Have You Ever Seen Turkeys Roosting in These Places?
Travel the country enough to hunt wild turkeys and you'll see birds roost in some unusual places.
1. Telephone Poles
In places like Texas, where roost cover might include live oaks where available, wild turkeys might also choose other places to roost. This sometimes includes telephone poles.
2. The Ground
Ask anyone who has hunted Hawaii, and they'll tell you those transplanted Rio Grande turkeys often gobble from the ground in the dark. Why?
No ground predators . . . unless you count human hunters.
3. Manmade Structures Over Water
I once had a non-hunting reader back in my newspaper outdoor-column days tell me they had wild turkeys roosting in tree branches near their backyard swimming pool. They wanted to know what they could do about it.
"Are you feeding them?" I asked.
"Yes," they replied.
As my friends know, I like to call these turkeys "untouchables."
I know, you'll never see the town dump featured in a classic wildlife painting of strutting gobblers. Still . . .
A friend once told me about locating a northern New Jersey bird on the roost at daybreak and slinking in, then setting up. That strutter, he said, had to navigate a toppled rusty stove, broken bottles and several bed mattresses to come into range. Beautiful bird.
The surroundings, not so much.
5. Barnyard Buildings
I was hunting out West, with access permission from the landowner, and simply couldn't figure why the hammering gobbler wouldn't come to my sweet hen yelping in the nearby river bottom.
By day two, I eased closer, only to see silhouetted hens, with the strutting tom, on the roof of a big building near a cattle feed lot before fly-down.
What's the strangest turkey roost you've ever seen? Comment below.
Steve Hickoff is Realtree.com's editorial director and turkey hunting editor. He’s been beaten by more birds than he can remember. Still he kills enough to eat well, and fool with beards, spurs and fans until the next season. Pennsylvania born and raised, Maine is his home base now. A full-time outdoor communicator with a couple university writing degrees, he chases spring gobblers and fall flocks around the country.