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Scouting Croatan Forest Game Lands For Turkeys

Did some scouting in the Croatan National Forest Game Lands before the season begins on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

My usual turkey hunting spot was inaccessible due to closed roads. Clean up has yet to be completed from Hurricane Florence last year, so I ran across a lot of these below.

Croatan Forest Game Lands Road Closed
My first Road Closed sign…
Croatan Game Lands Road Closed
My second Road Closed sign. Ended up finding 4 areas that are closed off.

It’s a good 4 miles or better walk past the first road closed sign to my normal turkey hunting areas. Two bridges along the way that I am sure are washed out as to being why the road is closed. Once you get to the gate where I would normally hunt, it is probably another three miles back in the woods to get to prime hunting areas. Not wanting to make a 14 mile round trip hike, I decided to check out other areas that I’ve never explored. The Croatan is over 150 thousand acres, so there is plenty of other areas to scout.

Foot Traffic Only
Not sure why people feel the need to shoot things up.


I found a area that has a nice hardwood bottom, that is outlined with towering pine trees and has a clear cut field near by. Looks to be very promising. In this area I found plenty of tracks and scratching’s.

Here is a faint gobbler track I found in this area I’ve never ventured out in.

Gobbler Track
Very faint gobbler track.

This is a video of some more faint gobbler tacks I took while walking along the path. I was seeing good signs of turkeys being around. This is very promising since the area I normally hunt turkeys is closed off for now.

I came up to a hardwood bottom area that had towering pine trees lining it with a clear cut field close by. A gave a crow call a few times and got a response from a tom not very far off. Once I learned the area was holding turkeys, I headed back to the truck. You can hear the tom gobble back at the crow call, he was maybe 80 yards off from where I was standing. I’ll use this area for opening morning Saturday, April 13th, 2019.



Turkey Tracks

The Friday before opening day here in NC I spent a day doing some scouting. I found plenty of signs of turkeys being around in the form of tracks, scratching and droppings.

Croatan public game lands is a very large tract of land, over 157,000 acres. There is plenty of room for hunters and even more importantly plenty of turkeys.

The days before I did some scouting it had rained some. The rain was just enough to leave some nice turkey  tracks in the mud from gobblers. The picture below is a turkey track of a tom just cruising around possibly looking for hens or just roaming around looking for food.


Here is another turkey track of a monster sized big tom. I was shocked how big the track was, how well define the print is and the depth of the turkeys foot print in the mud.