CHANGES

I looked at the forecast last night and storms were predicted in our area, saying the storms should be over by 3 am and the sun was supposed to shine in the morning.  I set my alarm clock for 4:30 am and went to bed.  When I woke this morning, I opened the front door and checked the weather; it was not raining and about 55 degrees.  I quickly got dressed and grabbed a cup of coffee before I headed to my McCracken County farm.  After grabbing a quick sausage and egg sandwich, I was off again.  When I arrived at the farm, I still had plenty of time to cross the field and climb the ridge, as planned.  But the combination of a freshly plowed field and rain from last night was not a good one.  My boots gained about 20 pounds each – what a muddy mess!

I finally made it across the field and crept up to the top of the ridge, where I found a good place to sit down and listen for a gobble.  The wind had picked up and I heard no gobbles.  After about 10 minutes of silence, I worked my way down the back side of the ridge, into the back field.  I saw what looked like a fan several hundred yards away, in an adjoining field.  I worked my way around the edge of the field (it was filled with goldenrods, the Kentucky State Flower) and into the woodlot where I was able to close the distance on the turkeys.  The woods have greened, up making it easier to move around without being detected. 

As I neared the far edge of the woods, I spotted two gobblers strutting and one Jake standing guard, watching for any sign of danger.  (This is a very typical senecio in the spring, one does most of the breeding, another one does a lot of strutting, and usually a subordinate bird stands watch.)  They were about 300 yards away, so I was glad I had my binoculars.   I watched them for a few minutes and decided to back out and check some other fields.  I didn’t see anything else this morning, so I returned to my truck for the 40-minute journey back to my farm. As I was driving back to my farm, I was thinking that it had only been a week since I had scouted on this one, and in that short time frame, a lot of things had changed.  First, spring was early this year.   Everything was green.  Second, the field in which I crossed was plowed (last year the field was not plowed until after turkey season was out).  And third, I saw no hens with the gobblers. I’m thinking that some of the hens were nesting already.  You must adjust your strategy as conditions change during the turkey season.  Hope your season is a safe and successful one.  Don’t forget to enjoy yourself and all of God’s creation this turkey season.

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