The dogwood and spring flowers are blooming. That means the wild turkey will be gobbling. Each morning in the PA Great Outdoors region just prior to sunrise the thundering gobbles of male turkey can be heard echoing through the mountains. Spring is mating season for wild turkey. The male turkey or gobbler will start gobbling from a limb where he roosted to spend the night as the sun begins to warm the day. Shortly after sunrise he will take flight and begins his never ending search for receptive females known as hens. When a gobbler locates a hen, he usually beings strutting, which is the name of the turkey mating dance. He will drum or puff up to make himself look bigger while displaying his fanned tail feathers and prancing around looking for love. The best places to see these mating rituals occur are in fields, powerlines, and openings or clearings in the woods where hens can be found feeding. The adult male turkey is known as a gobbler and juvenile males are called Jakes. The adult females are known as hens and juvenile females are called Jennies. Wild turkey numbers were once very low in Pennsylvania due to over hunting. Thanks to the efforts of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and conservation organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation wild turkey in Pennsylvania have made a remarkable comeback. If you have never heard the booming gobble of a turkey at daylight, it really is something worth getting up early to experience. You can find information about more ways to experience nature online at or call (814) 849-5197 for a FREE Visitor Welcome Guide.


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