Flash hunts often insist that you know the land well enough to anticipate what a gobbler will do when you call. You can read terrain by scouting year-round. You can study roost locations as they shift. What path will a flash hunt turkey take to you? Will it chance at hanging up? Will it be on an adjacent property? If so, can you secure permission there? You want to make it as easy as possible to get on that bird, call it in and tag it.
My flash hunts in my home state, and the places I road trip too, often involve small habitats that border larger areas. I try to study turkey behavior in the spots I flash hunt regularly. Ideally these consist of:
1) A favored roost, year after year.
2) A habitat with consistent food sources (hens hit it; strutters follow).
3) A location other guys aren’t likely to hunt.
4) An open grassy field with edge cover and woods where hens might nest (gobblers are likely nearby).
Think of it as flash hunt time- and terrain-based quality control.
No-Time Tactic: One New Hampshire hunting bud has a winning streak string of spring kills dating back to the 80s. His current flash hunt spot is just several acres in size, but it flanks a larger area no one can hunt. That spot holds turkeys. He’s actually posted his location for the landowner, and has sole hunting permission. He’s never skunked, and often kills on the opener. If he hasn’t tagged then, chances are he’s passed on birds. You do whatever it takes.
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.