Lansing, Michigan – -(Ammoland.com)- For a birder, being outdoors in the springtime can’t be beat. New sights and sounds abound and they just plead to be identified. But, on this day, we were seeking the main ingredient for a turkey soup recipe.
My friend, Joe, sat with me in the comfort of a large portable blind two weeks earlier but we could not entice a gobbling tom into our trap. It was time to try again.
For this session, we set up a large pop-up blind in the middle of a wheat field under the shade of a lone hickory tree. Even though the camouflaged material was totally wrong with its brown patterns, it had worked for me earlier in the season.
This would be the ultimate test to learn if this conspicuous contraption could keep us concealed, while allowing us to get a mature tom close enough for a personal invitation to join us for dinner.
By 6:30 am several hen turkeys had flown down from their roosting trees 200 yards away. Previous observations found the turkeys poking around for hours in the burgeoning wheat after they had hit the ground, so we were content to let it happen.
A pair of sandhill cranes and Canada geese joined the festivities and made for some good viewing and photos. Finally, I spotted some bright red heads moving in their direction of the hens and determined that three one year-old male turkeys (jakes) were making their way toward the ladies.
In short order, we observed the jakes separate from the hens after their intentions were thwarted. Then, Joe alertly noticed a coyote staring at our decoy from 80 yards away. I spun the camera toward it, and off it went only to pause for one last glimpse at us.
The hens saw it too and all eyes were tuned to the imminent threat. At long last, things returned to normal and the birds began feeding, once more.
Joe and I lost track of the jakes until they reappeared directly in front of us in the company of our rubber decoy. Only 26 yards from our off-color hideout, they were oblivious to our presence, as they began an attempt to acquaint themselves with our teasing accomplice.A jake doesn’t understand
Joe had already made up his mind to let them grow to adulthood, so we took it all in, while I captured the interaction on video along with some still photos. Previously, the camera was set so that I could hear the shutter sound and I’m sure the young gobblers could hear it, as well. But, we remained motionless as their bird brains calculated.
Eventually, the stuck-up female’s total disinterest sent the love-struck losers away from us, but the excitement of the moment was well worth the price of admission.
We called it a day and one worth remembering, at that.
About Glen Wunderlich
Charter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press (www.argus-press.com) and blog site at www.thinkingafield.org Member National Rifle Association (NRA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), member U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM). Adjutant of Perry, Michigan Sons of Amvets Post 4064 and Chairman Perry (MI) Youth Hunt Extravaganza, a sanctioned event of Perry Sons of Amvets held the fourth weekend of September each year.