Turkey Encounter

by The Newswanger Children | Jun 3, 2022 | 0 comments

Wild Turkey jake in road
Wild Turkey. Photo © iStock.

Our family lives in the country with abundant wildlife. It is not unusual to see deer, turkeys, skunks, or pheasants in our yard. Most of the wildlife runs when we get too close. Lately we’ve had different results.

It all started after the neighbor farmer combined his beans. While driving to school one morning, we noticed a Wild Turkey standing alone in the middle of the field looking for all the world like it was lost. Most turkeys will travel in groups at this time of year. That afternoon the turkey was still there. Same field, different spot, still “lost.”

Throughout the next several weeks, we kept spotting the turkey, which we decided was a hen due to the lack of a beard. Sometimes it was in the field, sometimes in the yard or hedgerow of the nearby house. Occasionally she was spotted admiring herself in the reflection of a vehicle parked in the driveway.

Then one morning in mid-December on our way to school, we encountered Miss Turkey standing in the middle of the intersection.

“Putt-putt,” she croaked at us as Mom maneuvered the van around her. “Putt-putt!” The turkey started coming after us! Mom slowed down to 20 miles (30 km) per hour.

“Putt-putt!” The turkey put on more speed. By then she was hauling flat out behind us, her body swinging from side to side. The boys had the van windows open and were calling back to the turkey while the girls cheered her on! Miss Turkey chased us a little ways down the road calling her “Putt-putt!” Then she stopped and gazed dejectedly after us. On her way back home, Mom witnessed the turkey running after a fuel truck.

That afternoon on our way home from school, the turkey was standing beside the road. Mom pulled off on the shoulder. “OK, folks,” she said, “see if you can catch her.”

Six of us barreled out of the van, but those long legs served her well. The turkey took one look at us and hightailed it into the woods.

We still see the turkey regularly hanging around the same area, always alone. It has started to grow a beard. Dad pronounced it a tom (a young tom is called a Jake). Just the other week we came through there, and a car was pulled over with the turkey standing right at the front passenger door enjoying a handout! We hope we get a turn to do that, too, sometime.

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