Underwear Gnomes and Turkeys

| 12/4/2014 8:34:00 AM

Tags: turkeys, self sufficiency, Maggie Bonham, Montana,

Wild turkeys

It’s hunting season, which means that my and my husband’s lives go on hold for 5 weeks to try to fill our freezer. Actually it goes on longer than that when you count in upland bird season, fall bear, and anything else we care to look for when it comes to meat.

Despite the reports of great hunting, we we’ve been struggling to get all our tags filled. Yes, we got our two antlerless tags filled, and occasionally managed a wayward grouse, but everywhere we’ve went, we’d run into the wrong species, sex, or the wrong unit to hunt the critters.

That’s why when we ran into the Tom turkeys, we were surprised.

Talking Turkey

I raise a few mixed heritage breed turkeys. Although I have a small flock of them, this year I was loathed to thin the turkeys because none of the turkey poults survived longer than a week. That’s really the way with turkey poults. They’re tough to get to hatch and even tougher to raise until they’re a few months old. After that, they’re really wonderful birds and I’m fonder of them than chickens.

Even the broad breasted turkeys are charming. My very first turkey was a broad breasted white hen that fell in love with me. (No, I’m not kidding.) Turkeys bond to whatever they see as poults. So, if you’re the one caring for them, they think of you as “mom.”

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