Monday, June 17, 2013

With G-d As My Witness, I Swear I Thought Turkeys Could Fly...

Every Thanksgiving I post that immortal clip from "WKRP In Cincinnati". I wanted to back up the big guy Al Carlson on flying turkeys, though:

Is that really a turkey?

Yes, yes it is.

They can't fly for very long distances, though, and I suspect that they really would hit the ground like wet sacks of cement if dropped from a helicopter (especially ones bred for eating). But turkeys in the wild can indeed fly for short distances (they need to get a running start, and look like the avian equivalent to the B-52 taking off). He sure as hell didn't climb up the ladder...

On a side note, that swingset is a good 50 yards from the house, and that picture was taken just outside my back door. I'm just loving the 55mm - 200mm zoom lens I picked up for the Nikon - I doubt I could have gotten that close to ol' Tom there with the standard lense or my iPhone. Between this guy (and the 10-12 others he hangs around with) and the multitude of deer that live in the woods (and rabbits, groundhogs, and other small animals), we'll eat well when TSHTF...

Or if they decide that the top of the swingset is their own personal newspaper...

That is all.

15 comments:

Brad_in_MA said...

Jay,
I witnessed a wild turkey get airborne just the other day. Avian B-52 is spot on. The bird I witnessed managed to get to a pine tree branch a good 20, maybe 25 feet up from the ground.

Now with the turk perched up there, looks like an easy, clean shot, especially with one of your scoped shotties.

Brad

Anonymous said...

Wild turkeys can fly. Domestic turkey plummet.

Gerry

Dave H said...

Shotgun? A nice quiet .22 and the neighbors will never know the difference. Good luck getting a head shot though.

BS said...

While field dressing a deer last fall, I witnessed a flock (herd, murder, huge freaking group) of turkeys fly up into a grove of trees to roost for the night. 100+ turkeys flying through a rather densely wooded area is rather deafening, between the breaking branches and ruffling feathers. It is definitely a shocking sight to see (and hear).

JD said...

We learned they could fly a few years back when one came out of a very tall pine tree to buzz my wife as she walked to her car in the drive. Scared the hell out of her. She said it looked like a large brown basketball with wings heading for her head. . . . yep, they can fly and rather high in the trees too. . .

DaddyBear said...

On the drive back from Pittsburg after NRA '11, I watched a wild turkey glide from a tree at the top of the ridgeline on the left side of the interstate all the way down to the treeline on the right side of the freeway at the bottom of the valley. They may not be the most nimble flyers, but they apparently coast very well.

Jennifer said...

I LOVE my 55-200. In fact, I have turkey pics taken with mine. Another fun trick, put your camera in macro mode and do some artsy flower pics. Standing. You'll probably have to use the manual focus, but it will put a flower at ground level in beautiful focus while leaving the grass and other flowers all blurred like the pros do. I'll publish a couple of the pics I've done that way.

Robert said...

Of course, it's illegal to take them while roosting (at least it is in NC). They can only be hunted while on the ground.

Glenn B said...

Of course turkeys can fly, it would be silly to think otherwise unless we are talking about those akin to butterballs.

acairfearann said...

They fly, I learned that while figuring out how a strand of fence wire had gotten tangled in a tree, about 30 feet up. Judging by the turkey feathers, at least one bird, if not a good portion of the flock, had gotten tangled in the wire during take-off and ripped it off the insulators. Rather strong birds.

Old NFO said...

Suppressed .22... Just sayin... and concur with DB, they CAN glide well!

John said...

Yes, they can fly.

Seeing one thru the windshield of your motorcycle coming at you can cause such a pucker that you need help to detach yourself from the motorcycle seat.

Ross said...

Oh, they can fly, all right. Had one decide that Mill St in Belmont was it's runway... or that it's runway was ACROSS Mill St. Pickup truck coming towards me and I both slammed on the brakes as this THING came running out of the trees and got airborne about the middle of the road...

Hey, Jay... is it legal to hunt turkey with a Honda in MA?

Rifleman762 said...

Ross,

I don't know if Honda's on the approved roster, but I decapitated one with a Subaru about 10 years ago.

.45ACP+P said...

The wife and I may have PTSD from stumping up on a turkey flock in dense cover while hiking. 6 or 8 of the damned things taking off can scare the crap out of you. Especially when they are only a few feet away.