Mid January, with over half of winter still ahead, the first indication of the wild turkey's spring mating season can be seen in the bachelor flocks of gobblers.
Gobblers spar throughout the year testing each others strength and determination. At this time of year the sparring becomes more intense with the occasional fight breaking out.
The gobbler pictured to your left is using a technique I had never witnessed before. Notice his left wing pressing upon his opponents back. This bird held the submissive gobbler under his wing, circling continuously as the submissive gobbler tried to break away. I have little doubt that this would have become an all out full contact fight if the submissive bird had resisted.
While gobblers sparred, strutted, and occasionally gobbled this tom wandered a few yards from his companions and simulated mating. When I first noticed his actions I was surprised to see a turkey mating at this time of year but a closer look revealed that he was alone.