By Montana Grant

Posted: March 25, 2023

The other day I went for a drive to check out the streams near Bozeman. The East Gallatin can offer some great fishing on a nice day. Everyone else had the same plan. The parking spots were full, and fishermen were aplenty.

One black and shiny pickup truck had a problem. A huge Gobbler was jumping into the air clawing at his driver’s side door. Apparently, he could see his reflection in the shiny finish and attacked it. The gobbler sported a 10-inch beard and huge claws on his feet. The door had several visible scratches with more on the way.

Spring Gobblers are big, onery, and mean. They fight one another for hens, territory, and just because. Their mating ritual is also brutal to hens. They knock the hens down, jump on their backs and rake them with their claws and spurs. Feathers fly while the Gobbler locks in for a Cloacal kiss. Gobblers do not have a male organ or penis. Instead, they have an opening called a Cloaca that covers the hen’s entry. Sperm is shot gunned into the fertile womb of the hen. Each hen only needs to mate once but they keep coming back for more.

In the morning the ritual continues. Hens mate again then go off to lay eggs and sit on nests. That’s why late morning is a good time to call in a gobbler. The hens are often off on their own and the Gobblers are still looking for hen action.

Back in my home state of Maryland, I loved to hunt in the Appalachians, where I was raised. My buddy Keith had a cabin with some huge windows. I checked on his cabin one afternoon to find several gobblers trashing his window. They could see their reflections and were attacking the images. The glass was cracked, and the frame was torn up. Feathers were everywhere as the gobblers fought themselves.

I had slowed and stopped to see the gobbler at the man’s truck. I wonder what or who he would think scratched up his door. “Probably some damned anti hunter/fisherman or angry landowner.” The Gobbler was looking closely at my truck as I passed. No need to stop and have him attack me.

Gobble, Gobble, cluck, cluck, stay off my truck!

Montana Grant

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