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!