Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 5

likely explains why previously quiet
gobblers might respond after a hunter
switches to a different call or begins calling differently, Gulvas said.
A gobbler who has spent a little time
with certain hens often will remember
their voices and pick each out with precision, he said.
"It totally amazes me on how much a
voice characteristic can be fondly remembered," Gulvas said.
Gobblers surely look for opportunities
to move up in the pecking order.
Gulvas said in hunting situations
when two or more gobblers are called
in, and one is shot, the remaining bird
or birds often will rush to thrash the
downed one. If there's more than one
hunter at the setup, there's a good chance
another tag will be filled because the
survivors are so intent on displaying
their dominance.
Generally speaking, subordinate gobblers might find strength in numbers on
any given day.
A group of young birds can drive off
APRIL 2020	

a dominant gobbler, even push him away
from his hens. But unless a dominant
gobbler clearly is beaten by a certain bird,
it's likely only a matter of time until he
reclaims his rightful spot on top.
Gobblers holding down the boss' role
generally possess some combination of
age and strength.
Physical conflicts, and the will of
others to avoid them, always are at play in
determining dominance, and the strongest
birds generally vie for the top spot.
Spur length - a characteristic of age -
factors into dominance, too, since spurs
are a gobbler's most-dangerous, reliedupon weapons. By age 3, most gobblers
will have developed a nice set of spurs,
and those of a 5-year-old might be all the
more impressive.
Older gobblers that have worked their
way up the ranks also are likely to have
more swagger. Like prize fighters, Gulvas
said, they carry themselves confidently
knowing the wins they have under their
belts.
Of course, there comes a time in a boss
gobbler's life - maybe most often at 5 or
6 years old - when he no longer can hold
onto the title.
"You might still have them spurs, but
you don't have that power anymore,"
Gulvas said.
But in his prime, a boss gobbler can
rule the roost for years. And if he's bested,
he might move to a new area where he'll
take over as top bird, or stay put and still
do well for himself in the same group
as the now-No. 2. Some of the hens that
always liked him best likely will continue
to do so.
But there's one thing you can count
on, Gulvas said.
Wherever that gobbler ends up in the
pecking order, there won't be a day when
he doesn't need to defend that spot.
5



Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 5
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Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - Cover4
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