Lonely longbeard?

 I decided to try a completely different area this morning.  A place I haven't been to since April of last year.  It's a cattle farm where turkeys love to hang out.  There's a small, wooded draw with a few very large oak trees that turkeys traditionally roost.  So I made my way in there very early this morning hoping there would be some birds there.  It was in the low 30's & the moon was very bright again.  But the cloud cover made it a little more comforting as I snuck towards the roost site.  As I reached those roost trees, I scanned the large limbs with binoculars, but couldn't see a single turkey!  I looked through some of the surrounding trees & still didn't see any birds.  I know from experience, that sometimes they will roost in some large trees off the edge of the back of the pasture overlooking the river.  I checked the treetops over there & still came up empty!  The only other place I've seen them roost is on the edge of an adjacent hay field.  So I snuck back there & searched some of the treetops...nothing!  I kept easing along the edge of the field, scanning as I went.  I walked about halfway around the pasture before I finally spotted a blob way up in a tree about twenty yards back from the edge of the field.  The closer I got, I could tell it definitely was a turkey!  I looked around for others, but didn't see any.  That made me think it was probably a gobbler.  But you never know.  So I decided to try & sneak under it.  I slowly crept into the woods, carefully planning each step.  That turkey was at least fifty to sixty feet in the air & I kept wondering how I would be able to set my tripod up in order to tilt my camera straight up like that.  I was fortunate to get within fifteen yards & set up my camera gear!  As I was getting everything situated, I heard it spit & then knew it was a gobbler.  As daylight approached, he began to gobble & strut.  Then a few other gobblers way off in the distance joined in with some gobbling of their own.  I couldn't help but wonder why he was roosted where he was.  There were vines all around him & the limb he was on was not very big, nor did it look very comfortable!  Sometimes when he'd run his head out to gobble, he would hit vines!  He looked "boxed in."  As a matter of fact, I can recall two instances where he lost his balance when he gobbled.  He almost fell off the limb!  A train whistle blew in the distance & he shock gobbled.  As the train neared, he went nuts!  He must have gobbled 10 or 12 times in a row!  Then he pitched over top of me into the field.  I slowly turned my head to see through all the brush & pretty soon saw movement in the field.  It was a hen!  I'm not sure where she came from.  But she steadily walked through the field & into the woods on the far side.  The gobbler soon followed, strutting as he went.  I gave them some time to move off & snuck out as soon as I could.  It was another uneventful morning for hen talk.  But again, I got some great footage of what I thought was a lonely longbeard!


Sunrise:  7:10 a.m.


Temperature:  33 degrees


Wind:  2.5 mph


Barometer:  30.19 & steady


Location:  southwest Pennsylvania


# of gobbles heard:  70




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