Wild Turkeys!

Everyone loves to see that tom-turkey spreading his feathers and courting the hens in the spring time, but turkeys are busily ‘doing their thing’ all year long. Flocking, flying, foraging, and fighting. Our cameras catch it all 🙂

Turkey Flock
This flock browsed its way towards us as we pretended to not point cameras at them.

Turkeys, it seems to me, fly only out of necessity. Getting onto or off of their roost and when spooked or attacked being good examples. They’re not capable of migratory distances, so we have them on camera all seasons of the year.

Turkey fights seem to be quite common among jakes. BTW, a “jake” is an immature tom (male) turkey. This juvenile fighting helps them develop strength and skills for those inevitable mating fights with each other and with larger, more mature, toms in the spring season.

Turn the sound up and don’t leave until you’ve seen them lock necks.

As we all know, Thanksgiving would not be complete without a turkey on the dinner table. To that end turkey hunting is a centuries old tradition which is both exciting and frustrating. To quote a logger I met in recent years, “Turkeys are both the smartest and dumbest animal I’ve ever seen. They seem smartest when I’m hunting them yet I’ve seen them trapped in my field as if they forgot they know how to fly.”

The moral of his story appears to be; When you’re hunting turkeys, act like you’re not hunting turkeys. And some times that does work…

What I have to say on the subject of turkey intelligence is, “Every time I hunt for turkeys, they teach me something new.” At times they teach humility. LOL. It probably wasn’t their intention BUT they also taught me I’d rather have a double barrel shotgun than a pump action. This suits me fine as I hunted rabbits with a side-by-side double barrel during my youth.

This is looking like the jakes have just now learned to spread their tails and are very excited about that.
Hopping jake turkeys! I suppose this is good practice for fighting in the spring time.
Wild turkeys foraging in the snow.
Even in the snow, turkeys must contend with various predators… This cat is on the same camera as the turkeys above.