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Winter observations

By ROGER WILLIAMS, SWT Outdoors206283_531982796828103_661345506_n

Animals, particularly birds, seem to have an innate sense of impending weather fronts.

Turkeys feed frantically before a storm system, especially if the weather channel forecast is for snow. I am sure you have watched with interest as “snow birds” scratch and peck in the lawns for seeds even as the flurries begin.

I saw a cat sneaking up on a bird last month. The cat was on a slight hillside above where the bird approached on the ground. I was standing on my deck and could see the hunt as it unfolded.

The cat slipped slowly forward and could see only the head of the turkey as it walked nearer. It must have looked like a robin or a starling to the cat. When the cat appeared ready to pounce the gobbler walked up the hill and into full sight. I do not recall ever seeing a cat jump so high or turn in mid-air to make a hurried escape from the formidable bird that outweighed the feline by fifteen pounds.

Still chuckling at the aborted attack, I returned to the warmth of the kitchen.

I live in a neighborhood that allows wildlife observations quiet frequently. I have seen Turkeys in increasing numbers this winter. They often leave the nearby woodlot to scratch and feed in our backyards. These birds are protected by the population density of the subdivision and the fact they reside on posted land.

I counted four different flocks of turkeys in the area I hunted this fall

I am optimistic that when ‘spring gobbler season’ opens there will be an opportunity to take one of these wary birds. Hopefully my calling and strategies will fool a ‘Boss Gobbler” and bring him within range in late April.

Good luck on your hunts and take a youngster along if possible.

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