. I shot a bird, I need help. Or whatev, for safety. It's always nice to have a walkie-talkie. Sometimes in those situations, like the bird is way off and let's say the truck's way back here and you and your buddy are together, you say, alright, you stay here where you can hear, I'm gonna beeline it towards that bird.
I'm not gonna make any noise at all. I'm gonna get as close to that bird as I possibly can when I call you on the radio and say, Hey, shock 'em again. Hit him again. So now I beeline [00:54:00] it towards that bird. He's up on the ridge listening for that bird and other birds. And then I get way close over there and I go, I think I'm close to him.
Hit him again, and he howls. Oh, I'm still a long ways away. Okay, keep going. Now I am trying to let my buddy shock the bird. I'm not making a peep. I'm trying to locate the bird. You can do that. And in states where you say you can't use a radio, another thing that you can do is let's set our watches.
I'm gonna go and try and get as close to that bird as I possibly can, depending on how far it is. Set a time and say in seven minutes. I will be standing waiting for you to shock 'em. You shock 'em at seven minutes. You give it two more minutes and you shock 'em at nine minutes. Cuz what that allows me is to get over there, get close enough.
Okay. I know exactly. 6 58, 6 59, [00:55:00] boom. The shock's coming, okay. I need to refine this and get a little closer. I got two minutes. I'm gonna get as close as I can in the two minutes. I know the call's coming.
Boom, you're right there. You got 'em marked. You so many times I've snuck out of there in the dark and my buddy's you got em. I'm like, I got em buddy. We got em. And that's a great way, and you can use it anywhere but out west to tag team birds to get 'em roosted where you can really pinpoint the exact area where they're at.
Yeah. That's planning and execution on a level that I'm gonna force my friends to do that this year. They're gonna , they're gonna hate, they're gonna hate this year. Jay, this has been a phenomenal interview. We've been on this for an hour. It doesn't even feel like that.
This has gone quick. So just do me one, one more thing. Tell me and the listeners about Goulds Turkey Hunt dot. Yep. This will be my 13th season operating Gould's Turkey hunt. We hunt in Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico this [00:56:00] January was my 27th year doing COOs deer hunts. A lot of these ranches are the same ranch as we hunt COOs and Gould's Turkey on.
Have a lot of Mexico experience. This will be my 13th season doing the Gould's Turkey hunt. We have two states that we hunt in Sonora, Mexico. Our hunters fly into Tucson, Arizona. Come meet the guides, cross the border, go to the ranches. All the ranches are private. The other option is Chihuahua, Mexico.
The hunters fly. American Airlines through Dallas Fort Worth into Chihuahua City. The Air Airport code is c u, fly right into Chihuahua City. We pick you up right there and take you to the ranches. Have over 50 ranches leased. We'll kill scheduled to kill 250 Goulds. Turkeys on over 50 ranches this year.
Run a real professional great operation. We have. Hunters that return a lot of returning people, a lot of people that are looking to, get their royal slam or world slam. And you can hunt multiple birds so you can usually guys shoot one or [00:57:00] two birds. You can actually do more than that.
The hunt structures are basically set up on a three and a half day hunt structure, and then we bring you back to the airport. We've got all the transportation, the lodging, the food the tags the guide skin and prepare all of the birds for you for export. Import back into the us, export out of Mexico, import into the us, handle all the paperwork.
The U S D A paperwork, everything. But the Goulds Turkey is an amazing bird. They actually have one more primary tilt fa feather in their fan than the other birds. They have 20. Primary tail feathers. They, the white band is much like the Miriam's, but the band itself is probably two and a half more inches long.
So it's about a three inch band, really white. They've got a lot of white they're a tall Turkey. They, most of our birds weigh between 20 and 22 pounds. They're very big footed and very tall. Compared, everyone comes and says how [00:58:00] tall they are and how, big, especially when they're full strut the birds don't get. . I don't wanna say they're easy turkeys, but they spoil me like crazy, they gobble and strut and they act like a Turkey should. These goulds very rarely have a bad day, and a lot of that is just because they don't get any pressure. . I feel like our birds in the us, if they weren't pressured as much, they would probably act a lot like these ults, but with their defense mechanisms, either not gobbling, being so completely smart and wary just because they get human interaction.
It's a real joy to be able to take people. I've, I can't tell you how many people that have said, Jay, I've hunted 40, 50 years. My, these are 60, 70, even 80 year old guys that literally are at the brink of tears. And they say, Jay, I've never seen anything like this. I've Turkey hunted my whole life and I've never seen birds act, react, gobble, strut, fight.
It's unbelievable. So for me, I just feel completely [00:59:00] blessed to even be able to take people and show them the Gould's Turkey. But it's something that's, burrowed its way into my heart. And I have a extreme passion for Turkey honey, but especially Gould's Turkey, honey. Yeah that's great.
And you know what, if you shoot a Goulds, get ahold of me. I've got nwtf pens, goulds pins sitting on my absolutely. Sit on my desk right now. So absolutely. I'll help you, I'll help you work through that. So I actually was able to award one of my one of my donors and members from Tennessee, got a Goulds Turkey.
last year. So very excited. Yeah, it's one of the biggest joys of my life is being able to help people get their Gould's Turkey and complete their royal slam, their world slam. And if they're just a spectacular bird, it's one of those things I can't really even put into words. I try and do it through the videos that I do with trying to capture how beautiful they are.
What I witness every year for the last 12 seasons down there is almost, I can't even put it into words how much interaction and gobbling and strutting and just the fear, [01:00:00] chaos. So it's, it spoils me for sure. Yeah. Jay, where can people find you on social media? Jay Scott Outdoors on Instagram Gould's Turkey Hunt on Instagram.
I also have a podcast I started in February of 2015 at I have close to 850 episodes and we talked elk, we talked Dear Turkey, pretty much everything for the Western Hunter. And yeah Jay Scott Outdoors on Facebook. Gould's Turkey Hunt on Facebook. I've got over probably 300 videos on Gould's Turkey hunting on YouTube.
Just type in j Scott Gould's, Turkey hunting, and it's just a library of hunts and strutting and gobbling of Gould's Turkey. So I'm so glad that we were able to connect and hopefully some of this information that I was sharing, guys, get out there and ro those turkeys. It's super important and anyone can reach out at any time.
Jay, thank you so much for your time. You got God bless. Okay. Same to you.[01:01:00]