15. Turkeys

A. Two at a time
Ralph or Doug

B. Pecker to Pecker
Ralph or Doug

C. Perverted toms
Ralph or Doug

D. That's a mighty fancy Turkey
One morning, in The Box Where the Black Box Used to Be, Bill sat watching the feeder. There were turkeys talking in the meadow beyond the feeder. He was startled by a movement just outside the south window of the box. There was a stream of turkeys quietly coming off the ridge to join those in the meadow. Some of their heads were less than two feet from the box. He had to be really still not to spook them at that distance, so he watched, almost without breathing. The first couple had been hens and now there was a gobbler. But it looked different in some way. The comb was not right and the neck was too iridescent. It passed on down where he could get a good look at the body while more turkeys kept stringing by. The last of them passed and he got his binoculars on the birds, still moving to the meadow birds. They were going directly to the other birds, passing the feeder without any notice of it. Now, seeing the new group all together, he was sure that the "funny" gobbler was a Peafowl. The two groups joined and were now making a hell of a racket. There was bit of strutting and a lot of jumping and flapping. There were gobbles, clucks, purrs and ... a squawk. The pea hen was absolutely an active member of the flock. Several other hunters saw her with turkeys over the next couple of years. So much for the old saw "Birds of a Feather".

E. Whoo rattled his chain?
Turkeys are sharp-eyed and wary and nearly impossible to stalk. Getting close to yurkeys is hard because you need to get them to stalk you. But the gobblers do have a, possibly familiar, weakness. Oftentimes they have the need for the last word. They'll return a gobble to the hoot of an owl or the clank of a gate chain. One gobbled back when Doug shot a rattlesnake. Sometimes they'll even return a gobble to a man-made call. Then you know where they are. The sound of hen clucks, purrs or yelps often bring forth not just a gobble, but the old man himself. You have to ponder what the hunter may have said to have the bird decide to come to the call. If it's supposed to sound like a hen, what is she going to say that makes a tom abandon the customary practice of gobbling and waiting for the hens to come to him? Does he think "This one sounds so good I'd better get there before the other toms do." Or is it, "This one can't even talk right. I'm pretty sure she's so dumb I can convince her to do anything I say."? Either way some will come to see and not all will be young, eager jakes, instead, they are mature birds with good spurs, long beards and wing tips worn from strutting. The manner of the approach can vary from the bird that hangs back in the edge of the brush, cautiously looking the place over to see if the game is worth the candle, to the one that runs in hell-bent to find that hen. Help me here, guys, I'm not the turkey hunter!

F. Jason and the bird
Ralph or Doug

G. Turkey confabs
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H. Turkey and deer
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You'll see headings with no story. They haven't been written yet. I'm waiting to talk to the guys that were there.

If you remember any details better than are written, email the edited text to me. If your recollection may not be accurate, join the club. (-CRS-)

Accuracy should be just a bit less important than a good tale.

Bill

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