A Turkey Hunter’s Photo Journey

Posted on June 9, 2015

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Today I take you on a two-month journey from spring 2015 during which time I shot more than 18,000 images of America’s grandest bird, the wild turkey. The following are a representation of that body of work along with a couple of birds I actually removed from the population. Enjoy the trip.

 

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Winter was harsh, cold and terribly stubborn as even the most vocal gobbles couldn’t chase it away.

 

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It seemingly just kept coming with spring time snow and cold.

 

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However, these old gents were not going to let unseemly weather deter or get the better of them…

 

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Any more than the youngster would.

 

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The big attraction was the ladies, it was hens they were after.

 

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And thus, the pecking order needed to be established.

 

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And re-established, sometimes daily in every conceivable way.

 

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As the battles ensued, I curiously wondered if the combatants would have any feathers left before it was all said and done…

 

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…or a head and beak?

 

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But, as the snow slowly melted so did also some of the rivalries with enough hens to satisfy all the participants.

 

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Day after day, as light increased incrementally, the search for love continued.

 

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All the energy of fanning, posturing and gobbling; just to insure propagation of the species.

 

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Here we find a welcome respite for the girls who’ve been harassed and chased relentlessly.

 

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And a little play time for a couple of Jakes.

 

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No way to overt creating a traffic jamb as the old gent courts his gal.

 

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And I must say, he comes dressed to kill.

 

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As hens begin the process of sitting on egg filled nests, the gate keepers are lonely at about the time turkey season begins.

 

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The month of May is a lovely transitional period when everything, flora & fauna springs back to life.

 

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A time when hunters test their skill and cunning on these big birds.

 

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And to the victor goes the spoils with thanksgiving carried over his shoulder.

 

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It is also a time of reflection on what has passed.

 

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Along with what is about to transpire, wasn’t sure if this old boy wanted a lift in my pick-up.

 

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And music of spring continues to reverberate throughout turkey country.

 

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As he flies off and back into the forest wilds.

 

 

 

All images and text on this site are copyright protected and the property of R.G. Bernier

© 2015 R.G. Bernier Nature Photography – All rights reserved.

 

 

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