Where Are Your Birds?

We're dying here, waiting on spring turkey season.

We're checking out the latest turkey catalogs. We're making plans to hunt as many states as possible around the country, starting in March. We're visiting outdoor shows. For now, we wait on what's to come.

It's killing us. Yesterday I got out on my usual rounds just to see turkeys. Sometimes that's enough. Sometimes that'll keep you going.

The last time out I cruised by one prime location to find 20-plus hens and jakes in a slow-moving wad of turkeys. In the center of the moving mass, multiple full-fan gobblers jostled for position. I do believe my pulse thumped a little harder just then.

Yesterday, they were gone--sort of. Up the road, I found them. It's not uncommon to view such a scene here in the Northeast: Some turkeys hung near the far woods, on the edge of a rural back yard, strutting, pecking, just looking around.

Others in full-throttle birdseed busting mode fed with great animation in an area also filled with chickadees and other songbirds flitting about. Big gamebirds in chow-down mode, not all that far from a house. They do what they have to do I guess.

Any way you cut it, watching such winter groups does a turkey hunter some good, even if those birds will break up next month, location depending around the country, and move to other (sometimes nearby) habitats. It's then the real deal will begin.

What are you guys seeing out there? Do your birds tend to hold until spring in areas where you see them in winter, or do they vaporize? Do new turkeys move into that spot? Do hens and gobblers hammer backyard bird feeders as much as they do here in the Northeast? Have you seen any 2010 strutters yet? Heard a gobble?