Gobblers in February By Robert Hoague
Feb 20, 2009 - 6:03:56 PM
I met Rick Philippi in Fort Worth and we drove to his ranch in north Texas. We dropped our gear off at his camper and got ready for an afternoon in the deer and turkey woods. Rick drove me to an area at the crest of a sloping hill and I got in a portable ground blind and pulled in my camera gear and bow.
Visibility here is good this time of the year so it was easy to keep track of any goings on. Nothing happened for the first two hours and then, just after 5:00pm, I noiticed a narrow redish object ninety yards away in the woods. The head of a wild turkey gobbler.
I glassed them and ID-ed them as 4 gobblers. And they appeared to be near a prominent game trail that runs directly in front of the small ground blind I was inside. If they continued in my direction they might just walk by me at 10 to 15 yards.
And maybe I would get lucky and get some pictures of some February, Rio Grande gobblers. I got my camera out and waited.
Turkeys can make you nuts, one minute they seem to be coming toward you and the next they are wandering off in a different direction. And every time they spot something to eat they put on the breaks and scarf down a tasty grain kernel, wild fruit or bug.
It took a while but they zig zagged their way down to me. I took the first pic as one stepped into view 25 yards to my right.
Two more followed the leader and my Sony did its job again.
A characteristic of wild turkeys is that they always keep an eye out for something to eat. And this gobblers is on the job right now.
Or should I say, these gobblers are no exception.
This gobbler makes a close inspection and turns in my direction. The others follow and I zero in with the Sony and share a close up moment with ya.
Wild Turkeys have excellent vision. However, the inside of the ground blind is black and in the darkness these gobblers can not see me in my black jacket and face mask. He stops and looks around and and I take another pic.
It takes a few steps closer and I take aim at its head grab another pic.
Another one turns just right and is close enough, for a good pic of its head. I zoom in on it.
Another charcteristic of wild turkeys is they always keep track of what is around them. This gobbler is on the job while the others search for a snack or two.
Now the gobbler in front of me does a 180 and walks toward the gobbler on watch.
And they are off and on their way down the trail. In an hour they will be either roosting or on their way to roost.
I took the last picture at 5:20 so to get these pictures I sat in the wilderness from 3:00 until dark, a bit over 4 hours. Soooo, was it woth the wait to see and take pics of these 4 gobblers.
Yep. Positively. How lucky I was to be in the right place at the right time. Life is good.