The soon-to-be viral video of two wild turkey ‘Jakes’ pursuing a woman in Barrhaven, reminds us all how well our transplanted residents are doing.
Wild turkey numbers continue to flourish in Eastern Ontario and so too does the hunting opportunities for North America’s largest feathered foul.
When April 25th arrives, turkey hunting enthusiasts will be out in full force in search of a bearded gobbler. Since only the male wild turkey is fair game during the spring season, Jakes (young males) and Toms (adult male) are the birds of choice for local hunters.
The problem with Barrhaven, of course, is the dreaded firearms “No Discharge Zone” which prohibits the use of any firearm; thus eliminating any opportunity of controlling bird numbers through a controlled harvest.
(City of Ottawa – firearms “No Discharge” Zone Barrhaven-area)
Ok, so you can’t hunt these Barrhaven birds. What then can you do to protect yourself from a wild turkey attack?
First off I would suggest, if confronted by an irate gobbler, be sure to protect your groin-area from an aggressive ‘peck’ or ‘ spur poke.’ Male gobblers have spurs they us a defense mechanism and to fight rival males during the spring mating season.
These spurs can be dangerous if you’re poked with one, although it certainly doesn’t happen very often. So, what is the likelihood of being jabbed in the groin or receiving a spur to some other part of your body?
Just about nil…you are much more likely to be attacked by the dog next door!
Let’s keep it in perspective here people. These are only birds, they are NOT western cougars, black bears or grizzlies. No one has ever been killed by a wild turkey according to my extensive research (Google)
Sure these birds may be a pain, but in all honestly are not really a threat to life or personal property. I know my neighbour’s complain that gobblers make a mess of their vegetable garden, but unfortunately if you live within the firearms ‘No discharge’ zone, there is little you can do to control them.
My neighbours put-up a ‘scare turkey’ which is basically a scarecrow for wild turkeys. From what I have seen, though, it does little to rid their property of wayward gobblers.
I say we just get used to them. I personally find them to be rather intriguing and neat to watch. (And they’re also darn good eating)
Perhaps a can of bear spray might come in handy for Barrhaven people who live in fear. Keep in mind that shops who sell Bear Spray may have you fill-out paperwork and you will probably be asked your intentions with regards to the product.
In the meantime, keep a hand over your groin and try to avoid these feathered bandits on residential streets.
And hey, don’t feel bad it could be worse. The town of Churchill, Manitoba has to deal with Polar Bears strolling into town each year!
WANT TO HEAR MORE?
Here is the segment from CHEZ 106 FM’s Doc & Woody Show: [esplayer url="http://storage.ottawasun.com/v1/blogs-prod-media/151/37291/1363279819/JeffMTurkey2-1.mp3" width="250" height="25"]
For a full appreciation of the size some gobbler’s spurs can get, check out the image Iggy sent me: