Turkeys!

By Zachary Harmon

Captured on a game camera in my own yard.

Captured on a game camera in my own yard.

There is a flock of turkeys that reside in the canyon behind my house. Despite being good eating, they are the goofiest, and possibly the dumbest, animal around. My grandmother grew up on the farm, she told me stories of how when it rained, she had to go out and cover up the turkeys, or they might drown themselves. Other birds seemed to revel in their natural environment Mr. Irving tells us.

“While small birds were taking their farewell banquets. In the fullness of their revelry, they fluttered, chirping frolicking, from the bush to bush and tree to tree, capricious from the very profusion and variety around them.”

But then there are the Turkeys. Not quite as graceful.

One day I came across a flock on my deck, and I actually poked one with a stick. He wouldn’t have moved if it didn’t push him off balance. Rather than just fly down the hill, it tried to land on a three-inch ledge coming out of the wall. Needless to say, it didn’t quite fit, so it just beat its wings against the window trying to fit on to the little ledge. It was hillarious.

Turkeys are not graceful by any means. Watch a fifteen pound turkey try and walk on top of a fence, or down a railing, pretending to be a cat. In reality it struggles to wobble along as the fence shakes violently.

A turkey in flight is also a sight to be seen. You’ll hear the flap of the wings before you see one, and the wind they put out is incredible. When they fly down the hill, all the leaves and plants are disturbed. As they land on a roof or a deck, it sounds like a helicopter landing.

The most fun you can have with a gobble of turkeys would have to be making sudden noises. Hit the ground with a stick. Lock your car door. Set off fireworks. The turkeys can be yards away, but they always answer with their famous “GobbleGobbleGobbleGobbleGobble.”  It’s part of the reason I stay up till midnight on New Years, they go crazy with the horns and fireworks.

In a lot of ways, the turkey reminds me of a human from God’s perspective. We do stupid things. We get freaked out when there is a loud noise. We are nowhere as graceful as God is. If it rained hard enough, we’d probably drown looking up at the sky.

So Turkeys are goofy and all, but what do we do with them? If you want to hunt them here in California, you’re going to need a hunting license with an upland game bird stamp. General season is usually late March to early May. Archery season comes after that, and lasts about two weeks.

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OR you can just avoid the mess of beheading and plucking your turkey, and go buy one, prepackaged and ready to go. Cooking turkey doesn’t have to be that hard, just read the directions on the turkey. If you get stuck, Google it! Look it up on Youtube! If I can re-wire a double light switch, and install a timer, then you can cook a turkey.