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Wild turkeys

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Wild turkeys

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:50 pm

I was going to add this to the hummingbird topic but it didn't quite seem to fit.

This afternoon by the bike path behind Olbrich Gardens there were two big, fat adult wild turkeys grazing peacefully while some little kids stood and stared. Have the turkeys been here all summer? Are there more than two? Anybody else seen them?

Hope they stick around, because they're fun to watch.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby rabble » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:58 pm

We saw them at the Fair Oaks bike path crossing after Sunday's heavy rain. When I lived up near Tomah we'd see them wandering aimlessly on the roadsides after gullywashers. An old timer told me they were pretty smart birds until something forced them out of their familiar surroundings and then they were absolutely clueless.

I think they've been around for a long time but the rain forced them out into the open and they've come to the conclusion that there aren't any predators to worry about.

Hopefully, that will hold true for a while. At least till Thanksgiving.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby ilikebeans » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:00 pm

If you happen to be near the nature center in the Arboretum at dusk, you can usually watch a handful of them fly into the trees to roost for the evening.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby Archipants » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:04 pm

ilikebeans wrote:If you happen to be near the nature center in the Arboretum at dusk, you can usually watch a handful of them fly into the trees to roost for the evening.

I biked past one grazing on the edge of the road this afternoon on my way through the arb. He/she seem totally indifferent to my presence. I almost stopped to take a picture but thought I'd just leave him be.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby Donald » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:54 pm

There are wild turkeys all over the place over here on the West side. The males are really a hoot in the spring when they are strutting around trying to impress.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby rabble » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:15 pm

Yeah I've seen turkeys in the arb and on the west side.

It was a little disconcerting to see two of them standing at the bike path stop sign on Fair Oaks, though. They looked for all the world like they were patiently waiting for a break in traffic.

Based on Sno's description I think they decided not to cross the street.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby fennel » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:18 pm

Donald wrote:The males are really a hoot in the spring when they are strutting around trying to impress.
Good Lord, you saw me at the farmer's market?? I was trying to be discreet.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby gargantua » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:36 pm

One of them walked along with me for about a half a block on the near west side recently. Unfortunately, I had to turn in his direction when we reached the end of the block. Apparently annoyed, he quickened his pace so that we wouldn't have to stop and chat.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby Wino » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:08 am

This spring 5 or 6 turkeys were regularly gathering in the corn stubble in the field across from Milwaukee St. at Walter. This year soybeans were planted in that field, and it seems as soon as those plants came up the turkeys left. Since then I've seen them walking around the neighborhood up the sidewalks, in people's yards, and in OB Sherry park. Also spotted one crossing Fair Oaks near the bike path. Kind of neat. Lots of wildlife and birds in our neck of the woods.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:11 am

Boatloads in the Oregon/Fitchburg area, too. Nice to see 'em out and walking around rather than sheltering in low areas to stay cool like they were last summer.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby wack wack » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:21 am

Donald wrote:There are wild turkeys all over the place over here on the West side. The males are really a hoot in the spring when they are strutting around trying to impress.


Far east side too... hard to drive AB from Sprecher to 12/18 without seeing one.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:33 am

Not only are wild turkeys fun to watch, they're tasty too.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:38 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Not only are wild turkeys fun to watch, they're tasty too.

Yep. A little gamey but delicious. Less dry than a store bought bird. Ever had one deep fried?
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:49 am

fisticuffs wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:Not only are wild turkeys fun to watch, they're tasty too.

Yep. A little gamey but delicious. Less dry than a store bought bird. Ever had one deep fried?

No, The one I tasted was grilled (at a wild game feed). It was the least gamey meat at the feed.
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Re: Wild turkeys

Postby snoqueen » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:24 pm

I used to work with a bunch of lifelong hunters. They said wild turkeys were the hardest game to get because they're so darn smart and wary. Also, their feathers are almost as tight as armor, giving bowhunters a lot of trouble (and of course, the fun of a challenge).

Anyway, one of these guys liked using a turkey call to make a gobbling sound and bring the birds closer. The call was a little thing you hold in your mouth and you have to work to get the sound just right so you can fool the birds. He got good results a couple years in a row.

This meant, of course, lots of practice. So my friend would be practicing with this thing for weeks ahead of turkey season. Pretty soon all the other hunters in the shop got out their turkey calls to practice too. They'd all be making bird noises back and forth and whenever I went out back the whole place sounded like it was full of turkeys. I loved working with those guys.
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