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Author Topic: Turkeys  (Read 4361 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Turkeys
« on: March 01, 2018, 06:28:32 PM »
   All our wet weather is washing up plenty of worms and the turkeys are feasting on them. We have a flock that comes down almost every day. Today they came twice. As far as I can tell these are all hens and maybe a few jakes mixed in. There are no big gobblers in the bunch yet - they are still off in bachelor groups but will be chasing hens pretty soon especially if we get a few more warm days.

 They are hard to count when there are very many of them because they are
always running around, lining up, heads up, heads down, behind stumps, etc. I counted at least 27 in this bunch. There could be more.


They spotted our movement in the house here and lined up to leave. See how they are all facing the same direction. 

Turkeys on the hillside in the pasture just before sunset. Yellow object is the horse further up the hill. The mule is with him

Zoomed in a little closer.
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Offline coxy

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2018, 06:44:00 PM »
are turkeys are gobbling a little here already 

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2018, 08:48:44 PM »
   I have not heard them gobble yet but they probably did last week when we had a break in the rain for 1-2 days and temps got up in the high 70's. They will be shaking the hollers as soon as/if it quits raining.

   I was on our local COE lake fishing a few years back and we had a thunderstorm coming and every time we'd get a clap of thunder that would shock them into gobbling and it sounded like there was one up every holler (Hollow or draw between two ridges to any less edymucated readers).
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Offline Kwill

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2018, 09:08:11 PM »
I haven't seen any this winter. Normally see a group of them picking in the field. Back a few years ago it was nothing to see a big group of 50-100 of them. There was rumors the conservation netted them and traded them for rattle snakes.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2018, 09:36:11 PM »
Kwill,

  I thought only WV hillbillies were that gullible. :D I've been hearing that same tail tale about our DNR here trading turkeys for rattlesnakes for nearly 28 years since we first moved here. The tales even include the rattlesnakes being parachuted into remote areas. I haven't figured out how they would strap him in so he could still release himself when he landed. ???
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Offline starmac

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2018, 09:46:28 PM »
I doubt it happened, but sure wouldn't put it past our government to try it, or even spend a million bucks a piece for a self releasing parachute.
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Offline Kwill

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2018, 10:40:46 PM »
Kwill,

  I thought only WV hillbillies were that gullible. :D I've been hearing that same tail tale about our DNR here trading turkeys for rattlesnakes for nearly 28 years since we first moved here. The tales even include the rattlesnakes being parachuted into remote areas. I haven't figured out how they would strap him in so he could still release himself when he landed. ???
My grandma was from west virginia. Deepwater wv actually. Something sure happened to our  turkeys. Don't see hardly any anymore.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2018, 11:00:19 PM »
   Google seems to think Deep Water WV is about 66 miles away. Shows it over between Fayetteville and Charleston.

    The last 2 years we have had pretty mild winters and good mast crops and the turkeys seem to be doing real well. I like to hunt them but am not very good at it. Most of them I killed I ambushed or lucked up on them. Very few came to my calling. I get more foxes and bobcats and such coming thinking I am a sick or dying turkey hen. Not a real confidence builder but its fun to be out in the woods with them and see the creative ways they outwit me. :D
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Offline Kwill

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2018, 11:15:08 PM »
  Google seems to think Deep Water WV is about 66 miles away. Shows it over between Fayetteville and Charleston.

    
That sounds right. I've been there 3 times visiting relatives when I was younger. I think there was a town called Montgomery close by. And I remember her talking about some place called swiss.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2018, 11:32:26 PM »
  Yep, map shows Montgomery just a few miles away on the route to Charleston. Swiss looks to be about 15 miles away as if you were heading toward's Fayetteville. 

