Saturday, April 3, 2010

Turkey Time

The turkeys are learning! Awhile back I blogged about trying to teach the turkeys that it is safe to eat in the corn yard and that I am not a threat when they see the strange creature with two legs, two arms and two noisy buckets scattering yellow goodies all over the ground.  Tis the season for making babies and I was blessed with a gift from God to see a spectacular tom display his beautiful feathers early one morning.  I am quite sure there is correct terminology for his behavior so my apologies to my more knowledgable readers. Ok, I decided not to be lazy and look up some info....he was strutting...intending to attract females (obviously) who largely ignored him and scare away other males, which must have worked as I did not see any other toms or gobblers.


A few days earlier, I saw two toms by themselves checking out the corn yard for the first time.  I wondered about those feathers dangling from their chests and originally thought maybe they were molting (the horses, dogs and cats are shedding) or they were in a fight (the deer are always 'hooving' eachother), but something in the back of my mind told me those were males and (I looked it up) that is their beard!  It grows longer with age however, my source says they could live up to 13 years but most die after two years or so...strange.  No explanation as to the early deaths unless it is resulting from the hunters.  Speaking of such individuals, yesterday morning I heard a gun shot close as I was in the barn.  But due to being slightly downhill and in a brick building, I am unable to tell the direction of the shot.  It was tinny in sound and I have heard that gun before.  Little Bear, when frightened, trots down to the barn to get me, so I walked up to the house with her to discover Nugget and Coty were nervously awaiting for me on the back porch which tells me it was close to the house... damn the soul that continues to trespass on my property.  It angers me to no end knowing what a stray bullet could do...  Sammy was out too, and the idiot could have shot him...So off I go up the woods along the deer paths but found nothing.    Of course I won't, this man is good at hiding, he is a hunter....I did scare off my turkeys and some deer so he must have already left after hearing my angry words or he was not in that area, etc.  Alas, I got some decent exercise as I walked up and down some hills, covering about 50 acres.  I was down with a severe cold  for 9 days prior so this was good for me to get back in the swing of things!

I now have a lone female who frequently visits the corn yard now, so perhaps she has found a safe place to nest close to the house....Sammy, don't you dare go in the woods now! (and yes, Sam is off the 'deer' hook.  Many thanks to my educated readers who enlightened me on deer carcasses...I saw it again yesterday and it is now obliterated)....Have a Happy Easter and enjoy a wonderful holiday with your loved ones!

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16 comments:

Alissa said...

Turkey's are such interesting birds. A great photography subject.

Julia said...

Happy Easter!

I LOVE turkeys. We go on turkey hunts to watch them NOT shoot them. The kids love to see them. It was so cute when Wyatt was little since he would say "They're shruttin' mom." I loved hearing him say strut as shrutting. Must be a mom thing. And the toms when they whrrrrlllll when they strut... that sound is unmistakable! :) Great great post! Did I say we love turkeys???

Pony Girl said...

So scary about the hunters! Do you have signs posted? Be sure to wear a vest or bright colors when you are in the woods around the property!
The turkeys are so cool! I can't believe they are wild.
I don't know if I've told you, but your cat Callie on the sidebar theere, looks a lot like the cat Cali, that I cat sit! Except Cali's eyes are green.
Happy Easter to you and yours!!

Autumn Mist said...

Lovely post, fascinating to read, as usual. Have a wonderful Easter.

wncmountainliving said...

Sorry someone was hunting on your land! Be sure to post losts of signs! We have turkeys inthe woods behind us but never see them! Just their feathers!

Feral Female said...

Awesome pictures!

Dog Trot Farm said...

Mr. Tom is one handsome fella, great photos. I happen to love turkeys. We have had issues with hunters in the past, it is frightening when shots ring out so close to your home and your pets are in the yard and yes we do post our land. Years ago there was a young mother in Maine who went to hang her laundry while her little one's slept. While at the clothesline she was shot and killed. The hunter mistook her for a deer as she was wearing white mittens, he thought the mittens were a deer's tail. Her land was posted. You can never be too careful!

