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Friday, April 10, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gobblers never totally give up the strut

Wild turkey gobblers can feel their oats even in autumn. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Wild turkey gobblers can feel their oats even in autumn. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- A reader called in November and asked if the wild turkey mating season had started.

Another reader called last week and said she had a wild turkey all fanned out in her yard.

Do turkeys mate year round? they asked. 

No.  But a gobbler would do a little strutting anytime.

After I sent a photo showing a fanned out gobbler in November, Mick Cope, small game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife offered this explanation about the games gobblers play.

"Birds will try to keep their social structure (i.e., dominance) in line throughout the season," he said.

If a hen comes near a group of toms, that could trigger posturing, he said.

But gobblers won't have to fake it much longer.  Toms will start strutting and gobbling for the real deal starting in March.

Spring gobbler general hunting seasons in North Idaho and Eastern Washington open April 15.

 



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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