Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Float, Flush or Sit for Water Gobblers

Gobblers roosting over water have a tactical advantage, but these three tips can help you score. (NWTF media photo)

By Steve Hickoff 

Sometimes gobblers you want roost in trees over swamps, along remote rivers and in general over any water they can find. It gives them a sense of security, you figure. Don’t let them rest too easy though—use these three tactics to put a tag on one of those water roosters.


You can throw a canoe or kayak on your truck and navigate swollen rivers to turkeys. You can pull your trailered tin boat to a wet location. Use locator calls to contact gobblers on watery roosts. Tie up your small boat on dry land. Move toward that bird you’ve found. Sometimes you’ll call in and kill fresh turkeys no one else has even gotten close to due to access issues.


If the turkeys roost over low water near dry land scatter the birds off the roost right after fly-up time, before you hunt the next morning. You can also do this right before fly-down. Get in there well before daybreak. Note the flight direction after you flush birds. Find scattered turkeys with locator calls or simply listen for gobbles to start. They’ll want to get flocked back together. Move on the vocal males and set up—ideally between lonely yelping hens and the bearded turkey you want to kill. 


Stormy wet weather can deal us some tough playing hands in spring. Some turkeys around the country roosted over water not there the previous season. The trick to hunting these spots is close study. The gobblers will fly down. It may take a day or two in there to see what dry land they favor in this changing situation. You can pattern them over a few days—using your Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side—to find exactly where you should be when they hit dry land.