Well, I had all good intentions of getting out to the torch early this morning but hesitated because Rob had some friends here from school and I wanted to see them off early - on their way to Odicon (I guess that's how it's spelled) in Baltimore.
I went out to the shop anyway and was toying with the idea of heating up the kiln when the phone rang. It was a neighbor - at least half a mile away. It seemed the turkeys were in her peach trees and she wanted us to do something about it.
Bob wasn't here, but I got in touch with him and he came home right away. He headed right over to the neighbor's house. Apparently the turkeys had left - on their way to terrorize someone else.
About 15 minutes later, the phone rang again and it was the neighbor's neighbor. The turkeys were headed back their way. So, we piled in the pickup, Bob, Rob, Rob's friend Molly and me. We had a number of cages in the back along with something that looked like a large butterfly net.
We screeched into the neighbor's driveway and searched the area around the peach trees for signs of turkeys. Finally, we spotted them out in the field across the road, seemingly headed for home.
Bob headed out on foot with his herding tool (the butterfly net). He told Rob to bring the truck and so Rob and Molly took off after him. Meanwhile, two other pickups stopped to ask if the birds were wild turkeys.
Rob came back and got me and then we all proceeded slowly down the road home. Bob was out on the road, herding the turkeys and Rob kept them from coming across the road and getting out of control.
I was relieved when we turned into our driveway because Bob and the turkeys were really exposed if any other vehicles had come flying along the road the opposite way.
So, the turkeys were "home", but of course, they weren't staying here. They immediately headed up the hill to our next door neighbor's yard. It was extremely hot and at least they were out of the peach trees, so we just decided that when they came in to roost tonight, we would try to capture them. We have another neighbor who actually raises a lot of birds and haad said he would like to have a pair of the turkeys, so we figured he'd be happy to see at least two, possibly four of them.
Rob and his friends left on their latest adventure and we made plans for the evening.
Mid afternoon and Bob was going out to prepare things for the big roundup tonight. He was outside for probably 45 minutes and came in looking quite proud of himself. "The turkeys are in the big pen!", he said. It seems they were headed down from the neighbors and Bob asked the kids and the neighbor's wife to help him guide them into the pen. They calmly and slowly guided them in and shut the door...
Later he took two pairs of them over to the bird guy's place. The rest, 5 of them, are all males and I think they may be going on a ride to the State game lands tomorrow.
The moral of the story is, don't allow wild game birds to imprint on humans. They had absolutely no fear - and no sense. I think we may be finished raising Wild Turkeys. The Pheasants are still great and certainly not tame as the turkeys were. The Chukkers had to be released so the large pen was available for the turkeys. They certainly didn't imprint on us - just the dang turkeys!