Close encounters of ditching turkeys

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Turkey season will end this month, and it seems to have been a pretty good one.

I talked to a fellow this morning that killed a gobbler early this day and took it by the school so that the children in his child’s class could see what a real wild turkey looked like. Of course some of the kids had seen the turkeys in the turkey farms that raise them to sell during the big holidays and all those are white. Some of the kids wanted to know what had happen to the turkey that made it not be white.

Tame turkeys versus wild turkeys, and he finally got that across to the children.

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Normally not that many turkeys are killed during the last couple of weeks of the season as all of the gobbling and strutting is done in March and the first of April. Because the winter lasted so long and so far into the year the gobbling season has lasted farther into the year.

Last week, a gobbler almost hit my windshield as he flew across the road close in front of me. He flew from a deep ditch along side a creek, and with the deep ditch he hadn’t gotten that much height in his flight when he crossed the road. He wasn’t but eight or 10 feet from my windshield when we nearly met. Thank goodness we didn’t meet. I have not seen the damage a turkey can do to a windshield, but I have seen what a buzzard did do to one. It wasn’t nice. Buzzard feathers was still embedded in the windshield.

And last Saturday I was traveling Highway 84 from Donalsonville toward home and just as I got to the Spring Creek bridge at Brinson a gobbler was flying from the north to the south across the road and had already gotten himself prepared to land.

His wings were slowing him down, thankfully not enough to land on me. This was not his first ditch landing and this one missed me by 30 feet or so.

Then I stopped by Big Boy’s out on Spring Creek road and a fellow there was showing off one he had taken earlier that morning. No doubt he has had some fried turkey breast by now. So, if you have not gotten your limit, or even a bird, it is not too late. The first of May should be better than average for this time of year, so have at it.

The shellcracker tournament went off without a hitch though it was not the best of days to have a tournament. I think I heard it was won with 34 fish weighing 22 pounds. That is very close to a 1-pound average per fish. Catching a fish up close to 2 pounds is done a few times each year but for your entire creel to weigh 1 pound each is a hard feat to match.

If you can go to the lake and get that good a catch in numbers and weight, you have accomplished something that very few fishermen will ever do and you should be proud. But wait until you do it and then be proud. If you can do that and have taken one of the young children from town, yours or someone else’s child, we will be very proud of you. You will probably make a fisherman for life of a kid like that. You can make a hunter for life out of a kid and teach him or her the right way and safe way of doing things also. Give it some thought.

If you haven’t gotten on a panfish bed yet, it just hasn’t been your time. They will be coming fast and furious now, so just hang in there and keep going. First and foremost, keep going. Folks that don’t go never do get on a bream or shellcracker bed. When they get old and feeble, they regret it. That is one way of live to regret it. And when you do get to go and get on one of the panfish beds, give away some of the fish. You know that you will catch more than you can eat so give some away to some of the older folks that you know.

They probably did that when they were younger and you will be paying them back in a way. Most probably that same thing will happen to you when you are older. Still enjoying the taste of freshwater fish. You can’t beat it.