Saturday, August 20, 2011

A turkey in a lava tree

Well, turkey lava...

"oh you just grab them by the legs."

Now the problem here is that the feral turkeys roost rather a lot up the trees. And they spend their nights... well, making sure the branches below are well coated with slippery... stuff. Best not to think too closely about it, when you are 20 feet up a decaying tree with a turkey in one hand and a long drop in every sense of the word, on the other. Said turkey is not entirely happy and content to be upside down in your hand and is doing its level best to take off - upside down. which would have the turkey holder impaled on the broken off branches or face down in the turkey dropping mountain below.

Grabbing by the legs is the easy part. It's taken us a long time to locate the roost, get permission to go there, and nearly as long to come home and draw and pluck two turkeys. Yes, I could tell you where, but I like you and don't want to kill you.

Yes, I did it twice.

What do you mean, "you're a turkey"?


  1. your ferals are a bit different from our wild turkeys then.
    Wild turkeys are well known for their keen eyes. They will even spot the little red light in the red dot sights some hunters use.
    If you find the roost tree and wait for the turkeys to settle for the night, you will not get withing touch of the tree let alone grab a bird.
    On the other hand, I've seen a tom attack his reflection ion the bumber of my dad's truck.

  2. I suppose it must be lack of hunting pressure, and absence of natural enemies. Feral cats may get chicks, and I suppose dogs could get some turkeys (I could have caught one the other day, and I can't run as fast or bite as well as a dog). It may change of course if more people do it. Some hunters do come over and shoot them, but it must be as much 'sport' here as shooting chickens in a hen yard would be. They wonder around the fields in quite large flocks.

  3. wild turkeys run rather fast and for a very long time. My unlce's short legged Cairn Terrier can't out run one, and well it outweighed it as well. Possibly the one that attacked his reflection was being chased and he never flew off...just ran fast enough to evade the dog....considering a turkey in flight can hit near 100kph, getting away that way would be rather easy but they also run near 25 mph, and can keep that up for a fairly long time. I've chased a jake on an ATV and it went a good 200yards or meters and didn't slow even after it finally turned off the path we were on onto one of its own trails.
    30 pounds of bird flying near 60 mph? that'd do a bit of damage.
    I almost hit a Rio Grande subspecies once while on my motorcycle as it was flying across the road at head height...yikes. Smaller bird though...about 20 pounds at most. They too get near over 25 pounds but have rather long legs. I was doing north of 70 mph and contact would not have been pleasant for either of us.

    Yours too have likely a long way to go to get bred back to the Mexican version they were decended from. Domestics, while not quite as dumb as the stereotypes claim are not the brightest bunch.

    Turkeys have meds deer hunting a bit tougher back home as well. Firearm season especially.
    We didn't have them around when I was a kid, but the reintroduction was very successful. The birds see very well, and the deer now cue off them. A rifle hunter in Michigan must by law wear a Blaze Orange clothing, and deer are color blind so no harm really. even solid color is easily missed by them. The birds on the other hand spot you a mile off, and the deer spook and follow. I used to be able to stalk within a few yards of a herd of deer, but if a turkey is with them, and often it is a Tom and his harem, you will be lucky to get inside of 100 yards if in a field, within sight in the heavy cover. Luckily sometimes the deer ignore the birds.
    Well, luckily for the hunter.

    Now I'm getting hungry for deep fried turkey and a side of venison sauteed in butter with onions