   Fayetteville is where we had the world's longest single arch bridge till somebody built a longer one a few years ago. They have Bridge Day about 3rd Saturday of October every year and shut off 2 lanes of Hwy 19 and let people jump off and parachute, hang glide and bungee jump over/into the river below. Draw a big and international crowd. My landlord in Norway FIL had come over to jump off the bridge. My mother raised a smarter child than that.
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Offline Kwill

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 11:45:13 PM »
Yeah I've been across that bridge. Have you been to Hawks nest state park?
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2018, 11:52:36 PM »
 

 got this while in west Virginia.
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2018, 11:53:43 PM »
Hard to tell from the pic but it was the 13 annual in 1983
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Offline starmac

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2018, 01:29:39 AM »
For some strange reason, turkeys are the only game meat I like that I have never had the urge to kill, and I have had plenty of oppurtunities. I can spend hours watching them though.

One year when I was camped down in the capitans cutting firewood (starving) a huge flock of turkeys would come off the mountain right by my camp every morning just as the sun was coming up. for some reason I just liked watching them.
One evening late I was cruising a new area that I was going to cut and was a half mile or so from my pickup when it got full dark onme, walking through the woods probably daydreaming, I walked under a roost tree and scared the flock off the tree, I about had to change my shorts, it took a minute to figure out a couple of dozen apache helicopters had not just took flight.
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2018, 06:08:48 AM »
Turkeys have only been around here for 10-15 years.
I saw them for years about 45 minutes to an hour from me for years. Seem like most times I saw them they was in a single line,10-20 to a flock. Than I saw one about 10 minutes from me one year. The next year they was in my fields. I saw them in my fields with chicks. I grabbed the camera and went down to take a picture of them. I wanted to get close to them,so I tried to walk up closer. All at once they flew off and landed in the trees at the edge of the field,abou 500 feet away. I had no idea they could fly. I always saw them driving and thought they walked and could only fly a little ways. ::)
I have never saw one in a tree roosting. I have never even see where they do roost. I would think their would be some droppings in that area.
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2018, 08:59:48 AM »
Kwill,

   I don't think I have been to Hawks Nest State Park but my photographer wife has been several times. We also occasionally go to Badcock State where the old mill is. She even has pictures of the mill in a snow storm.

Starmac,

   Been there, done that. Mess around waiting till dark deer hunting then walk out under a roost and turkeys just explode out of there. Did you ever go back the next morning after you'd spooked a bunch? There will be turkeys putting and clucking seems like for miles as they get back together. I worked a project up in western PA and drove past a dead turkey hanging in the fork of a tall poplar tree. I always figured he got spooked and flew out at night and crashed into the fork breaking his neck.

cfarm,

   Not long after we moved up here we rounded a bend in the mountain road and it was full of young turnkeys not much bigger than a bobwhite quail. I yelled at wife to stop and I jumped out and ran into them thinking I was going to catch several. They exploded all around me and flew off and when I got back in the truck the wife and kids were all laughing at me as apparently they all knew they could fly at that stage but I did not.
I doubt it happened, but sure wouldn't put it past our government to try it, or even spend a million bucks a piece for a self releasing parachute.
   Yeah, I can see some genius scientist designing a a parachute that releases as soon as it reaches sea level then dropping rattlesnakes all over the remote WV mountains (Where elevations are always 2,000' or more)

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2018, 09:29:55 AM »
Probably a lot like grouse, the chicks can fly almost as soon as they get dried off from hatching. Well, maybe not that quick, but I see little chicks fly quite soon after the nesting time. ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2018, 10:16:46 AM »
   Well, these just came by for their breakfast and just scratched and fed their way over the ridge in the woodline.

Donkey,

   Yeah birds are neat. I've watched baby quail turn over under a leaf and hide when too small to fly.

   I have watched mother quail, killdeer, hen turkeys, ostriches, and even a big Ibis of some kind in Mongolia run around crying and doing a broken wing act to try to draw me away from their nest or young that were still too young to fly. Nature at work is truly a wonder. 

   Its also fun to watch a mockingbird or blue jay chasing other birds, dogs, cats and people away from their nest or watch jays and crows attack hawks, owls or eagles. As I kid we saw mockingbirds chasing and pulling tail feathers out of crows all the time. The crows are bigger and stronger but not fast enough to catch the smaller, more agile birds.
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Offline Woodcutter_Mo

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2018, 11:03:54 AM »
 Here just the last couple weeks I've been seeing quite a few turkeys. There are 2 flocks I see and there are usually up to a couple dozen in each of what looks like mostly hens in each.  
I have to watch for them as they like to burst out and fly low across the road as I'm driving through, I figure I could probably catch one if i roll my window down and one might glide right in. I've grabbed a live wild turkey before though and I don't think trying to wrestle one in the cab of my truck while driving would be too smart :D.  

I'll try to get a pic of the flock the next time I see them. :)
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2018, 11:37:15 AM »
Woodcutter,

   Many people around here have run wild turkeys into a fence and caught one - just one. I never knew of anybody who tried to catch another. 

   Sort of like my uncle who blinded a half grown bobcat with his car lights on a dirt road one night and sneaked around and caught it. He never tried to catch another one. 
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2018, 04:22:28 PM »
Them itty bitty turkeys can not only fly, they can run faster than a guy thinks they can with them short legs.
I watched a turkey nest for a couple of weeks in a brushpile. I had intentions of catching one or two as soon as they hatched, but one morning all there was left was a whole bunch of feathers, yotes had found her.

We (the family) has a ranch in the mountains up in Northern New Mexico, and turkeys will fly from one mountain across the valley to the other, it is probably at least a mile and a half. That is the farthest I have ever seen or even heard of them flying.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2018, 05:42:18 PM »
   I guess how far they fly depends largely on their elevation when they started. They mostly glide - jump up and fly a few strokes or jump off a limb, flop a few licks then lock their wings. Quail do largely the same thing. 

   Many years ago we had a Fall season and my son roosted "3 big gobblers" according to him on a ridge. He could almost show me the exact tree they were in on an aerial photo we had from the US survey folks. I got up the next morning and sneaked up under the tree till till I heard one cluck. I sat down till it got daylight and ambushed it off the roost. It fell then locked its wings and glided a good 350 yards or more down the valley then fell dead within 30' of my neighbors well/pump house. Fortunately it followed the curve of the draw or I'd never have found it. 
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Offline braucher

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2018, 09:23:30 AM »
The hens are loud now in the AM hear a few gobblers

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2018, 10:15:19 AM »
I live in Union County North Carolina near Charlotte.  Our home butts up to a large wooded area with a field on the other side.  I have not seen a turkey in the 10 years we have lived here until yesterday when a hen took flight just off of my walking trail though the woods.

I suspect if there is one turkey there will be more around somewhere.  I do hope so.
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2018, 06:17:59 PM »
  Glad you spotted the turkey hen. Good luck on seeing more of them.

   My flock is still coming in. Wife took picture a few days ago and definitely identified at least one was a jake with a small beard. They sometimes fly in from the hillside across the road (my neighbor's pasture) and land in the yard then run the fenceline till they find and open area at or under the gate they can pass through. If we push them they will fly but they prefer to run.
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2018, 08:57:04 PM »
 Did you say "Turkeys?"



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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2018, 02:46:55 AM »
Seen 30 or so yesterday afternoon around 4pm right after an all day rain.

I checked my trail cameras on public ground. I had 5-6 walking around in the afternoons.

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2018, 03:35:18 PM »
  Just had a handful of hens come down with at least one big gobbler in the group. He was strutting from time to time and had a beard dragging the ground when he walked.

That's the big guys beard touching the ground.

Strutting again. My wife can't remember the term strut and always says "He fuzzed out."
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2018, 06:06:42 PM »
  Oh yeah, one other thing my wife noted and I noted it again today - we have a big fox squirrel who tags along with the flock of turkeys. Evidently they are scratching up something he likes too. It is happening too often to be an accident. He is deliberately hanging out with them.
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2018, 09:09:01 AM »
That old squirrel has learned a trick.  I regularly see deer and turkeys together.  Maybe they both know where the good food source (acorns) are or one is uncovering for the other?  Maybe it is the security of more eyes watching for danger?  Maybe they all grew up together and are friends?  I have watched both sorta playfully chase the other.
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2018, 11:32:57 AM »
Fuzzed out ! :D :D :D That works for me, I am ready also just a few more weeks
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2018, 02:18:19 PM »
I had a Daughter with me turkey hunting and she said, "that one is pumped up".  :o  :D
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2018, 07:37:36 PM »
   We saw neat animal associations in Africa. Impala liked to hang out with Baboons who were among the most alert animals out there. Very hard to sneak up on a troop of baboons. Old bulls of different species who had been kicked out of the herd would hang out together. Common to see an old bull elephant with old bull rhino and old bull giraffe and a old bull cape buffalo. Companionship and safety for all and no competing for same foods in most cases. I saw an old bull Blue Wildebeest hanging out with 50-60 impala fawns on a trip to Kruger Nat'l Park in S. Africa. I nicknamed him Uncle Remus.

