Showing posts with label turkeys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label turkeys. Show all posts

June 26, 2019

Give a Man a Pile of Rocks . . .


. . . and he will spend a while trying to stack them into a balanced cairn.

I say "man" because the boot tracks down here were pretty large, just in case you are questioning my gender assumptions.

There used to be a road under this slide, but then came a forest fire, followed by flash-flooding.  I used to know the area well. Now it's all changed. Time for re-exploring.

Yes, the ridge in the background was burned pretty thoroughly. Gambel oak is coming up in profusion, so the deer, bears, and turkeys will benefit from acorns.

January 09, 2019

Smoke-Phase Turkeys in Southern Colorado

Two smoke-phase wild turkeys were part of a small flock.
Two days ago I bumped in a small flock of Merriam's wild turkeys in a residential area of eastern Custer County. Mixed in with the normally colored birds were two light ones — not true albinos, but definitely whiter than normal.

It turns out that these turkeys are called "smoke phase" or sometimes "smokey gray." You might wonder if their wild parents mated with a domestic bird, but not so, says this Minnesota outdoor writer.
"The partially white or smoke-phase turkeys occur naturally," said Tom Glines, Minnesota's senior regional director for the National Wild Turkey Federation. "The white or gray feathers are black-tipped and the birds are beautiful."

There has been some concern that landowners have released pen-raised turkeys into the wild -- a practice that is illegal without a permit -- and that some of those captive turkeys have bred with the wild turkeys, resulting in the smoke-phase turkeys.

There is no hard science to back up those concerns.
 No, they do not turn color in the winter. They were a new sight for me though.

December 01, 2013

Turkeys in the Snow


M. and I came home Thanksgiving Day to find about eight inches of crusted snow on the ground, the remains of a storm from three days earlier.  These photos were taken Saturday the 29th, when eight wild turkeys showed up just in time for a Project Feeder Watch count day. The turkeys were scuffling around under the bird feeders looking for sunflower seeds that the jays had pushed out.

It's tough being a ground-feeding bird in snowy weather, which is why they usually for south-facing slopes and other places that melt out early.  The monsoon rains this summer brought on a good crop of native grass seed, which they will eat when it is exposed — and I have mixed feelings about that. Sure, turkeys got to eat, but I wanted to see some of that blue grama etc. germinate and fill in the bare places.

Sure, my opinion matters a lot to the turkeys!

Meanwhile, the snow. The first county road we take on the way home was fairly clear, but the second was icy. At the right moment, I popped the Jeep into 4WD and gunned it for the first little hill in our unplowed driveway, making the first turn and slewing in S-curves through its dips and rises (must get new tires!) up to the house.

Wind and freeze-thaw cycles had made the snow compact and granular, hard to shovel and too chunky for my big snow-blower. More sunny days and cold nights have turned the tire tracks into ice ribbons. If more snow falls soon on top of them, the result won't be pleasant.

October 05, 2013

Let's Re-Brand Turkey Hunting

I don't see any "outdoor" televisions when I am home, but now I am on the road and have just finished watching an episode about turkey hunting on the The Outdoor Channel.

Now the problem is that when you are in ideal (private, I'm guessing) turkey habitat along the Black Warrior River in Alabama, and you have champion turkey caller working with a veteran turkey hunter, everything just goes so perfectly.

And all the products and shows advertised are "extreme" or "ultimate." Where is left to go?

There might be more drama or at least comedy in a show called Incompetent Turkey Hunters" or Newbies Afield, but you won't see, because those would not be the TV personalities  to endorse the extreme ultimate hunting products.

Since all galliform birds — especially the bigger ones — seem most to evoke their reptilian ancestors, let's re-think turkey hunting.

Let's call it dinosaur hunting. That name also gets you away from the negative slang meaning of "turkey."

"Sweetie, I'm going dinosaur-hunting this weekend." That's primal!

And think of the marketing possibilities, not to mention the cooking shows.


April 17, 2013

Yesterday versus Today

Yesterday: A wild tom turkey struts his stuff near Beulah, Colorado.

Snow, snow, glorious snow.
And the best part is that the snow is continuing to fall on the burn scar from last October, which was re-seeded with grass seed last week as a flood-prevention measure.

June 17, 2012

A Camera-Trapping Trophy, But Blurry

 Continuing the narrative that started here and was continued here.

Some other animals came to the spring in late May, before it dried up.There was this red fox and two kits —the one at left is drinking.
Red fox family in the early dawn.
A wild turkey passed by the camera.
Wild turkey hen
Even a domestic dog —I suspect that it came up by an easier route than we do, from a small horse ranch about half a mile away. To reach the bowl from that ranch is easier than the route we must follow.

Once when I was hunting up there a few years ago, I saw a black-and-white farm collie trotting purposefully down in the direction of that ranch.

This dog missed meeting up with the rattlesnake.
And then there was this one, early in the morning on May 20th. If only it had slowed down a little for a sharper image!


I have always figured that to catch a mountain lion with the scout camera was a sort of Holy Grail. Now I will have to adjust my goal to a good image of a mountain lion — or else Holy Grail #2, which is a ringtail.