Sunday, November 27, 2016

Wild Turkey Hens along Arkansas' Crowleys Ridge

On Thanksgiving weekend you'd expect to find live turkeys looking for a place to hide or find themselves on the dinner plate. It was the turkeys, however, looking for a meal when I walked up on them along the tall trees in a patch of woods on Crowley's Ridge. I'm not giving the exact location because wild turkeys are becoming more scarce in east Arkansas because of few wooded natural areas.

Big Bird(s) Encounter
I heard them when I turned off the ATV. At first I thought it was a deer walking through the woods. I soon realized it was a big bird raking leaves. I was about 150 feet away. I quietly stepped off and began walking towards them. Once I approached, they stopped, looked at me and started inching towards me. They seemed to be scouring the ground for something to eat. They walked within 25 feet or so of me.

There was enough time to stop and take a nearly one minute video of our encounter.

Wild Turkeys Face Uncertain Future

The eastern wild turkey population remains somewhat unstable in Arkansas and the future of turkey hunting remains unknown. According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the turkey population in 2016 is down from 2015 even after a successful hunting season. What makes my wild turkey encounter more interesting is that the population for these birds in many east Arkansas counties can be counted in the hundreds or less.

These birds didn't seem to mind me being there. In fact, they almost seemed domesticated as I approached in my bright red shirt and hat. I spoke to a neighbor of the property and he told me he and others have been watching these hens and a flock of gobblers. He was also very protective of them knowing the unstable population.

To learn more about Arkansas' wild turkeys:

Arkansas Turkey Forecast 2016 (From AGFC)
Strategic Wild Turkey Management Program (From AGFC) (Opens .pdf)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Views from Washington DC

Washington Monument

Lincoln Monument

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

North portico of The White House

A solder guards the Tomb of the Unknowns

Amphitheater inside Arlington Cemetery

President Lincoln's hat (the one he was wearing the night he was shot)

Debris from the World Trade Center

U.S. Capitol from the Mall

Ford's Theater

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial