Hunting Photos of the Week
April 2012

April 29, 2012

Turkey Gobbler

Here you have it, folks. This is one of those ole turkey gobblers that I've been looking for all season long. I figured since spring turkey season is over and I didn't bag a bird, that the next best thing to getting close to one of these fine feathered friends was to shoot one in captivity with my trusty camera.

This past Saturday, Brenda and I took a trip to the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown, Florida, to watch a knife-making demo at the Settlement Blacksmith Shop.

To my great delight, this pioneer settlement had some real-live turkey gobbler residents. This up-close-and-personal shot shows just how colorful these birds really are. Out in the wild, viewed from a distance, they look very similar to a black buzzard. But when the gobbler struts his stuff, it's quite a different picture. What self-respecting turkey hen would not be attracted to this fine-looking gobbler?

Kenny Presnell,

April 23, 2012

The Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

The last day of spring turkey season in Florida I didn't get a gobbler, but I did get a photo of this red-headed Woodpecker. The red-headed woodpecker can be quickly identified by his bright-red head and black-and-white body. The red-headed woodpeckers are the mid-sized woodpeckers for Florida, and the only ones with a completely red head.

Red-headed woodpeckers are attracted to forests, open wooded swamps with dead trees and stumps, and to burns and recent clearings. They are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. A typical diet is berries, nuts, fruit, insects, bird eggs, and mice. The red-headed woodpecker stores up nuts in trees to eat later. This behavior is unique and is not common among woodpeckers. Another behavioral trait is that they are known to attack other birds to keep them out of their territory.

In 1890, 100 European Starlings were released in New York City's Central Park. This was an attempt to populate American with all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's writings. The first documented European Starling in Florida was in 1918 on Amelia Island, near Jacksonville. This was not good news for red-headed woodpeckers, which were once abundant in Florida. Now many parts of Florida no longer have nesting red-headed woodpeckers. This is due to the removal of dead trees from many woodland areas and competition from the non-native European Starlings for nesting sites and food sources.

I consider myself fortunate to see first-hand one of these beautiful birds, whose population has declined. One of the things I've learned when hunting is to take my camera along, as well as my firearm, that way I'm almost guaranteed not to come home empty handed.

Kenny Presnell,

April 16, 2012

Water Moccasin

While I was out hunting on public land in the Apalachicola National Forest this past week, that old gobbler managed to evade my sights. However, I was able to get a good look at this water moccasin, as he slithered across a muddy forest road. Sometimes called a Cottonmouth, these poisonous snakes are found throughout North Florida.

If you're interested in my true-life encounter with a water moccasin, you might want to read about me and Brenda during one of our previous adventures at the "turkey log" here.

Kenny Presnell,

April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! Pitcher plants - the Easter lilly of the woods.

Easter's real message: Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for everymore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death. (Revelation 1:17-18)

Kenny Presnell,

April 1, 2012

Button Buck and Doe

Deer season is over now, but during that time, I watched this little buck grow from the time he had spots. When you're out in the woods, you become familiar with the does. You always wonder about and look forward to all the little spotted fawns growing up so you can determine whether it's going to be a buck or a doe. So I was very pleased to see this little buck starting to grow his antlers. This buck lives in the same area where I hunt with my crossbow on public land, along with about 30 other people.

Some people might say that if our paths cross during hunting season, that I should let him pass. But if our paths should cross, his best bet is to hope that my freezer is already full because I don't just hunt for the sake of hunting. I eat what I take.

Kenny Presnell,

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