Turkeys across Land Between The Lakes are strutting their stuff this week as their breeding season is revving up. Male turkeys (called ‘Toms’) are fanning their tail feathers, gobbling, fluffing and puffing up their body feathers to show off their iridescent plumage. They tout their vibrant and red, white, and blue head coloration.
All of this is done in a concentrated effort to woo their favorite female turkeys (hens) while discouraging other lesser males from the dance floor. If push comes to shove, these pretty-boys will fight each other using their long spurs to thrash the competition into submission.
These breeding displays were seen this week in the Elk and Bison Prairie. Several toms have been seen fanning their feathers in different locations around the prairie every morning for the last few days.
Unfortunately for the turkeys, turkey hunting season starts this week in Land Between The Lakes. Quota hunts occur in Land Between The Lakes April 11-12, 14-15, and 18-19, followed by a regular open season from April 20 through May 3.
Be advised other forest and trail users may encounter turkey hunters. Hunting is not allowed in facilities or along trails as hunting is prohibited within 150 yards of these areas. However, hunters may use trails to access hunting areas. Hunting within the Nature Watch areas is also prohibited.