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An Encounter with a Gobbling Hen

by Lovett E. Williams Jr.

I have heard gobbling hens.

Gobbling by hens is rare. I have observed it once during a fall hunt
in Montana. 

The lone hen came across a small wheat stubble field in response to my calling making loud, angry sounds of alarm putting, cutting, and harsh “whits.” 

As she came into over a slight rise in the field, she gobbled several times in full view while exhibiting typical gobbling posture. She came within a few feet of my position but did not strut. 

Although hens were legal game in Montana, I was about to let her go when I realized that if I didn’t shoot her, I would miss an opportunity to look at her gonads and to closely examine her secondary sexual features. 

Upon dissection, I found a completely normal ovary and oviduct and could see nothing unusual about her secondary sexual features.

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