Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 11

Grinnin’ a Gobbler
By Harry Guyer Jr.

Artwork by Stan Beloncis

“T

HERE’S jest about nuthin’ so
absolutely irresistible as an old
fashioned good-natured grin,” Davy
Crockett told General Andy Jackson
about his attempt to grin down a bear.
“I started on raccoons. I got so good at
it, an old raccoon throwed up his hands
the minute he seen my teeth. ‘You got
me,’ he hollered, and he skinned down
that tree and plopped himself in my
sack. I figured the same thing ought to
work on bears, but I never got a chance
to find out.”
I always thought this was one of
the Coonskin Congressman’s tall tales
until the first Monday of the 2012
spring turkey season. Two days before
I had spent the morning of opening
day across from my house at one of my
favorite spots, a location that has been
very productive for me over the years. I
was a little discouraged by the fact that
although I had heard birds gobbling
every morning through mid-April, the
cold snap in the middle of the month
had seemed to shut them up. In fact,
about the only gobbling I had heard
in the past several weeks occurred in
the late afternoon or evening. But I
always figured you dance with the one
who brought you, so I set up in my usual
spot at the base of a large tree above an
old logging road.
Dawn broke cloudy, and it was late
before it got light enough to see. I
sounded a few soft tree clucks, listening hard for the thunder of a big tom.
I didn’t hear a thing. About 8:30 I decided a move was in order, so I worked
APRIL  2013 

my way south and up the side of
the ridge. I set up again on the edge
of an old chopping and called for
another hour. Same result. Then
I worked my way north down the
top of the point, stopping to call
frequently. About 11 o’clock I had
had enough, so I went home.
Sunday morning to my surprise
a tom was gobbling across the
creek. I listened to him for a while
before leaving for church.
Monday I was up at 4:30 and
soon started the grueling uphill
climb. The day before the gobbler
sounded as if he was fairly low, so
I opted not to go up so far. I also
thought I had pinpointed him on
one hump, so I worked my way up
the hollow next to it.
Suddenly I heard the sound I
most dreaded — flapping wings in
the tree above me. As I watched,
a large turkey launched itself into
the still-dark sky and flew off in a
direction toward my house. Ever
the optimist, I convinced myself
that it was probably not the gobbler I had heard the day before
and that that bird would soon be
gobbling. I was wrong. For several
hours I called; using every bit of
skill to imitate a lovesick, enticing
hen. I never got an answer, so at
around 8 o’clock I gave it up.
My plan was to drive to the diner for a cup of coffee, then maybe
run up to the top of Snakespring
Mountain and do a little calling.
11



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013

Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013
Contents
Another Doorstep
Whitetail Predation
Pymatuning and Conneaut
Grinnin’ a Gobbler
Want to Be a Successful Turkey Hunter?
One for Officer Grove
Pennsylvania Otters — A Success Story
Kestrel Numbers Climb at SGL 205
From the Field
Field Notes
Conservation News
Making a Difference
What Should I Be Doing This Month?
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Another Doorstep
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Whitetail Predation
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pymatuning and Conneaut
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Grinnin’ a Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Want to Be a Successful Turkey Hunter?
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - One for Officer Grove
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pennsylvania Otters — A Success Story
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Kestrel Numbers Climb at SGL 205
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - From the Field
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Making a Difference
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - What Should I Be Doing This Month?
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover4
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