Are Turkeys Ugly?
“Man, there must’ve been 60 turkeys around my wife’s backyard bird feeders this winter!” barked the guy at the Maine...
“Man, there must’ve been 60 turkeys around my wife’s backyard bird feeders this winter!” barked the guy at the Maine turkey checking station the other day when I registered my opening day gobbler. “They’re nowhere to be seen now of course.”
“Are you a turkey hunter?” I had to ask. You know how the fellowship we share goes. Oops. Wrong question.
“Turkey hunter! It’s fishin’ season, boy. The salmon are runnin’ up on Sebago. You fish?”
“Yeah, I fish a little . . . when it’s not turkey season.” This was getting interesting.
He wound up and made the next pitch: “Anyway, what do I need with a ratty, dirty bird like that?”
I swung and hit for what I hoped was a single up the middle: “I’m pretty much addicted to these ‘ratty, dirty’ birds,” I smiled, looking down at the gobbler I’d just killed that morning. He laughed a good one.
To each his own, I guess. Over the years I’ve had friends, turkey hunters and non-sportsmen alike, call the biggest gamebird in our woods and fields various derogatory terms.
They refer to “jakes” (juvenile gobblers, of course) by the term “jerks.” The word “ugly” gets a fair share of lip service, too. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get the image of the close encounter I had with multiple gobblers in the Maine woods the other day out of my mind.
Nor would I want to. What wild turkeys have is a presence that faces no rival in the big woods I hunt. When a spring gobbler walks into view, with that head all red, white and blue like the American flag, I am awed. It never gets old. My heart fires up and my pulse quickens. Obsessed? Heck yeah.
Ugly? Hardly. Ratty? C’mon, man. I love salmon on the dinner table too, but please.
So what do you guys say? Send us your word for the greatest gamebird that walks the planet. Mine: awesome.
(NWTF media photo)