Hang on tight!

 

 

 

After checking the weather this morning, I decided to visit the same roost site that I did yesterday.  There was a 25% chance of rain at 6 a.m. but it dropped to 0% after that.  It wasn't raining at the time so I figured I'd give it a shot.  It was a 42 degrees & a little windy when I left the truck, but not too bad.  It rained on & off through the night, so I was able to move a little quicker than normal.  When I reached the ridgetop, I checked the roost trees from a distance with my binoculars & couldn't see any birds.  So I eased in a little farther & checked again...nothing!  I looked all around thinking they might be in different trees...still nothing!  But it was pretty cloudy & dark which made it difficult to see them.  So I moved in closer...finally, I could see maybe 5 or 6 birds!  When I got within 30-40 yards of one of them, it stood up & strutted!  I could tell it was a longbeard.  There was at least 3 other birds about 20 yards past him & I figured one of them might be a hen, so I got closer to them.  I decided to set up at the base of a large blow down about 10 yards from the closest turkey!  As I got my camera gear ready, the wind really picked up & it started to rain!  I was stuck there now.  I wasn't leaving.  I hurried & got my camera covered to keep it somewhat dry.  Luckily, the rain let up.  But the wind didn't let up!  I adjusted my microphone's settings by turning on the wind filter & got settled in.  The treetops were swaying in the stiff wind & I wondered how in the world a turkey could even hang on!  I didn't think they would talk much this morning in these conditions...& I was right.  As daylight approached, it seemed like the wind picked up even more!  I could see 6 turkeys swaying in the treetops.  A lot fewer in number than yesterday.  A jake yelped a few times & then let out a half gobble as it began to break daylight.  The wind made it feel a lot colder than it actually was, that's for sure.  Then, I thought I heard an older hen tree yelp real soft.  I wasn't sure which turkey it was though.  Eventually I had just enough camera light to single out a turkey & zoom in on it.  Right away, I could see it was a jake.  Again, I thought I heard an older hen yelp, so I panned the camera to one of the other birds & I could tell it was a jake as well!  The wind would gust & those turkeys looked like they were in a high-wire act at a circus!  Their tails act as a counter weight to help them balance.  When it's that windy, they appear to be a seesaw on a limb!  Anyways, I picked out another bird, zoomed in on it & noticed it was a jake too.  I would swear I heard a hen!  I was definitely fooled by the yelping of the one jake.  It sounded like a hen!  But from what I could tell, they were all jakes except the one longbeard.  If I would have known that, I would have set up where I had a better camera angle on the longbeard.  They would yelp & gobble a little, then get blown around for a while.  Then the longbeard started yelping & pretty soon, the jake I was zoomed in on pitched down.  It wasn't long & they all followed suit.  The jakes chased each other around once they were on the ground & eventually ganged up on the longbeard!  They headed up past me towards a pasture & out of sight.  I think this flock has started to break up.  That's three times now in the past week that I've visited this particular roost site that there's been a lot less birds (no hens twice)!

 

Sunrise:  6:57 a.m.

 

Temperature:  42 degrees @ 4:30 - dropped to 35 degrees by 7:30

 

Wind:  VERY windy!

 

Barometer:  28.63 & rising

 

Location:  Southwest Pennsylvania

 

# of gobbles heard:  11

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