Thursday, April 23, 2009

More Spring Turkeys: PA Spring Gobbler Season

At present the mating season of the Eastern Wild Turkey is going full steam ahead and I have been spending most mornings and evenings pursuing the birds with DSLR and Video Camera.

Distant Jakes

I usually see hens or jakes, but the mature gobblers do not always appear. Bird Photography is an added bonus while waiting for them. Recently, I was fortunate to get a decent chance at a male Rufous Sided Eastern Towhee. This bird frequents the woodlands, mostly scratching about in the understory.

Rufous Sided Eastern Towhee

If one is lucky, eventually they get the opportunity at their primary subject, but sometimes the encounters with other species are just as memorable.

Mature Gobbler Guarding His Hens

Wild turkeys are a popular game bird in Pennsylvania. The annual spring gobbler season runs from April 25th through May 25th statewide.

Only turkeys with visible beards are legal. Hunting is by calling only—no stalking. Hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon. Hunters must be out of the woods by 1 p.m.(Source PGC 2008-09 Hunting Digest)

Hunting pressure can be quite intense in areas open to public hunting and the birds quickly learn that season is in, so they can be extremely difficult to encounter.

I will of course be hunting only with camera, but the arrival of season usually means less photo opportunities.

12 comments:

Leedra said...

I was wondering how you were getting photos during hunting season, they do become so scarce around here in the spring. I can still hear them all over the ridge at home, but nobody hunts them on our road (most of the time).

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Salty said...

Hey bro, you are having one fantastic spring with the gobblers!

Sara G said...

Beautiful photos Willard!!
Take care!!

itsmynature said...

Excellent photos, Willard. I came across a couple of hens yesterday morning on my way to work. I usually drive along a road paralleling my local creek just to keep me in touch with my "wild" side before heading in the office.

Philip said...

I really like that shot of The Rufous Sided Eastern Towhee excellent :)Looks like those Turkeys are really keeping you busy :)

Abe Lincoln said...

The turkeys are very nice, Willard. I wish we had them here. I like your photograph of the male watching over the females eating. They do that. I also liked the Eastern Towhee which is different from those we have here.

Such wonderful places, so different from where I have lived. The Hamlet of Gordon, Ohio is where I was born and raised and it is how small hamlets used to be and this one still exists.

The Hamlet of Gordon

imac said...

Wow these are great shots Willard.

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Ilan said...

Such great captures! The colors, the sharpness...
Awesome photos, fun to watch. Keep them coming :)

Beautiful Creation said...

Thank you for only hunting with your camera....that's the only kind of hunting I support.
Great photos. Love the towhee!

Michele said...

Awesome photos... I enjoy seeing your pictures and reading your posts. I have yet to see them around here this year... I must be showing up at the wrong times.

This DVM's Wife's Life said...

Turkey season has opened around here and to me seems quite quiet. We have had a heck of a winter so wonder if that plays a factor. Great pictures! I admire your wildlife shots.

fishing guy said...

Willard: What a splendid turkey show. I've wanted to see a Towhee and this will help.