Off in the distance in a remote and private farm is a large flock of wild Turkeys. My hunting friend has been wanting to share his forest secrets for some time now and I finally made some time to head down to Southern Maryland.
Arriving to the broad and wide fields, large black birds dotted the landscape. Evidently, Turkeys are really quite alert and quite shy. So parking behind a barn, we began to slowly stalk them.
I love my friend, he’s such a woodsman, complete with camo clothing, and a white beard reminisce of the Duck Dynasty boys and ZZ Top. Holding a handmade turkey call in hand, we stalked and creeped along the ground to try to get a half way decent vantage point.
There were two males with plenty of hens.
The idea is to get the boys ‘strutting.’ With some squawks and putts from the turkey call, one finally briefly responded.
An experience certainly different than usual for me. Stalking in the woods, bushwacking and searching for all sorts of wildlife.
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Emily, are you now taking up Turkey calling? They are interesting birds, for sure.
LOL ! No…I’m not that good Robert, but it was quite the experience to not see my friend hiding behind a tree and hear turkey calls coming from the tree.
Turkeys are very wary, and they have great eyes and ears. The two times when it’s easy to get close to them is when the males are strutting for the females, or when they are dusting. When you learn how to get close to turkeys, you can get close to just about anything from then on.
Interesting..have you been able to get closer to a turkey? I think that if I set up where they like to head then they’d come my way. Thing is, actually using the turkey call alerted them to our location. Curious, do you wear camo out in the field?
LOL! Closer to a turkey? I’ve been in flocks of turkeys and even had some attack me once for trying to break up a fight between two of them.
But you see, I cheat. Out in the woods, I become just another critter to all the others out there. I never wear camo, it makes the critters think that you’re a hunter trying to sneak up on them. The trick is to stop being a human, or any other type of predator. If you go all stealthy on them, they think that you’re up to no good. I talk to the critters, even ask their permission to photograph them, and if I ask nicely enough, they let me.
I remember from school that good ‘ol Ben Franklin wanted the Turkey to be the nation’s mascot instead of the bald Eagle. .. Whew! That was close. We would never hear the end of the jokes as a nation. 😅
Isn’t that the truth? Although the Bald Eagle is quite the scavenger. Who can every deny the majesty of a bald eagle though.
So pleased to see they are free range. I hate birds being brought up in cages.
These turkeys are actually wild. Evidently their meat is rather tough as they work all day foraging. But big and beautiful birds.
Love seeing turkeys in the wild – my last sighting was in Bodega, CA by the School House that was in the Hitchcock movie the Birds – ha!
Oh you are too funny Renee !
Love that big guy, great capture in all his glory. Wild turkeys are really common around the Midwest. I remember when I was little it blew my mind to see that they could actually fly. They’re so big, even when they do fly it seems to take a lot of effort and strength. Not all that graceful but I give them credit for even being able to get off the ground. Can’t say I’ve ever eaten wild turkey but I’ve also heard they’re a lot gamier in taste.
Did you learn a lot of good tricks from your friend?
What??? They can fly? I had no idea either. I would probably freak if I saw that. My friend slinks wonderfully through the woods and hides like no other. Best tip is to camo up, makeup and all and sit and wait. 🙂
Yes, they make it look rather difficult no doubt.
Camo sounds like a good idea for any birding trip!