Turkey Scouting: Gobbler Dropping Facts and Myths
Find a gobbler by scouting his droppings — maybe.
This is all true — some of the time. This morning I watched some local gobblers in their March mode. They haven't dispersed yet and are probably right on the edge of tending to the breeding desire. Right now these birds are running together.
The inset photo is of a dropping one longbeard left along a creek bottom, shortly after this morning's fly-down time. Swear I watched it fall (insert: This turkey blogging dude needs to get a life). You tell me though: Does it have more typical hen or gobbler characteristics?
Time outdoors scouting wild turkeys will tell you droppings vary. Hens can also leave J-shaped droppings. Gobblers might defecate undefinable evidence. I've seen fresh droppings beneath a known roost of a single adult tom turkey that resembled biological hen criteria, and vice versa. It's rarely mentioned — though some of you may have seen it — that some turkeys, males and females alike, sometimes drop dark-green splats from roost limbs and while moving around; an indication they've been feeding heavily on greened-up plant matter. A nesting hen will rise once a day and plunk down a chunky, piled-up blob.
Well, you get the idea . . . droppings aren't always uniform. They do have one common trait though: they're made by wild turkeys, and that's what we're interested in these days. Hens draw spring gobblers and that's a good thing for us hunters. Either way, if the dropping is fresh, at least one turkey is nearby. It's one piece to your scouting puzzle. Most spring gobbler hunters can benefit from reading turkey sign.
Steve Hickoff is Realtree's turkey hunting editor and blogger.