Understanding turkey hunter behavior can be just as beneficial as learning actual turkey movements throughout the season. These figures, provided by Mike Chamberlin, show the typical behavior of both turkeys and turkey hunters on public land in South Carolina during the 2018 season.
Turkeys tracked in green, while hunters are marked in red. The satellite view will seem as if the turkeys and hunters are pretty evenly distributed, but when transferring things over to the road map you’ll see how few of the hunters were willing to leave the comfort zone of the trail they traveled. On average, hunters stayed less than 100 yards from a road, with 40% only traveling 30 yards and never losing sight of the blacktop.
Most Public Land Warriors can vouch for this and rarely pay much attention to the number of trucks parked along their local state or federal public land entryways. They know the bird they’re after that morning will likely never even hear the attempted owl hoot from most of these comfort-zone hunters, in which will usually be back home before eight o’clock telling their buddies that the birds are just too pressured on public lands and can’t seem to figure how anybody hears a gobble out there.
A two-mile walk through the woods and swamplands before daybreak isn’t for everybody, but it’s really not too bad when making it with 18 lbs over your shoulder.