The Wild White Turkey

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Call me Ishmael... On second thought, call me Paul.   I do have something in common with the Moby Dick character, though.  We are both in search of our white prey, but not sure how to capture it!  Sightings of a white turkey began last year.  When I heard the reports, I laughed these people off as hallucinating, drinking too much, or having a mild case of the bird flu.

About 2 weeks before this turkey season, I topped a hill in my truck and running across the gravel road was the great white turkey.  I sped to the bottom of the hill to see if I could make out anything unusual (other than the color) of the bird.  All I got was a glimpse of its back as the turkey quickly waddled away through the underbrush.  Some feather tips were colored, giving it the appearance of silver and black stripes.  I didn't make out if it was a tom or hen.  I was concentrating on the markings.

After some research, I found hat it is not unheard of to find a white turkey in the great outdoors.  Some are albino and completely white, while others share a combination of markings from a typical wild turkey.  The dispute is where the white comes from.  There haven't been any domesticated turkeys in my area for probably 30 years.  Is it possible this recessive gene has been hanging around for half a century, or is it a naturally occurring phenomena?

The other question is, do you shoot it?  I pictured a scenario where I was afforded a shot at 2 similar Toms... one white, one natural colors.  If the bird were completely white, a mount would look like you shot a skinny domestic turkey!  On the other hand, a white one with stripes would be a real conversation starter.

So, what are your thoughts?  Is it a cross with a domestic bird?  Which would you shoot?

In the mean time, I will be keeping my eyes peeled and sharpening my harpoon!

Deer Season Report

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3 Deer in 45 minutes, Rifle Performance, Frying a Turkey, Winterizing.

It's been a busy week!  I have to say my deer season passed quickly compared to the extended elk hunting trip.  My 3 tags were filled by 7:15 the first morning.  All of the deer taken were full size, young adults.  My freezer runneth over!  I did stay in the stand long enough to watch some younger bucks feeling their rutty oats.  It was quite a show.

You are too small, Go Away!

I was in the stand early, and watched as the hunters traveled down the gravel roads and pulled into their hunting spots.  I watched deer in the full moon light running past their parked trucks and mingling in my bean field.  I wouldn't have any regrets if I hadn't seen that one buck.  At 300 yards, a large buck trotted along the timberline before the sun came up.  Through my scope, I watched him for a couple of minutes.  I could tell he had to be legal, but it was a little too far, a little to dark, and a lot too early.  He hopped into the timber and across the ditch onto my neighbor's place.  The neighbor has a renter, and that renter is quite excited about the 11 pointer he killed.  (dangit!)  Well... you win some, you lose some.  Letting the distant buck go was the ethical decision.

After the hunt, I headed to town for a double shift.  That has been about the way the rest of the week has gone.  Leave the farm in the dark and come home at dark.  The cows are getting accustomed to eating by romantic tractor light.  Tomorrow is Sunday, and hopefully I will get the cows moved to their winter pasture in the morning.

My nights have been filled with studious web searching.  Trying to get a PC to play with Mac programs is a trial, but Viola, the podcast is on Itunes.  Just search for Salt Creek Life Podcast and you can listen in on your Droid or IPhone.