It was just getting light this morning when I glanced out of the window while pouring myself a cup of coffee. Six tom turkeys were marching across the dam, headed for their morning grazing of my food plot. They walked abreast like the front rank of an invading army.

When they got to the food plot, they strode casually around, eating the food I put out for them to use in early spring. As per my usual morning routine, I then settled in with my coffee while staring blankly across the lake and at the surrounding hills while forcing myself awake.

The turkeys were contentedly destroying the food plot when three deer made their way out of the timber and started across the dam. They were watching behind themselves as though they were being followed.

Photo courtesy of Walter Scott
Photo courtesy of Walter ScottPhoto courtesy of Walter Scott

I looked up the hill in time to see a mature 10-point buck rushing out of the timber and down the hill toward the does. About that time, four does jumped over the fence from the pasture, ran through the food plot and up to the top of the dam.

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The turkeys took off and flew off to avoid the deer. The does turned and looked as another big buck followed them. Seven does stood in a huddle on top of the dam as bucks approached them from two sides. That is when I called my wife to come watch the morning show.

The does all moved to the side as the two bucks moved toward each other. They circled and stomped their feet, getting ready to battle.

I did not notice at first, but two younger bucks appeared on the face of the dam. They did not get too close but wanted to see the action. They were probably thinking, while the two big bucks were fighting over the group of does, they could sneak in and run off with them.

The big bucks squared off at each other, making an impressive sight as their muscles rippled and their antlers glistened white in the sunlight. They carefully touched antlers and the one turned and walked away.

The does, young bucks, my wife, and I were all expecting a major fight. That was not even a minor skirmish.

The winner of the bluffing contest drove his flock toward the house where they jumped the fence into the yard. They milled around with the buck chasing one and then another.

None of the does seemed as interested as was he, but that did not deter his insistent advances. They eventually wandered off toward the Paintball Woods.

The loser of the standoff went back across the dam and up the hill into the timber. The two young spectator bucks disappeared just as quickly as they had originally appeared. I am not sure where they came from and with being distracted by the herd in the yard, I am not sure where they went.

In an hour or so, there was not a deer in sight. About 20 trumpeter swans took flight heading to their daytime feeding grounds and all was quiet again. It had been quite a morning show.