ORIGINAL: Fan Club
> Why Gobble when you can drum up hens strutting?
Given more thought, I look at the drumming noise as the true mating call and the gobble as the challenge the world call. <
Hmmmmm. Maybe that could help explain the "Strut Zone."
**Ding-Ding-Ding*** No more calls please, we have a winner!
After having the privledge to watch a major strut zone from a distance in pre-season, to then hunt the same zone for several years, it has revealed some different habits Gobblers use during their Spring mating season.
I have seen & heard many hens come to Gobblers when he was out of sight of the hen and the only calling he was doing was spitting & drumming. Now, the Hen just might have known that this was THE place to be from all the gobbling done there recently, but I usually don't see as much single hen traffic there unless one is hanging around looking for a Gobbler. I have also had a few dozen mature gobblers come to my calls at that same strut zone, and while they gobbled in the distance to answer my calls, they came in spitting & drumming only. On windy days, you'd think they were silent, but the drumming was barely audible.
Last season when hunting at a different place, I also had a nice Gobbler come straight to my calls. While he gobbled in the distance, as soon as he got near where he was hearing the calls eminate from, he started spitting & drumming. When he found no Hen, he started back to where he'd come from. As soon as he got out of sight, I cutt and purred, to be answered instantly by gobbles. Then, as soon as he could view the flat I was set up on, a hen went right to him...leaving me with an un-notched tag. Both birds were visible to each other, but the Hen traveled toward the flat I was on from the opposite direction & she did not travel down the draw he had been gobbling from (making me think she was responding to the drumming).
Whenever one of us takes out the Boss Gobbler where we hunt, the other subordinate Gobblers establish a new pecking order. A lot of mornings when I have been hunting, a few different gobblers get fired up just after dawn & when the Boss started gobbling, the rest of them shut up. We have also seen Mature Gobblers (other than the Boss) courting hens when they didn't gobble, possibly for fear of the Boss coming & kicking their butt and stealing the hen. It only makes sense that those Gobblers might have called the Hens by drumming.
I'm not an expert by any means & I can only go by what I have witnessed. I'd be interested to hear what others think from their hunting/scouting experiences. I think there is plenty of proof to the statement that drumming must be the mating call. I only hear Gobblers drum in the Spring, where I have heard gobbles almost any other time of year.