Turkeys in Training
I’m thrilled that I’m starting to get season updates from blog readers, and I just got this great email from...
I’m thrilled that I’m starting to get season updates from blog readers, and I just got this great email from Judy Black. She was bowhunting for whitetails when she got to see some exciting displays of nature at play.
What’s your best moment of the ’08 season so far? Or do you have a favorite daybreak story from seasons past? In the meantime, I’ll get out of the way and let Judy tell hers. – K.H.
I absolutely love the sound of the world waking up, and there is no place better than a tree stand to experience it. On Saturday morning my husband had harvested a doe and cleaned it out on the south end of the field where I hunt. I hunted my stand Saturday night and there were a few deer in the field feeding when they all came to full alert. I thought, _what the heck is coming that caught their attention?_ I couldn't see anything from my stand but they sure could. Now if you have ever been in a treestand and had turkeys come through, you know they sound like a small freight train. They not only make a lot of noise as they move through the field or brush, but they are constantly making clucking noises. With none of that going on, I waited to see what had caught the deer's attention. Soon two small, young turkeys showed up and they made little noise, only faint little "peeps." Once they made their way through the field, the deer could see them and settled back to eating. The youngsters moved along and eventually I saw them fly up into a tree to roost. The next morning I was in my stand at first light and the crows and ravens were feeding on the remains of the doe that was harvested the day before. They would take turns flying in, taking a piece and then you could hear them as they flew overhead. As they flew over, I remember thinking how cool it was to hear the wind under their wings. I had heard the turkeys fly out of their roost but they didn't come out on the field. I listened as the blue jays and chickadees came to life. The squirrels ran up and down the pine tree next to me knocking down the pine cones. A woodpecker broke the morning silence with his extremely LOUD pecking. The deer continued to feed in the field and when they were out of sight, you could hear them pulling up a mouthful of rape and chewing it. As I sat there, I heard a sound that was unfamiliar to me. It was like a shrill whistle and then almost like a yelp. Again and again I would hear this and even pulled up my face mask to hear it more clearly. Again and again but often it would be two whistles and a yelp. Then one whistle and two or three yelps, moving around but not far. I finally figured out that what I was hearing was the young turkeys. They were too young to make the sounds that the older turkeys do, but were working their young voices up to the yelps and clucks. By the time I left my stand, I heard more yelps and whistles. Not long after the turkeys moved away, I saw a head bounding through the tall grass on the south/west side of my field. _What in the world was that,_ I found myself saying out loud. I leaned forward and a large coyote raced across the field towards the spot where the doe had been cleaned. The trees came to life with crows and ravens and the sound was deafening. Within minutes, movement caught my eye and another coyote came out of the woods. He stood on the west side of the field about 60 yards from the tree that I sat in. Soon another coyote joined him and they stood together on a rotten log. The two of them wanted to join the first one across the field but soon turned to walk back into the woods. Those two were not out of sight when I spotted yet another coyote making his way to the field. Four coyotes in less than 10 minutes. Almost immediately the three of them moved back in to the woods and disappeared. I climbed down out of my stand and couldn't wait to get home and tell of my morning in the blind. My husband told me he thought that was better than seeing the 8 point bucks that had frequented my field. Many people don't get to see a coyote in their lifetime and those that are lucky enough to get to see one. I got to see four in one sitting. I cannot stress to people how wonderful it is to sit and listen to the world wake up. Whether it is on your front porch, on your back deck, in a tree or at a park, there just is nothing better. It truly is the greatest therapy and is there for everyone, free of charge. I love to morning hunt and most days I have to go to work once I get out of my stand. That couple of hours in my stand has awakened every one of my senses and cleared my head for the day ahead. I am relaxed and ready to meet the challenges of the day. I have woken up with nature and it just doesn't get any better than that. - J.B.