Whitesburg KY
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Struttin’ Time: It’s time to start talking turkey once again


We are going to talk turkey, as the season will be here soon. We will start by talking about the five transitions that will last approximately 15 days each.

Around March 30 in Kentucky, give or take five days, gobblers will leave winter mode and start finding hens. Big flocks of gobblers and hens will start traveling together. The majority of the gobbling will be done on the roost, not on the ground, after fly down, except for an occasional shock gobble. Gobblers spend most of their day strutting and displaying themselves behind hens. During this transition you will find gobblers fighting a lot.

This should be the time of year you are out scouting; they won’t travel far once they have found hens. The only place I know you can legally hunt during this time is Florida, but I am trying my best to keep us in Kentucky. So scouting only please. Remember that hunting is something we do for food and fun, so there is no need to get ourselves in trouble.

April 4 through April 19 should be transition period number two, when gobblers break up and compete for harems of hens. Usually there is one boss gobbler and a guard or two to watch over him to keep him safe as he breeds. Stop here a minute. Although it is much easier to kill one of the guards, I always try and get the boss; it is more fun, I think. Hens start laying but return and frequent gobblers daily. They usually slip away around mid-morning, after breeding, then return after laying.

Extensive gobbling in the first hour is common, then a lull period for breeding hens. Subordinate gobblers travel around the harem, but get quiet when boss gobblers shut down. The subordinate gobblers start gobbling around 9:30 a.m. looking for lonesome hens.

Next week we will take a look at transition period number three.

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