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The Gobblers Return

Every year, just before Thanksgiving, the wild turkeys disappear. They reappear early in the New Year, sometime before March. Today, four Toms showed up. I saw them running across the field to the cabin where they stopped abruptly. They must have remembered the water trough and cracked corn from last year. In anticipation of their return, I had already loaded up on cracked corn.

The hens typically appear later in the season. Eventually, one of the Tom's might take up herding one or more of the hens. And that could result in seeing turkey babies later in the summer. It doesn't always happen. I suspect predation is the issue because there never seems to be a shortage of eager Toms.

They are actually not gobbling right now. There is a season for gobbling. When that starts all one has to do with make loud noise--slam a car door, for example--and the male turkeys will start gobbling. Unfortunately, in area where turkeys are hunted, this "shock gobble" response give their location away. They have nothing to worry about on my land.

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