Talkin’ Turkey: The Mating Game, Part 2**

Turkeys Before Mating Season Begins!

You are probably reading other hunter’s blogs, as  I am.  There seem to be a lot of confused turkeys in North America.  I’m relieved to see I’m not the only one who can’t figure out this weather.

The gist of what I’m reading is that — because of the cold, damp mornings, turkeys are waiting until the warmth of mid-day or early afternoon to breed. How are things in your neck of the woods?  Does this hold true in your area?

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch …

The hens have found a place to build their nests.  It is usually on the ground. After preparing her nest, each hen roosts nearby.

After breeding, she returns to the nest and starts laying a group of eggs over the next 10 to 15 days.  If, while she is feeding, the nest is attacked and destroyed, she will breed again while creating a nest in another location.

It takes about 26 to 28 days for the poults to emerge.

Meanwhile, The Gobblers Are …

The boys have been tuning their voices, dusting off their spurs and arranging their feathers for fullest effect.  A guy’s work is never done!

The sound of gobbling fills the air as the males are calling the hens to them for mating.  Although the dominant male mates most, the other gobblers scurry around to find receptive females while the dominant male is busy.

As the mating season progresses, the calls get more strident and insistent – as more hens leave for their nests and the incubation period.

Gobbling starts as soon as daylight starts to appear, while turkeys are still in their roosts.  Once the gobblers hit the ground, they start calling hens in earnest. This calling continues until the warmest hours of the day.

Just before it is time for the evening roost, gobblers start some serious calling.  They may have been looking for love  ‘in all the wrong places,’  but  ‘at closing time,’ all the hens start to look beautiful.

They don’t want to roost alone, so they may strut their stuff.  The strut  just as we imagine most turkeys  (see photo): chests out, wings down and tail feathers in full array.


Are you practicing your turkey calls?  See yesterday’s article for the location of free audio info.  The second thing you should be doing pre-season is scouting your proposed turkey hunting area.

More on this subject — next time!


** Changed a few words and punctuation for clarity.


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Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 11:23 am  Comments Off on Talkin’ Turkey: The Mating Game, Part 2**  
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