Trail Cameras For Turkeys

Trail cameras can be a great tool for scouting for your next turkey hunt.  Here’s a few ideas for fine tuning your trail camera set up for turkeys. Camera placement for turkeys should focus on a few different places..

  • Strut Zones
  • Roosting Areas
  • Food Sources
  • Fence CrossingsUsing trail cameras for turkeys

Strut Zones- Strut zones are generally open areas that double as a food source where hens frequent and toms will strut their stuff looking for willing hens. It’s usually a spot toms will hit shortly after roost if a tom isn’t already with hens. In big open fields, find a pinch point or open trails that turkeys will use entering the field. Using multiple cameras will increase your luck tenfold around strut zones and can help narrow down particular trails that turkeys may or may not be using. There may be times where a group of birds will spend most of there day in a big, open fields. If a tom is henned up and busy corralling his mirage of hens, then he will probably care less about your decoy set up. The only chance at him might be by setting up where he enters or exits the field.

Roosting Areas- I really like putting trail cameras close to roosting areas for a couple different reasons. One of the few things that seem to be consistent in the turkey woods is roosting locations. Not necessarily where birds might roost day after day throughout the season, but a handful of locations where you know there could be turkeys roosted. If you set up multiple trail cameras at each location then you might be able to pattern a particular bird or group of birds just like you would a big buck or at least no they are there in the first place.

Food Sources- Throughout the spring season, turkeys feed on a variety of plants, insects, and seeds. Earlier in the spring, before the green up, turkeys will still be primarily feeding on harvested ag fields such as corn or soybeans.turkey gobbling on trail camera In the timber you’ll find areas of disturbed leaves where the turkeys have been scratching for acorns and other nuts. On southern facing exposures turkeys will seek out the first green shoots of plants. As the season progresses, and the temperatures warm, turkeys will move to hayfields, pastures, and disturbed ag fields where they will be feeding on insects, grass shoots, and other seeds they find along the way. Cattle pastures are another hot spot that can hold turkeys. They will flip over old cow pies feeding on bugs and worms, and even “recycled” grain in the manure. Clover food plots will attract turkey basically year round. Setting up trail cameras around a food source to try and pattern turkeys can be a bit of a challenge if the food source is large. Again, multiple cameras is the way to go. A lot of guys will put a t-post in the ground or buy a camera holder so they can place a camera in the middle of  a plot. Turkeys might be a little timid of a camera in the middle of the field at first but it doesn’t take them long to get used it.

trail camera for turkey hunting tipsFence Crossings- How many times have you had a turkey coming in hard to your set up to all the sudden get hung up at a fence crossing? For some reason, turkeys just do not like to fly over fences, so where there’s a hole in the fence or an open gate can be a great spot for a trail camera as you catch turkeys coming and going.

Blow the dust off your trail cameras and get put the odds in your favor for the upcoming season!

Zach Jumps
Huntingmanager@heartlandlodge.com

Guided Turkey Hunts in Illinois

Last Updated: March 12th, 2019

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