Sunday, April 13, 2008

Eastern Wild Turkey Gobbling

Early April usually brings a lot of gobbling activity in our area, but things have been slow this year. I usually encounter turkeys each day, but I have not gotten any good still shots of them gobbling or strutting. I am mostly seeing young gobblers also known as "Jakes". Two large gobblers showed up frequently until lately, but they are elsewhere now. I did record one gobbling with the Canon XL-H1 as it passed through a nearby meadow and have recorded some spectacular footage of turkeys fighting which I hope to post as video clips in the near future.

Since I have had such poor luck lately, I decided to dip into the archives and post two shots from a close encounter with mature gobblers from April 8, 2007. Turkeys are more likely to gobble in early morning or in late afternoon and evening.

In this instance a flock of two or more mature gobblers, Jakes, and hens came in front of my blind at 8:37 in the morning. Since the birds were in the woods I was only able to get an exposure of 1/90 sec. F4 at ISO 200.

I had stated in an earlier post or comment that I have never been able to actually capture a gobbler in full gobble, but I later recalled this shot. I still am not happy with it. For a picture such as this to be successful, it has to make one literally "see the sound" which is difficult to do and I am not sure that this is entirely successful from this standpoint.

Canon 10-D 500mmF4

Canon 10-D 500mmF4

Canon 10-D 70-200mmF2.8 L

I was hidden in the blind shown above and used the 500mm F4 which may be seen attached to the Canon XL-H1 camcorder in this instance-although the photos in the post were taken with the 10-D.


Anonymous said...

These are just magnificent photos Willard. I really like them and wish one or two would land in my backyard some day.

Kerri Farley said...

Fabulous shots Willard!! WOW!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: Great pictures of the turkeys. I like your blind and see how you can get close for pictures. I think the turkeys may be a little smarter then other animals because Spring is coming in slowly this year.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous photos and I must say you were very well disguised!

Stacey Olson said...

Great Job Willard! and congrats of getting a photo of the one gobbling! I can almost hear him. So cool.. Thanks~Stacey

DeeMom said...

wonderful photos

Tom said...

The Turkey pictures and the stories behind them are most interesting.. I recalled a film I saw many years ago the James Stewart turkey shooting and making a hell of a noise to attract the turkeys..
As for your blind Willard I take it is behind the bush I see.. ;o)

Chad Oneil Myers said...

That second one is my favorite.

Marvin said...

I reckon no one is totally satisfied with his/her own work -- but those are some really great photos, Willard.

It doesn't seem like I've seen and/or heard as many turkeys this year either.