Chasing Spring: Scouting Mission

This is public ground on the Jacks Fork River. Each year we hunt spring gobblers on both private and national forest and we always make it out early for a preseason scouting mission. As you can see, the Missouri Ozarks River hills are steep and rugged but they have a good population of wild turkeys. The trick is getting to them. See my scouting video here.
Here is one of the food plots we have on the property. Creating clearings in the timber by establishing food plots is beneficial for turkeys, deer and other wildlife.
During my early-season scouting trips, I like to light'em up with my box call from a high vantage point to acquire a gobbler count and pinpoint turkey locations during different times of the day.
This one of our many winter supplementary feeding stations we set up on private ground. We move them frequently and then pull all feeders out during the first week of March.
We hunt our guys from shooting houses in prime turkey territory to keep human activity and pressure to a minimum. The result is gobbling turkeys during the entire Missouri spring season. We'll "run and gun" our media hunters on thousands of acres of public ground in the Ozarks.
The Ozark scenic Riverways is loaded with wild gobblers and has thousands of acres of hunting access. Hunting by boat is quite an adventure, but the river hills can also be accessed through state forest land.
Tools of my trade set out for a morning of scouting on my work bench in a shooting house.
The Jacks Fork River runs through some beautiful turkey country and by hunting by boat, you can get access to turkeys in remote areas without roads. The down side to this method is that most gobblers are straight up the bluffs when you beach the boat.
This is my first tick of 2011 on March 4th during our morning scouting trip.
After a long tiring work day in hills, Gary Lee is grilling steaks for our evening meal.
A bottle of wine for dinner is a nice addition to our evening meal.
The evening's dinner presentation not only looks good, it was delicious.
There is so much more to turkey camp than just scouting, it's about fellowship, great food and time with family and good friends.
Here's our group having coffee during our early Friday morning planning meeting. We're organizing who will go where for the morning's listening sessions. I hope you follow along on Chasing Spring to find out if all this pre-season work pays off.

Ray Eye heads to the steep Missouri bluffs to scout for his spring turkey season.