Early gobbler group

February 27, 2018

 

 

After hearing some birds on another ridge yesterday morning, I decided to get over there & see if I could find them today.  Best I could tell, they were roosted near the top of the ridge close to a high knob.  I've never been in there in the daylight, let alone in the dark.  So I hoped I wouldn't have too hard of a time getting in there! 

 

It was twenty eight degrees when I parked the truck & checked my GPS this morning.  I was a little late getting started.  But as long as I didn't have too much trouble, I figured I'd be ok.  It was easy walking the gas well road to the top of the ridge.  Once I reached the top, I followed my GPS, which led me through an open cow pasture towards the high knob I was looking at from across the hollow yesterday.  But when I got within two hundred yards of the knob, I looked to the treetops below me & noticed a few blobs.  Of course, I forgot my binoculars in the truck!  So I couldn't tell for sure that the blobs were actually turkeys.  I snuck down through the pasture to get a better look.  Sure enough, I could tell they were turkeys & I could see at least three of them!  I thought to myself, "they're probably gobblers."  For a second, I thought about continuing on out the ridge to that knob where the birds were roosted yesterday.  But I didn't think I had enough time.  So I decided to try & get close to the birds in hand.  They were roosted on a wooded sidehill below this cow pasture I now stood in.  As long as there wasn't a bunch of underbrush, I figured I should be able to get right under them.  I sat my camera gear down, put on some extra clothes & began sneaking.  I was able to get within five yards of the bird roosted highest on the ridge!  The other two were only fifteen to twenty yards away.  The sky was clear & it was just beginning to break daylight as I got my camera gear ready & settled in.  I sure was glad I didn't try going out the ridge any farther to check for more birds!  Soon, I could hear the bird to my right spitting on the limb.  So I knew at least one of them was a gobbler.  Then, I could see the closest one  (pretty much right above me) was fanning out as well.  I kept hoping there might be some hens roosted nearby that I couldn't see.  As daylight approached, they began gobbling.  Surprisingly, there were two more gobblers maybe twenty five yards to my left as well.  Every now & then, a few other birds would gobble across the hollow, which sounded like they were roosted where I was yesterday.  But as it got brighter, the birds gobbled their heads off!  As their anticipation grew, a couple of them did some yelping too.  Eventually, they pitched out over top of me & into the pasture behind me.  After settling their pecking order, they finally moved off towards that high knob & allowed me to sneak out of there undetected.  Surprisingly, I never heard a hen yelp anywhere.

 

Sunrise:  6:54 a.m

 

Temperature:  28 degrees (clear & sunny)

 

Wind:  calm

 

Barometer:  30.39 & rising

 

Location:  southwest Pennsylvania

 

# of gobbles heard:  70

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