Wednesday morning of this week, the weather was cold, gray, a little breezy, and a chilly rain was softly falling. It was not the type of morning when I would expect to hear the first gobble of the spring here in the Catawba Creek Valley in Southwest Virginia, but the toms had something else in mind.
I had just let our Rhode Island Reds out of their hen house, and as usual, our alpha male Boss came bursting out the door. He emitted a crow, a hen some 100 yards behind the house yelped, and a tom gobbled. Did Boss or the hen set off the gobbler?
It really doesn't matter for a few seconds later, a second tom gobbled and then hens began yelping in response. Thursday morning, the turkeys were once again roosted behind our house, but just hen talk took place. Then on Friday morning, the woods were silent once more.
The gobbling is not predictable, but this week is the one when the monarchs began to sound off. I can hardly wait for the Virginia season to begin.