The Death of a Poult

Okay....maybe you guys can help me figure this out without the cost and extra expense involved with finding a therapist......

I AM, most decidedly, a hunter. I AM also a very serious turkey hunter and there's not much more that give me glee than to step on a jelly-headed tom's head in the springtime--whether I've shot him myself or called him in for someone else.

Soooooo......here's my tale of woe which some of you Strut Zoners may already be familiar with. Because, like Steve Hickoff, I hunt fall birds, I continually keep tabs on the status of the spring hatch. When I saw an adult hen with only a single poult roaming my property during the last month, I grew a bit concerned about the status of the spring hatch---hens typically lay 9 eggs and having one 'hatchling' out of 9 is not good. So I watched that old lone hen bug with her poult for more than a month and even got some photos of her. I watched as the poult grew from a fuzzball into a grouse-sized bona-fide turkey.

Fast forward to last Saturday. The pair showed up again around noon. Shortly thereafter, I spotted the hen in full strut in the front yard. Why was she strutting? Another hen with six poults entered the scene. I guess six beat out one and the old hen vamoosed. I enjoyed watching the family unit bugging in my field for more than an hour.

As I pulled out of my drivewar, I glanced down the road—my heart literally sank. Someone had run over "my" poult. Heck, I've seen all manner of roadkill, but nothing affected me as much as that little turkey poult. No, I didn't shed any tears, but I was certainly upset. Bummer? Nah, it was so much more than that.Poult