You hear a bird on the roost and you start to close in on his location. Immediately you think where can I setup? How close can I get? You want to be close enough to peak the gobbler’s interest but not risk spooking him.
After hearing a bird on the roost there are some general rules that I follow as I setup. First off, I map out the gobblers route to me. I imagine how he would make his way to me. The gobbler will work in using the terrain to his advantage. From here I make my first move. This may mean circling completely around the gobbler.
After doing my best to predict the route he may take, I determine where I want to setup along that route. I look for visibility, but cover as well. I want to have a shot opportunity but I do not want to be sitting in the wide open. I also do not like to setup close to the edge of a ridge. These places are great ambush points for predators. A turkey coming into the call will likely circle you or hang up if he is forced into this situation. Each setup I ensure visibility, cover, and room for the bird to work in as he finishes.
I look for all of the factors above to be about 200 yards away from the roost tree. Getting in to tight to the roost tree limits the gobbler’s approach to you. If you crowd him on the roost he is more likely to circle you. Another reason to stay further back is that if you need to move your setup, you have the room to do so. Your setup should not handcuff yourself nor the turkey.
The 200 yard mark allows my soft tree yelps at first light to carry to the roost tree. I simply let the gobbler know where I am. From that point on my other calls will hopefully convince him to come. The bird has the terrain to his advantage and room to work in while I have visibility and cover. If I can coax him within range of a Long Beard XR round, this usually means I punch a tag.
Chasing longbeards together,