Spring has sprung, finally. Trout are hitting and gobblers are gobbling. Turkey populations are good in some areas, down in some areas. Most trout streams are in good shape and have been stocked several times.
Gobblers have eluded me so far, but the season is long. I got out a couple times for gobblers this past week. Nothing happened a couple times, then I had another one of “those” mornings. One particular morning, I was a little late arriving at my post. I stood there at the edge of the field trying to decide where to sit when a gobbler lit up very close, within 75 yards.
It was still fairly dark, so I slid into the brush at the edge of the field. It sounded like a jake, but I had an itchy trigger finger. He gobbled a couple more times and was answered by a deeper gobble another 100 yards away on the mountain. I gave a couple of soft yelps and clucks, then shut up. He gobbled a couple more times and it seemed like he was very close.
I thought I heard him fly down, but when he gobbled, it sounded farther away. Nuts, he didn’t like my calling. Another 10 minutes went by, nothing. I figured he was gone and got up to walk toward the distant gobbler I heard earlier. I walked 20 yards and heard a turkey flush. It was my gobbler, heading to Hickory Corners. I messed that one up good.
I don’t know if there were two gobblers or I just imagined hearing one fly down. I should have sat there for another hour before moving. I lack that sort of patience.
So, I walked toward the other gobbler and made a few calls. Then I walked farther. I called again and again. Nothing more happened.
I blew my chance, but there is still time and I hope to get after them again.
I did have a strange thing happen, walking toward the other gobbler. I saw an animal that I couldn’t identify. It was about 75 yards away, and when I first saw it, I thought it was a house cat.
It didn’t look right. It was too big. I estimate the body length was about three feet. It had a grayish-brown color fur with no stripes or markings. I got my binoculars on it and watched as the creature crawled up a bank that was about five feet high. The weird thing about it was that it had a thick tail that was nearly the length of its body, and the tail had a dark spot at the tip. When the critter neared the top of the bank, it lowered its tail to the ground and used it as leverage to peek over the top of the bank. The other thing I noticed was that it had a block-shaped head more like a cougar than the rounded head of a house cat. I tried to get closer to it, but it disappeared. I stood there and replayed the scene over and over. It looked like a miniature mountain lion. It was too small to be one, but it sure looked like one. Was it a massive feral feline? That would be my best guess. Whatever it was, it was a strange thing to see, and I don’t know what it was, other than some kind of cat. Was it a young cougar or an overgrown feral cat? I don’t know what it was aside from a strange experience.
Fiddlers Run Club empties their trout nursery this weekend. The Mahantango and Schwaben Creeks should be loaded. The temperatures are right and there should be some great fishing in the next week or two.
Good luck out there!
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