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John's Journal... Entry 241, Day 3


Hunt Non-Pressured Gobblers And Create A Hunting Plan Using Your GPS

Editor's Note: Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is a system of satellites that circle the earth and give off signals. Each GPS satellite transmits its precise location (position and elevation) and the start time of the transmission. A GPS receiver acquires the signal and then measures the interval between transmission and receipt of the signal to determine the distance between the receiver and the satellite-a process called ranging. Once the receiver has computed range for at least three satellites, the receiver's location on the surface of the earth can be determined. Each satellite transmits two types of data, almanac and ephemeris. Almanac data, general information on the location and health of each satellite on the constellation, can be collected from any satellite. A receiver with a current almanac in its memory knows where in the sky to look for satellites, given its last known position and the time of day. Ephemeris data is the precise satellite positioning information that is used for ranging. Each satellite transmits its own ephemeris data. Both almanac and ephemeris data are required for a GPS receiver to locate and acquire satellites quickly and compute your position. GPS produces accuracies of about 27 yards or better, bringing you within visual range of a destination or a target. Most GPS receivers allow you to log waypoints, either by number or name, which remain in its memory until you either delete it or change it. Regardless of your distance from a waypoint, the computer can calculate the direction you need to travel and the distance from it. This week, Don Taylor, a longtime turkey hunter from Alabama, shares the experiences he's had hunting with his GPS receiver.

A hand-held GPS receiver allows you to hunt areas other hunters won't or can't hunt. Because most hunters rarely go more than 200 yards off any road for fear of getting lost, the turkeys that roam close to any road receive the most hunting pressure. By starting your hunt at least 1/4-mile from a road, you can get into places and pinpoint gobblers most hunters never hear or see. Often these non-pressured turkeys will respond to calling better then birds called to constantly. Too, on public lands, the GPS receiver enables you to hunt far more woods and pinpoint many more toms than hunters who don't take advantage of the GPS technology.

GPS Your Hunt Plan:
Just like a good quarterback has several game plans, a turkey hunter needs a game plan that will enable him to hunt a bird during the entire time he has to hunt. Often a hunter only plans to go to a spot where he can hear turkeys gobble from the roost and then try to call a bird to him. But if that turkey doesn't come in, another hunter or a predator spooks him, the tom gets with his hens, or any one of a hundred things happens that prevents the bird from coming to the hunter, then the hunt's over. However, by scouting, you can locate hunt sites that you can go to at various times of the day and have a chance to call a gobbler. To maximize your hunting time, use your GPS to move quickly and quietly from one location to another by the shortest route.

If you've discovered an area that you want to hunt while scouting, save them in your GPS receiver as waypoints. You also can mark a location where turkeys like to move and breed before they fly up to their roosts. You can hunt this plan all day with your GPS receiver, if you live in a state that allows all-day turkey hunting. If you don't get your turkey in the morning and you have to move several times to position yourself to call him, instead of continuing to fight that bird, you may want to go to a strut zone, feeding site or loafing area later in the morning where you may meet that gobbler or another one. You can pull up the waypoint and punch the "Navigate" button to go there.




Check back each day this week for more about SPACE-AGE GOBBLERS WITH DON TAYLOR ...

Day 1 - GPSing Albert
Day 2 - Be Lost No More
Day 3 - Hunt Non-Pressured Gobblers And Create A Hunting Plan Using Your GPS
Day 4 - The Slue-Foot Gobbler
Day 5 - Give A Turkey To A Friend

John's Journal