Where are the birds?

October 19, 2009

Faith Outdoors

I had a fall wild turkey hunt last week down in Goodhue County. I hunted properties near Cannon Falls and Red Wing. I had three pieces of land in all and I hunted all three on Wednesday and Thursday.

But, the birds were a no-show. I didn’t see or hear a single bird, nor did a see as much as a turkey track, turkey feather or turkey dropping. It looked as though the birds just weren’t using any of these properties.
That is the frustration of fall turkey hunting. In the spring, the birds are in much smaller groups and more spread out. Usually, if there is adequate food and habitat, there will be some birds around.
Not so in the fall. The turkeys gather in very large flocks of as many as 50 birds or more. That means feast or famine when it comes to hunting. Either, you encounter lots of birds or none at all. This year, for me, it was none at all.
It might be tempting to blame the cold, wet weather for  the poor hunting. But, it’s really due to the flocking nature of birds in the fall. If I want to be successful next year, I’ll have to do some scouting before the season to find out where the birds are. The good news is, nearly every farmer who has birds would like to see the flock reduced. So, getting permission to hunt fall turkeys on private land is easy.
I did experience something very enjoyable in the woods last week, however. I saw a total of seven deer during two afternoons of hunting, two the first day and five the second. In one case, I had a nice buck cross in front of me only about 25 to 30 yards away. That was cool!
It got me to thinking about deer season, which is less than three weeks away. The deer appear to be moving right now and the activity will only pick up in the next few weeks. I can’t wait!
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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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