We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, November 26. 2008
At the turn of the century, the Eastern Wild Turkey was nearly eradicated by hunting and habitat loss, and was entirely absent in the Northeast.
By the mid 1800s, the woodlands of New England had disappeared for farming, charcoal production, and lumbering.
But the woodlands have returned as farming moved west, and the wierd gobble now can be heard even in residential areas.
Thanks to dramatically successful conservation and transplantationáefforts, there are now estimated to be 7 million of these huge iridescent birds, which Ben Franklin felt to be so quintessentially American that he wanted one on the US Seal. (Video of the turkey's comeback here.)
There areásix species of wild turkey in the New World, and none elsewhere. (The domestic turkey is likely a descendent of the largeáMexicanáspecies.) It is the Eastern which we feature here which has, in recent years, been transplanted successfully west of the Mississippi, and elsewhere.
As a sought-after game bird, the turkey's habits have been much studied. They are wary and cautious. In most areas, there is a spring and a fall hunting season for turkey, and they are pursued with bow or shotgun. It is the one gameábird which it is sporting to shoot on the ground.á
I have hunted them onáa couple of occasions. Never managed to shoot one, though. Had a good time however, sitting at the base of a tree in camo, watching the other wild critters pass by.
Does the wild turkey taste different from a supermarket bird? Yes - the wild turkey tastes like turkey and the supermarket bird tastes like a supermarket.
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I have eastern wild turkeys on my farm and we hunt them in the spring (no fall season). A magnificent bird and fantastic sport. The restoration of the species is a great example of sportsman (read hunter) driven conservation.
The Franklin story is true.
Miillions of turkey dinners have bee missed by our serving armyied foces. So as we say
Essen Sie den Truthahn zum Knochen, wir ben÷tigen nicht keine nach links alleine. Geben Sie ihm H÷lle und ziehen Sie reales gut, es ist Thanksgiving so ein, was die H÷lle. Erinnern Sie Sich an Bastonge!
Johnn ha tacchini selvaggi orientali sul suo podere e li cercano nella molla. Un uccello magnifico e uno sport fantastico. Il ripristino della specie Ŕ un esempio grande di conservazione guidata sportsman. Utilizziamo l'esca e gli alti fucili da caccia autoalimentati.
Indeed. I am strongly opposed to the continued serving of plastic turkeys to our brave guys and gals.
Autoalimentati? Doppieta! Gli artigianale di Val Trompia stanno roteando nelle la tombe.
Aucun rolantando. C'est l'esprit de l'annÚe qui nous anime pour ŕtre dans un Útat o¨ nous cÚlÚbrons la dinde et buvons de trop de vin
I'm in a city-suburb north of Boston, and we get wild turkeys in our front yard (we often pitch out seed for them in winter, which would probably get us in trouble with either animal-control or the health code guys...) There were six in the neighbors yard the other day doing synchronized display for the hens, a sort of fowl marching band.
Hmmmm.... Do you think I could get away with dropping a net on one?
At this time of year, they show up all over the place. Wonderful, isn;t it?
Continually amazed at BD's scholarship, this time on turkeys. That's what makes Maggie's Farm for Maggie's Farmers. Happy Turkey Day to all!
I got a great nap lastweek in the Fall Turkey Woods. None to be found anywhere.
I was rewarded with a snort of my other Favorite Turkey,which I knew the location of. Rare Breed!
Up here at the other end of New England, in the White Mtns/Great North Woods, they are in danger of becoming a pest their numbers are so large. They are wary and smart and I am proud to say I am amongst those who have taken one with a bow. They do tend to have a bit of a weakness when it comes to timing their flights over roadways....
Imagine explaining to the operator in some urban center that yes indeed, you do need a new windshield and no, I'm not kidding, it was a TURKEY!
I might not be a fair example though, as wildlife seem to choose me when they decide on suicide, I have hit turkey, moose and, this Spring, a bear. The wonder is that I have NOT hit a deer (knocks wood, crosses fingers).
Holiday bird from the market this year, but last years was freshly harvested from a local hillside resplendent with Autumn oaks. It was a Jake, as opposed to a big Tom, and deep fried in oil it was one of the best meals I've had in quite some time.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of the Maggie's Farmers, you are one of the things I am thankful for!
They recently added a 2nd season for the close-knit family bird here in Maine, re-population has been so successful. That doesn't make them any easier to get! Get out into the woods well before sunup, and don't move a muscle. Eyesight is their strong suit.
I once spooked a family of them outside my door, and dang if they didn't all 6 of them fly up into the pine trees at the edge of the field. None too high - 12' maybe - but they flew surprisingly well. Seemed they would have sat up there all day if I hadn't eventually gone out to get a closer look.
The first time I saw a wild turkey on a visit to America I couldn't believe my eyes...turkeys walking around!....are they real?...yes...I'm an idiot.
The only thing the Idaho Fish and Game Department (more pickup trucks than employees) ever did that was a success was introducing the Merriam turkey. Dropped some out the back of a pickup truck. Man, did they take off. They seem to be able to live anywhere. I've seen them on my farmland, in the mountains, in the river valleys, anywhere around here. Always hang out in groups. Very lovely birds. Now that they are here, they've decided "We like it, we're stayin'."
Usually, during one of my early morning stops in Hamden, CT, there is a flock of 6, or so, hoofing it out of the woods, down the sidewalk, to a lady with a walker holding a bag of seed in front of the elderly housing buildings. They're quite comical when they're running with their heads down, but bobbing up and down! Once, I had to shoo them out of the way, and I took a couple of pictures with my phone camera (lousy). This week, they've been scarce, and I suspect that the Seed Lady and her crones are plucking and cleaning them, AT THIS VERY MOMENT. Like the deer around here, the elderly can hunt them with umbrellas or handbags . . .
I don't know what flavor of turkeys were released by Game & Parks here in Nebraska but they look a lot like the one in your photo. Anyway, 20 years ago there weren't any turkeys here. Now they are becoming a nuisance. Coincidentally, we now have bobcats and mountain lions in the area. Popular opinion has it that they have come for the turkeys. Unfortunately, they also like baby beef.