Friday, November 05, 2010

Wild Kingdom.

Driving back from town yesterday, I slowed the car for a couple of wild turkeys crossing the road in the rain. Now, I'm no stranger to having to brake for turkeys, but I still find them interesting to watch.

I halted the car and rolled down the window, and sure enough, these guys were just stragglers. There were a couple more in there... no... more than a couple. There had to be, like, ten of them. And then I saw movement in the rear view mirror and realized that the... flock? herd? stream? of turkeys was continuing to cross behind me. I stopped counting at fifteen, but there had to be at least twenty of the things standing there staring at me in the rain before I rolled up the window and drove on.

Wow, a whole box of shotgun shells of turkeys all in one place!

21 comments:

Roberta X said...

And you with no shotgun? Tsk. So, turducken again this year?

Matt G said...

While hunting in Nebraska, Vine and I came across a flock that he half-heartedly suggested I harvest a few out of, with my airweight J-frame .38. Given that we were about 17 feet from the nearest one, it really wouldn't have been that hard, at least for the first one. But of course we hunt by the rules, and I hadn't picked up an out of state turkey stamp, and to do so afterward seems to be in the wrong order of things, so we moved on, unfeathered. Apparently also, the state of Nebraska thinks that it's unsporting to use a solid projectile gun rather than a shotgun, to hunt turkeybirds with. Hm. A full-choked shotgun full of 3.5" #4s, is more sporting than a 15 oz five-shot 2" with boot grips?

mikee said...

"Wild" turkeys have beautiful plumage. But with just a trace of domestic turkey in them (like the ones frequently bred and released by state Game Departments) these birds are behave a lot more like the domestic white farm turkeys than their wild cousins. Stupidly, that is.

Tam said...

Yeah, if I had been a less ethical person, these birds were within 1911 range. Heck, there was one that, impatient with his place in line, broke right and trotted up the shoulder of the road. Him I could have harvested by opening the driver's side door briskly.

Tam said...

Mikee,

I don't know that that's necessarily so.

At my old place, you'd see turkeys all the time in the woods. They'd stand in the middle of the road and glare at you.

Except during turkey season. Then they were invisible.

You can call that stupid if you want.

Justthisguy said...

So, when is turkey season in New Hampshire? (I wish my Mom had taught me her recipe for giblet gravy.)

og said...

Turkeys are pretty sharp creatures- in season. Many's the time I've wandered into the middle of a flock deer hunting, but I've never yet seen one in turkey season

Rob said...

It would seem the turkeys are smart enough to taunt us mercilessly during the off-season only to turn invisible 1/2 hour before sunrise on opening day. Little buggers.

nzc said...

We've got wild turkeys, coyotes/grey wolf hybrids and apparently, fishers here in eastern Mass these days. I always thought of fishers as north-woods Minnesota animals.

theirritablearchitect said...

Get lots 'round my parts. Most just stand by the side of the highway, giving everyone that, "The fuck YOU lookin' at?!" kind of eyeball as we whiz on by.

Damnest thing to see them get right up on you, only to, as others have stated, completely vanish during season.

John Venlet said...

Tam, though "flock of turkeys" is entirely acceptable, the collective noun (geez I detest that word collective) for turkeys is rafter of turkeys.

randy said...

Pheasant in Iowa where I grew up did the same thing. Walk around like they owned the place, no fear, for most of the year.

Cloaking devices on at sunrise on first day of the season to sunset of the last day

Carl H said...

It's been a while since I studied my avian plurals, but IIRC it's an exaltation of larks, a murder of crows and a democratic congress of turkeys.

reflectoscope said...

Shame you can't get coverage for dents caused by turkeys running into your door... (Yeah, thats how it was, honest.)

Jim

GuardDuck said...

Not limited to the gobbling game birds. I've gotten within feet of a herd of elk many times - during deer season. Not so much on opening day of elk season. The four hoofed rats have the same personality traits.

Ed Foster said...

My mother used to "harvest" stocked ringnecks with the car. She'd be driving down Pea Hill and see them crossing a hundred yards away, grab neutral, then honk when one was in the middle of the road.

When it froze, she's tag it with the front bumper. Sometimes two or three in a week.

Anonymous said...

There is a place near here where the state has cut the road thru a hill. One time I was driving there and a few turkeys where gathered on the higher side of the hill. As I passed they took off and glided across the road. That made for a memorable experience.

roland said...

Ed Foster, you were blessed with the coolest mom evar!

jimbob86 said...

"Him I could have harvested by opening the driver's side door briskly."

I doubt you could smack him hard enough with a door to hurt him... I have rolled more than one with a load of #6's, only to have them right themselves and flee the scene... Eldest killed her first one this year, but it took 2 blasts from her 20 guage, the second (fatal) delivered at 10 feet.

Anonymous said...

Used to have Blue grouse sit under my mail box in Colorado when I drove up. Like deer, elk, turkeys they mostly dissapear during season. They also ar a lot more approachable in a car than when walking. Seems they don't associate cars with the predators driving them.
As an aside I've noticed a lot of large birds now that I never say when growing up here in Wisconsin. Bald Eagles, Egrets, Turkeys, Sandhill Cranes, various bird hawks (damn things) geese by the thousands instead of tens and a bunch of unusual song birds. Guess we're doing something right.

Anonymous said...

I had a professor come in to class with a big 'ol grin on his face one Monday (usually a really bad sign). He'd bagged TWO turkeys that weekend, on the same day. "Flat State" has a rifle season for turkeys, and he'd bagged both birds in one go. They were lined up one behind the other. He said he still couldn't really believe it himself, but he had pictures.
LittleRed1