The last few days have been cold and rainy, and the birds have been silent. Today I decided to get out before daylight in hopes of hearing some gobbles. Through the darkness, I worked my way across the cut bean field to the edge of the ridge. I paused for about a minute and listened. I heard nothing, so I continued slowly up the trail towards the top of the ridge. Before I reached the top, I heard a close gobble. I hurried to find a place to sit down by a big tree because it was beginning to get light, and he was close. I heard him again, and I thought I had gotten too close. I scanned the ridge for the old gobbler and finally picked him out on a limb, only 75 yards away. Every time he gobbled, it felt like the ground shook. He gobbled 59 times on the limb and only 1 time on the ground, where he met up with a hen. I did hear 2 other birds gobbling in the area, but they weren’t as close as this big old boy. What an exciting morning this turned out to be! I can hardly wait till the season comes in on April 18th (which is my birthday).