AJ-OAKS said...

That Tom turkey sure is a handsome guy all fluffed up and strutting his stuff for the ladies.

We have idiots close by that shoot their guns off at all times of the day and night. Everytime I hear one I am like you, off to check on everybody. At night when I hear the shots I fear for the racoons. It seems that there aren't as many these days which is sad. I've gotten used to having a mama coon bring her babies up to eat cat food every year. Haven't seen her yet this year.

Hopefully you will find the person who is trespassing and make it clear your property is off limits. It is not only dangerous for you but for all the critters you have there.

If you live in a small community you can start getting the word out that there has been a trespasser on your place and when you catch him/her you will press charges to the full extent of the law. Usually the word spreads pretty quickly!

Hope your Easter was wonderful.

Kritter Keeper said...

thanks to each of you for your comments. i am going to invest in hunting cameras that will show who is on the land however finding the right places will be difficult. but i do know where the easier accesses are and there is a trailer court nearby whose residents are probably my culprits. what a shame julie about that poor dear mother hanging her laundry...i hope that man has to spend his life in jail. no excuse. i have large 18 x 18 commercial no tres. signs on 8 foot u channel posts. (the kind that you see a stop sign on). you can clearly see them but that means nothing to the ignorant ego driven men who think they are invincible. i pray we stay safe as do all my animals both tame and wild.

Cindy said...

LOVE the turkeys! John built his sister a HUGE birdfeeder.......and this draws the turkeys in! It's so fun to sit and watch them from her house :)

It's sooo sad someone thinks they can just violate your land to hunt on....hopefully you can pick it up with the hunting cams.

;) just keep working your husband on the chickens........fresh eggs, they help with bugs....but he probly won't care that they're CUTE as all get out! LOL!

Rural Rambler said...

Great pictures Kritter Keeper! We have four family groups of turkeys that visit us and we feed corn too. We have named the turkeys that visit our property and we love having them and needless to say I hate it when turkey season begins. We hear the shots and hope for the best. Don't even get me started on trespassers, we don't have the acreage you have so it is fairly easy for us to keep an eye on things but we hear hunting all around us.

Totally Timmy said...

awesome pics..we have alot of turkeys where I use to live.In the fall they always gather at one farm...about 200 of them..people are always stopping to take pics. they are there about 3 days then poof..they are gone!

Rainy Day Farm said...

What beautiful pictures. Turkeys are funny to watch. You are so lucky to have them in your yard. Thanks for sharing.

Willard said...

I really enjoyed your photos and reading the post. We seem to have a lot of the same experiences with the wildlife. I could write forever about the experiences with the trespassers.

Shooting turkeys before season in the spring, seems to be a big thing. I never caught too many people doing this as I was a maintenance worker and had to work at this job five mornings a week and wanted to use the weekends for photography, etc., but I knew one Conservation Officer who nailed a lot of these guys. This is probably what is going on in your case, but then who knows what the guy is shooting at. Some think they have the god-given right to come and shoot at the wildlife you are trying to protect. The biggest problem I have is people driving through the property where I hang out (there is an old back country road through it), and shooting at animals from the vehicle. The other is when the deer make the mistake of going on the neighboring property and get shot. The latter is legal, but it is still upsetting, while the first is not. When I was a deputy conservation officer I caught a lot of people for shooting at wildlife from vehicles, and I have had one incident since I retired where I apprehended the subjects. I hope you get your problem solved. The trail camera is a good option, but the worst thing is concealing them so they will not steal them or destroy them by shooting them.

Sunshine Mom said...

You wouldn't think it (at least I didn't when we moved here) but Florida has wild turkeys all over the place. :) I love them and have such fun watching them...except for when they walk on and leave turkey presents on our truck. :):)

EH said...

Great pictures of the turkey, I haven't seen them in the wild like that