Friday, April 6, 2012

Eastern Wild Turkey: Gobbling Season Continues

Mature Gobbler Struts During Peak Of Mating Season: Canon 500mm F4 -ISO 100-1/1000-f4
Camera hunting differs from gun hunting in that season is never closed unless an area is restricted to bar photographers, but yet one still faces the constraints of the natural seasons.  While One can certainly photography turkeys all year around, the fact remains that springtime is the most interesting period to do so as that is when the birds are most active and the gobblers look their best as they strut and gobble during mating season.

It is quite an experience to film or photograph a mature gobbler in full courtship display, especially when they are in a very aggressive mood and gobble frequently.  Some prefer to photograph the birds in meadows, while others prefer the woods, but I like to select an area to place by blind that is at the edge of a meadow with woods to my left and meadow to the right, which gives me the opportunity to try for both types of photo if the birds co-operate.

Mature Gobbler In Woodland: Canon 300mm F2.8- ISO 400-1/320-f2.8
It is especially rewarding when one of the large birds walks extremely close to the blind and parades about.

Mature Gobbler Close Up-Note that ear is visible-Canon 500mm F4-ISO 200-1/1000-f4
Here in southcentral Pennsylvania, gobbling season is now at its' peak.  Birds will still be active when spring gobbler season comes in on the last Saturday of April, but activity will be less than it is now and it will crash on public lands that are subjected to heavy hunting pressure.  Although it is possible to hear gobblers at times throughout the year, most of the gobbling activity will be over by late May or early June.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.