Early gobbler group
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)
Barometer: 30.39 & rising
Location: southwest Pennsylvania
# of gobbles heard: 70