Wild Turkey Tip: Scout for Evening-Only Ambushes

Most wild turkey hunters spend their time focusing on morning hunts, but it’s smart to scout for evening-only ambush locations to maximize your chances of filling a tag.

Wild Turkey Tip: Scout for Evening-Only Ambushes

When my home state of Minnesota offered its first modern-day wild turkey season in 1978, the regulations mandated that turkey hunting stop at noon. My buddies and I often debated the rationale behind this decision. We think it had to do with encouraging hunters to spend their dollars eating lunch and supper in small towns across the central and southern regions of the state (turkey country), but it likely was based in science, too. Wildlife biologists thought it made sense to give the birds the afternoon and evening off, which likely reduced the overall number of birds harvested.

Because the Minnesota wild turkey population increased dramatically through the years, the noon closure was replaced with a sunset closure, which is generally the law of the land throughout the turkey’s range from coast to coast. With the opportunity to pursue wild turkeys until sunset, it only makes sense to take advantage of it with a late-in-the-day ambush plan.

As you’ll see in the video below, Kevin Beasley, host of the popular “Canada in the Rough” YouTube channel, understands the value of having ambush locations set up specifically for evenings. For these ambushes to be most successful, it’s best to avoid these areas during the morning or midday. Through scouting, you can find those fields that gobblers visit before finally hitting the trees to roost.

Note: Beasley isn’t recommending sitting under roost trees. Instead, he’s hoping to lure a tom into his decoy setup (jake with a hen) as the bird is stopping for a bedtime snack. The system is deadly when scouting reveals such an opportunity. Of course, the key is arriving to the field before the turkeys to avoid spooking them. In the video, Beasley gets set up in his blind just in time. In fact, he sits for only 45 minutes before arrowing his bird. 

If possible, it makes sense to place a pop-up ground blind for an evening ambush a day or two before you plan to sit in it. And if the weather is decent (good protection from wind, and no snow in the forecast), you can leave a ground blind in place for a week or more. This greatly reduces the time it takes for you to get ready for an evening sit. If the field is clear of turkeys, you can hustle to your blind, stake a couple decoys and then begin hunting.

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