It was still 2 to 3 months before the spring rut, but I was thrilled to find two large “bachelor bands” of Toms and Jakes (no hens) not even 100 feet from the house at Cougar Canyon Ranch. Strutting and displaying for each other in classic winter behavior, there must have been at least 100 birds between the two groups. And where there are Toms, there are hens, which will group up in a similar fashion, just not as flashy and vocal as the males. A lot like elk, for months before the rut, male turkeys will group up and practice their moves with each other. I was amazed at how constant, non-stop the activity was and how endlessly vocal they were.
Located on the rim of Grape Creek Canyon, the Cougar Canyon Ranch is classic turkey habitat of pine, mountain mahogany, and scrub oak, providing ample nutrition and cover for these amazing birds. It’s almost embarrassing how much you can see and explore of the area from the comfort of a deck chair. Check out the video below.
Written by Ranch Broker Woody Beardsley.