By Glen Wunderlich
Spring has been a long time coming and it still doesn’t seem like it wants to be here. Even returning perennial plants don’t seem to be sure it’s safe to venture all the way out. But, I just made a bold move in spite of the weather’s fickleness and the rock salt and snow shovel have been stored. No way around the calendar, however, and it says turkey season has arrived!
My friend, Joe, and I hadn’t done any scouting and only two days remained before our May 2nd opener. Our plan was to get up with the birds and hide and watch. The perfect location for the task was inside our deer hunting shack dubbed the chalet, which overlooks acres of food plots. We put the heat on and opened the plexiglass windows with the sun at our backs.
The legume plots were sprouting with valuable nutrients for the birds and winter-stressed deer. Some of last season’s brassica plants had begun to emerge from their roots, but were far behind their flowering stage, as they were this time last year.
Rain water forced worms and night crawlers to squirm to the earth’s surface to avoid sure drowning, only to face the ravenous craving of crows, robins, sandhill cranes and other birds of the carnivorous feather. We hoped for turkeys to join in the heaven-sent bonanza.
By 8am the field was alive with the sounds of spring. A magnificent male gold finch lit atop a nearby spruce whistling his song of love. Song sparrows got their licks in, too. And, sure enough, turkeys poked their way into the mix.
I had a spotting scope for the purpose of critical identification so I focused it on the small gang. Three hens and one proud Tom had already made our day, as they began what turned out to be a rather protracted display.
The gobbler was very much in full bloom – as puffed up as a piñata. He danced, while changing colors before our eyes and belted out a distinctive gobble now and then.
His lady friends? Well, I’m not even sure they knew he was there. I think they may have been deaf and blind. Maybe they were his sisters. In any case, he was being ignored. But, the lack of cooperation by the opposite sex didn’t distract him. He may not have been the biggest potential suitor but that sure didn’t stop him from trying.
For several hours Read more