How His Smartphone Improved Gary Sefton’s Turkey Hunts

Recording turkey sign and sightings on your Smartphone’s satellite map of your area is invaluable; so is accurate wind/weather forecasts.


By Gary Sefton, ScoutLook Contributor

As a wild turkey hunter I am always on the watch for tips to help locate and call the wild turkey gobbler. Recently I’ve gotten help by using innovation and technology that gives me a welcome “leg-up on the hunt.” Currently my turkey gear includes clothes, boots, blinds and even some calls that are the result of space-age manufacturing methods, and now, thanks to ScoutLook’s advanced digital/cellular mobile technology, we hunters also have the unique Scoutlook Hunting app for smartphones.

Your smartphone won’t be able to locate a turkey or call one up or aim your shotgun for you, but it will make any turkey hunter more efficient and effective. And it’s just so convenient. You should always have your phone along while hunting so the app isn’t “additional equipment” to carry; it’s also free, the final ingredient to making this app a genuine no-brainer. Don’t have it? Download it to your iPhone or Android today from your smartphone’s App Store.

ScoutLook’s easy-to-follow tutorials for every operation make it super-easy to use, and the applications are many. The advantage of marking and saving the locations of turkey roosting, loafing and feeding areas—even strut zones—on a detailed satellite map of your hunting area you carry in your pocket is invaluable. Knowing the location of a prime turkey ambush spot is a huge “foot in the door,” but I consider ScoutLook’s accurate and detailed weather forecasts absolute “must-see” info prior to (and even during) all of my turkey hunts.

ScreenTurks600The advantage of instantly logging turkey sign into your ScoutLook Hunting app is huge; with the use of your satellite view Map you can instantly see logical travel patterns, which also equate to a whole host of smart hunting setups.I know many of us must hunt on weekends or during pre-scheduled work vacations—weather or not—but using the ScoutLook Hunting app for instant access to “real-time” weather conditions, with hour-by-hour temperature and precipitation forecasts, even real-time radar—will let you “micro manage” your day (or days) for maximum success. Using this info will not only tell you which areas to hunt, but how to dress and where to set up, and you’ll also have a good solid timeline for when things should start “happening.”

For example, if I see an extended run of steady rain on my ScoutLook forecast, I know a specialized tactic will be in order. Why? My experience has shown that during steady rain, turkeys prefer open areas—away from the confusing motion and sounds created by rain in the woods.

So I pack a ground blind and set it in one of my Scoutmarked “feeding” fields and stake it down securely. I’ll also set out some decoys and then hunker down with complete confidence. Why? I know I’ll be hunting where the turkeys want to be, with the luxury of having a welcome roof over my head. And if I’m in my blind and see a severe spring thunderstorm approaching on my ScoutLook radar, I will find some suitable shelter and “ride it out” so I can be in position when the storm passes. This is a critical window of opportunity.

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With rain in the forecast many turkey hunters might stay home or wait it out at the diner. When his ScoutLook app calls for extended showers, Sefton knows it’s time to bring his favorite blind and a few decoys, and set up in a favorite turkey feeding field—the type of ‘open’ area (see above) he knows turkeys favor in wet weather.

Turkeys can get scattered during sudden storms. Those gobblers that have been gobbling at thunder-claps will want to get back together with the hens when the storm passes, so typically, they will trip over their beards running to you when you yelp at them. I’ve seen it happen many times.

High wind is a turkey hunter’s worst nightmare, and these unfavorable conditions also call for a specialized approach. If I see sustained wind speeds over 15 mph forecasted on my ScoutLook app, I hunt “hollows” that are out of the wind. That way I can hear the local turkeys and they can hear me.

This past year I roosted a turkey very near my house one evening, but he flew up right in the middle of a bunch of hens so I knew he would be trouble the next morning. The ScoutLook forecast called for heavy rain all night and all of the next day. The next morning I got up and sure enough, it was still pouring hard enough to call most anything off—but I had a gobbler located and he wasn’t far. I checked the ScoutLook weather radar for loopholes but none existed, so I grabbed my shotgun, a cushion, a rainsuit and a diaphragm call and hit the woods. I got close and called hard and got that bird cranked up. The hens decided to “sleep in” on that miserable morning—as I thought they might—so I was the only game in town.  The eventual result? A very wet gobbler went home with me. Another score for me and my ScoutLook Hunting app.

2ndPhoneShot 600Whether you are laying out hunting strategies for future hunts in your home office or “playing it by ear” on location in the big woods, the satellite maps on the ScoutLook Hunting app are almost like being there.Staying connected in real time with current weather conditions, live radar, and hour-by-hour updates of wind speed and direction is invaluable to savvy turkey hunters. So is knowing moon phases and major and minor feeding times, which are more prime factors in a smart success formula. The ScoutLook Hunting app brings you these and more, and did I mention it’s free?

Whether you are laying out hunting strategies for future hunts in your home office or “playing it by ear” on location in the big woods, the satellite maps on the ScoutLook Hunting app are almost like being there. Remember the maps are actual photos, with enough detail when “zoomed in” to show fields, timber, likely feeding areas and travel intersections for prime setup spots.

Are you lucky enough to have several places to hunt? The ScoutLook Hunting logging system will help you keep track of turkey populations and activities, and establish hot patterns, on as many properties as you have time to scout. If you are hunting or planning to hunt unfamiliar terrain, you can “zoom-in” on the satellite map to your anticipated location, find out what surrounding areas look like, and determine the best route to your setup without “thrashing around” in strange territory and generally terrorizing the local wildlife.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo enough scouting and log enough turkey sign in your ScoutLook Hunting app, and even if one gobbler gets the best of you your hunt is never over. It’s simply time to move on to the next-likely setup.Even after the many advances of the past 10 years or so I would consider myself somewhat smartphone challenged, but after more than half a century of hunting turkeys and just a few years of using the ScoutLook Hunting app, I know there is nothing not to like about having this much information at your beck and call, in the palm of your hand. You’ll still need to get up early to get to the gobbler you roosted last evening, but now, you’ll have him marked on your app map so you’ll know exactly where to go and where and how to set up. And if he flies down with a bunch of hens and wanders off instead of responding to your pleading hen yelps, you’ll know how to get ahead of them courtesy of the flock movement patterns in your app log. And if you strike out with one gobbler, the game isn’t over. You can check out likely alternatives marked on your map.


In the end, you will probably lose as many confrontations as you win with spring gobblers, as the app isn’t magic. But I promise you, the ScoutLook Hunting app will make good turkey hunters better turkey hunters. And with spring turkeys, that kind of an edge can be all it takes to close the deal on even the cagiest of birds.

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