Copyright © 1998 -
Roger W. Raisch * Nadine Adele, all rights reserved
So-called strut zones are
areas where gobblers go to strut and attract hens.
They usually are flat,
open areas where visibility is good and where there is a food source. They are not necessarily small,
confined spaces as the name implies, but may be as large as an open ridgetop, a secluded
field corner, a large harvested field, or a flat creek bottom.
Many authors and hunters feel
that these "hot spots" are places a gobbler picks out to do his strutting to
attract hens. While this may appear to be true, strut zones are actually places that
hens choose as good food sources.
Hens routinely go there and
gobblers know that. This is why gobblers will go there, and gobble and gobble to
attract hens...or they will go there and strut, waiting for a hen to appear.
Hunters find it hard to
understand why gobblers that are apparently alone, come off roost and leave them rather
than come to their calls.
In some cases, hens come to
them and lead them away. Often, lone toms go to strut zones where hens frequently
visit them for breeding.
They hear and may gobble to
your calls, but they expect you to come to them at the usual rendezvous.
A gobbler may have several
favorite strut zones and use none of them frequently enough for you to determine a
pattern. Other toms use a single spot habitually.
If you work the same gobbler
several days in a row and you hear prolonged periods of gobbling from a single spot, he is
probably waiting for you in one of his favorite strutting areas.
You may never be able to coax
him away from a spot where he is used to receiving hens no matter how sweet your calls.
Scouting for strut
zones before and during the spring hunting season is a SECRET tactic that many hunters never bother to do.
By spending several
mornings and late afternoons in the area you intend to hunt, you will locate toms by
listening to them gobble, seeing them, or both.
This information should be
noted on topographic maps of the area. These maps, with your year-to-year
notations, is a road map of turkey activity. In future years, just refer to the map
to begin your hunt.
Gobblers are very predictable
when it comes to strut zones. If
habitat is not changed, strut zones remain consistent for years.