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Fight the good fight!

Conservation Conversations

The weather has gone from winter to summer in about three days. The lack of rain and hot sun are warming things up and drying things out.

I have been taking temperature readings on the Bouquet River and two weeks ago it was 38 degrees. The other day it jumped to 54 degrees. I have seen the hatches coming off the Bouquet River but no fish caught there yet. However, I hear the hatches on some ponds are driving the fish crazy!

The first two days of spring, or should I say summer, gobbler season started off without the sound of a gobble in the air for me. The one thing that farmers and turkey hunters hear this time of year is the earth waking up. The dead silence of darkness leads to the slow awakening of wildlife. Owls hooting, woodcock peents, and robins barking and chirping are the first sounds of morning that many people will never know. The whistling of mourning doves and ducks flying overhead, geese yaking away on a nearby pond and snorts of deer while walking and waiting for the first morning gobbles are music to the ears of turkey hunters. It’s good to be alive! The other day I was talking to a new friend, Rory, and we both agreed that turkey hunting is our number one hunting choice. Some guys or gals prefer deer or pheasant hunting, but we agreed that hunting spring gobblers is our top choice.

On my third morning out, I hunted up in Westport where I heard my first gobble. I don’t roost birds at night. I go out green in the morning and hunt wherever my mood takes me. This bird was on the other side of the railroad tracks, and state highway, back behind a farm house and field up on the next ridge top. It was in someone else’s turf for sure. A half hour later I heard a shot from up on that ridge and knew someone got their morning bird. Congratulations! I hunted for an hour or more with dead silence and finally started my way out. I did see two nice deer in a hayfield feeding and that made my day.

Rich Redman is a retired District Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and an avid outdoorsman. His column will appear regularly. He may be reached at rangeric@nycap.rr.com.

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