    A little off topic but I became less opposed to trophy hunting there. Not for me but very wealthy hunters come over from Europe and USA and such and would spend tons of money to go shoot a big old lion or cape buffalo or elephant or such. Hundreds of thousands of dollars would be spent into the local economy for a single animal. The trophies these guys wanted were typically already past their prime and no longer part of the breeding population anyway. They were neat for tourists like me to see and photograph but they were not going to add to the future population of their species. Younger, stronger herd bulls had already kicked them out and were maintaining the various animal harems. JMHO.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2018, 07:09:57 AM »
Turkeys are strutting in the snow covered fields in this area, and have been heard gobbling in the woods now for a couple of weeks!
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2018, 08:27:18 AM »
   I was gone most all day yesterday and Becky said the hens came down and she looked up and saw 3 big gobblers in full strut prance all the way down the hillside to join the ladies. They had beards that looked like paintbrushes. She took several pictures for her files and such. In a couple you can see the bright red head on him as he was really excited.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2018, 03:04:01 PM »
My brother sees a few up in the trees once in awhile. Roosting like chickens. ;D I have not laid eyes on one for weeks, just not lucky. ;)

I've been observing the robins returning to the north.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2018, 08:16:09 PM »
   We have had plenty of robins last few weeks. Ground is so wet the worms are drowning and all the birds are feasting. I took ATV up with a bale of hay and spotted a couple of squirrels and one chipmunk in the field then saw a big gobbler inside the fence running the fence line. He ran back and forth several times before he finally flew. I may have to start taking a gun with me when our season opens next month.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2018, 07:43:28 AM »
We have been seeing Turkeys for a few years now. Being from N/W Wisconsin it's a new thing. I'm 57 & never seen any years ago. But we did have some mild winters lately.

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2018, 11:51:39 AM »
Ones we get here were introduced into Maine. We never had turkey here before. Old guides would have written about them. All they mentioned here was bear, moose, caribou, grouse and salmon. Not even white tail deer here before 1910 or later. ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2018, 08:15:40 AM »
Ones we get here were introduced into Maine. We never had turkey here before. Old guides would have written about them. All they mentioned here was bear, moose, caribou, grouse and salmon. Not even white tail deer here before 1910 or later. ;D
Swampdonkey although I have seen several turkeys when travelling or working in your area over the past few years I had not seen any in this region until just the other day.  There was 5 just down the road from my place.  They seem to be expanding there range every year.
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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #40 on: April 15, 2018, 08:40:07 AM »
  Our spring season starts tomorrow but weather report is for rain so I don't think I will chase them till Tuesday.

   I did find a pile of feathers beside a cherry log I was moving to the mill in the pasture yesterday. Some bird did not have a good day! They looked like guinea feathers and I I first thought was a turkey chick but it is too early for young ones yet this year. It might have been a grouse but I don't see many of them here. I assume a fox or more likely a coyote or bobcat caught it. More likely a hawk. We found a more complete skeleton last year when my 10 y/o gd and i were looking for fawns and box turtles. The head was still there so i assume hawk.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Turkeys
« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2018, 10:12:16 AM »
I forgot when Maine introduced the turkeys. They did better than the caribou. I saw the turkeys for years about 45 minutes from me. Took them a long time to get to me. Went for a pizza one day and saw them about 15 minutes from me. The next year they was on my land.
My Dad said there was no gray squirrels here when he was growing up. Always seemed odd to hear him say that,but the turkeys are the same way. No turkeys here until about 2005?
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