Gobble, gobble, gobble…

Was out driving around the other day when a bunch of black specks out in a field, close to a tree line, caught my eye. Of course I had to slam on the brakes, throw on the flashers and ease off the road onto the soft gravel and dirt they call shoulders around here. This time of year with everything thawing, that can be a risky under taking. Particularly if you would like to get back on the road at some point without taking half the shoulder with you or spreading it out in a wide fan behind you.

For years I’ve been seeing a flock of turkey in this area. Sometimes here and other times in another field a mile or two away. Hopefully you’ll be able to see that the two birds that are the closest have pretty substantial beards on them.

Not sure if anyone hunts them in either of these fields.

In the above picture, as lame as it is allowing for the limitations of my camera, I count 14 of the specks heading through the field. There were quite a few more outside of the picture frame. This field is usually filled with cattle and is covered with grasses year round. The other field a mile or two away is either corn or soy beans. Can’t tell which one the birds prefer.

Not too far away is Silver Springs State Park. I know this flock comes off one section of the park, only there is no turkey hunting allowed at Silver Springs. The chances of getting permission from either of these landowners is probably slim to none. I used to have access to the land where I saw the birds this day, but for every conscientious outdoors person there is out there, whether angler, hunter, birder or hiker, there seems to be considerably more that are flat out slobs. This landowner had no choice but to ban everyone in one fell swoop.

I live along one of two cul-de-sacs with a heavily wooded ravine along one side. We used to get turkey and deer wandering through the neighborhood all the time. Of the 11 homes along these two short roads, eight of them are rentals. New tenants over the last two years have brought considerably more dogs into the neighborhood.

The house I rent is one of three that have a fenced in yard, our dogs never go beyond the fence. Apparently our neighbors don’t seem to care if their dogs wander freely around the neighborhood. Conversations have been had, promises have been made and yet I still find all the dogs wandering across my front yard, into those of other neighbors and down into the ravine. It has made scenes like this, turkey gathering at the feeder outside my living room picture window, nonexistent.

I have an old Beeman Airgun that shoots .177 caliber pellets. From what I understand, initial velocity is that of a .22. After 100 feet, the velocity drops off considerably. Conversations with my neighbors are over, I’m tired of trying to reason with these people. I’ll keep the range over 100 feet. We’ll see if the dogs get the hint after a few well placed pellets to their hind quarters.

Maybe then I’ll walk out my front door to see a few turkey and the occasional deer wandering down the street.

Instead of some neighbors dog shitting on my front lawn.

8 thoughts on “Gobble, gobble, gobble…

  1. walt franklin

    Ken,
    Packs of dogs used to be a nuisance around here, too, even with neighbors half a mile apart from each other. Then somebody got after them with rifles, the dog control officers stopped drinking on the job, and the dogs no longer run, except by accident. The wildlife looks a lot better, as a result.

    1. Ken G Post author

      My father-in-law down in Missouri was having a problem with one neighbors dog. Same thing, lived almost a half mile down the road. So he loaded it into his car and drove it 3 miles away. Hasn’t been a problem since.

      I’ve tried being a good neighbor and I really don’t want to call the cops. And no, I can’t abandon a dog like that, but a little sting in the butt is just a lesson learned. Worked for me as a kid. I miss the wildlife.

    1. Ken G Post author

      I avoid doing that when my wife is in the car. Tends to freak her out.

      We used to have them roosting in the trees in the ravine. Liked watching them get up there. Not very elegant birds. Then the branches would snap under their weight now and then. I’m so easily entertained.

  2. Quill Gordon

    I can tell they’re turkeys, so your camera ain’t that bad. I always stop and watch when I see turkeys.

    (re: your response to Walt, above. You were kept in line with a pellet gun?)

    1. Ken G Post author

      And that was zoomed in a bit. One of these days… a much better camera.

      My mom had forearms like steel and my dad was a life long roofer. A smack on the ass from either stung more than a pellet. To this day, at ages 78 and 80 respectively, I avoid contact with those hands.

      On a day when they were feeling lazy, there was always the dreaded belt. A good smack didn’t happen that often, but I can recall almost every one. And I deserved every one.

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