Fooling a turkey is EASY!

Since it is turkey hunting season here in Maine, I seized an opportuity to show up the turkey hunters when I saw a turkey eating last year’s corn across the street from my house. I wanted to prove just how stupid these birds really are by calling it into shooting range from my front yard.

Now I don’t have anything against turkey hunters. I really don’t. But if you wanna get decked out in expensive camo clothing with a camo shotgun and sit in a blind over decoys while clucking like a lonely hen looking for the perfect mate, DON’T pretend that is the only way you are going to succeed!

It just isn’t that hard to get into range of a wild turkey!
I have had entire flocks of turkeys walk right up to me, and pass by while I was dressed head to toe in hunter orange.

I went into the house and grabbed my camera, and the turkey call my father gave me several years ago. I stepped out onto the porch and started clucking away.

Now I won’t claim to be an expert with a turkey call…Heck, I don’t even think I qualify as a novice, but my rooster sure was interested. The turkey across the street? Not so much.

I decided to go a little further into the yard. Maybe the wind coming down over the hill was keeping the sound of my call from reaching the turkey’s ears.

I went about halfway between my porch, and the driveway, and clucked some more. No interest from the turkey.

I went out into the driveway, and stood behind my hay trailer and clucked. My rooster was flapping his wings and crowing, but still no interest from the turkey across the street.

I moved up to stand beside the van and clucked some more. Still the only one interested was my rooster. And I’m not sure why, because I didn’t sound like a chicken at all!

The only place left was the end of the driveway. No concealment at all, well within shotgun range. This was it! The moment of proof! Would the turkey respond to my calls? Or would it finally get spooked, and make a getaway?

“Squawk, squawk, squawk!” from me. Peck, peck, peck from the turkey across the street.

Now from a distance, I can’t really tell a hen turkey from a tom, or a jenny from a jake, but one thing was certain. I may not have called this bird in closer to me, but I certainly didn’t spook it either!

There I was, standing at the end of my driveway in a faded orange tee shirt shooing away a lust filled rooster while the turkey across the street just pecked away without a care in the world.

I decided I had made a successful attempt at stalking a wild turkey. I mean I could have shot the thing a dozen times over.

I pointed my camera at it for photographic proof. I found out I could only focus on the tall grass at the edge of the field, so I had to cross the road for a better vantage point.

Now THAT got the turkey’s attention! The only problem was, it appears I WAS the turkey in the long run!

The bird across the street wasn’t eating corn at all! It was a turkey VULTURE eating a skunk I had shot last month!

So some turkey hunters are eating turkey dinner, the turkey vulture is eating skunk…And me? Looks like I’m eating crow!

Doug Alley

About Doug Alley

I grew up in Bath, Maine in an upper lower class family with 3 step sisters, a step brother, and a little sister. After high school I spent 3 years serving in the USAF at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK. I've competed in, and won, demolition derbies. I've competed in, and never won, stock car races. I am the 47-year-old father of an 11-year-old boy who is pretty sure he is smarter than I ever was. We live on a little less than an acre of land in a 1973 mobile home in Stetson with my wife Jen, some cats, a few chickens, and rabbits, and a couple of goats. I hunt, fish, camp out, dabble in photography, gardening, and I cook in variable degrees of near success.