Photography courtesy of Lowell Washburn, all rights reserved.
I’m hearing from a lot of Iowa turkey hunters who are getting more than a little bit anxious for spring. Apparently, Iowa’s wild turkeys are feeling the same. Under the influence of lengthening days, our local woodlands are starting to echo with plenty predawn gobbling — even saw my first turkey rumble this morning. Immediately after coming off roost, two jakes began mixing it up on the forest floor. But the contest wasn’t the brutal slice and dice affair that I’ve seen conducted by mature gobblers. It was instead more of a stand on your tip toes shoving match; kinda like you’d between a couple of 5th graders on the school playground. After more than 15 minutes of aggressive pecking and shoving, one of the birds finally called it quits. The turkeys walked out of view; the dominant jake in full strut while the second bird politely followed.