Posts Tagged ‘wild turkey

Ottawa – treehuggingest City in the world!!

- June 19th, 2013

I have come to the conclusion that our once fair City has become nothing but a bunch of animal rights tree huggers and dicky-birders.

First it was the Barrhaven wild turkeys earlier this spring, and the whole City was abuzz.  OMG, these irate wild birds are going to peck our eyes out!

And chaos ensued!

Then it was the Westboro squirrels, and the whole City was in an uproar. Evidently residents of this trendy, small-mammal hating part of town were live trapping squirrels and relocating them across the river to Quebec. (Because, of course, squirrels are considered ‘fur bearers’ and you cannot legally shoot them)

And chaos ensued! (They even started a bloody Twitter feed over it…)

And NOW, City of Ottawa naturalists are up in arms about a group of Jockvale Bridge barn swallows! What, a lowly bug loving barn swallow has thrown the proverbial wrench in a multi-million dollar bridge project??

That’s right, and you guessed it chaos ensued once again!!

For gawd’s sake people, I have barn swallows nesting in my trailer up in Cobden but HERE in the tree-huggingest City in the world, the barn swallow is considered Threatened??

How did the barn swallow make it on the threatened list now, you ask? (I was scratching my head over this one too) I mean, they’re not killing the swallows they’re simply removing the nests. There are plenty of other overhangs and clay left in the region to construct new ones.

As I explained during a chat this am on CHEZ 106 FM’s Doc & Woody Show, nowhere in the world is the barn swallow considered threatened except here in the tree-huggingest Province of Ontario..and being exemplified right here in the treehuggingest City of Ottawa!

My guess is that some Ottawa tree hugging Naturalist has confused Barn Owl with Barn Swallow…and placed them on an threatened list by accident. The Barn owl does, of course, appear on the Canadian Species at Risk list but nowhere did I find Barn Swallow.

Perhaps if I were to go outside and hug a tree reallllly  hard, it would all come to me; in a flurry of emotion and clarity and this nonsense would somehow finally make sense!

Until then, think I’ll just crawl inside one of those Westboro live traps and get relocated to the QC side…

 

Outdoorsguy

Keebler’s Wild Turkey Hunt

- April 30th, 2013

Brianbird1

Our buddy Keebler enjoyed a nice start to his 2013 Wild Turkey season…check out the story of his hunt:

So my buddy’s land is in between 2 farms.  The turkeys travel back and forth throughout the day, but don’t roost there so I opted for a late opening day hunt.

I set myself up and gave one hen assembly call.  Normally I make a call, wait a minute or 2 so I can hear any responses then set up my camcorder.

That didn’t work this time.  I was just reaching for my camcorder when I heard something walking.  A bearded hen came out!  I let her go – no sense shooting the poult breeder.  She looked for turkeys, but didn’t see any (I didn’t use decoys) and she left.

I waited 3 minutes and assembly called again.  Waited 5 more minutes and gave 1 gobble.  Nothing in response whatsoever. Since I knew there was at least 1 turkey in the area, I didn’t set my camcorder on.  No sense getting busted because I couldn’t see how far she had walked away.

Then I heard more walking coming from the direction in which the hen left.  I turned my head cam on and waited.

And out stepped this beauty of a tom. I saw the beard, the redhead, my safety was off and I slowly moved my 12 gauge for a shot.  He wasn’t fanned out…just walking with his head pivoting looking for the gobbler (which was me!) He stood there and took a few steps back the way he came, his head was up the entire time looking around.  Bang, he was down instantly.  22 lbs  8″ beard 1.25″ spurs.  Great colour to him. 

Brianbird3

 

Not bad for a 20 minute hunt…

 

Brianbird2

 

Keebler

Ladies and gentlemen start your gobbling!

- April 24th, 2013

Jayebird

This Thursday marks the beginning of Ontario’s 2013 Spring wild turkey season – a week that many hunters have been waiting for with baited breath.

I predict some good calling weather ahead for the weekend.

What are your plans and where are you headed?

Drop me a line, and be sure to check-out this Thursday’s Ottawa SUN and Pembroke Daily Observer(now online) Outdoors Columns dedicated to the pursuit of this province’s favourite fowl!

Outdoorsguy

Jayefriend

Barrhaven wild turkey mayhem

- March 12th, 2013

Gobblers

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.

DischargeNepeanSouth

(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"]

Outdoorsguy

For a full appreciation of the size some gobbler’s spurs can get, check out the image Iggy sent me:


Gobblerspurs

 

Early Summer a time of rebirth in the Great Outdoors

- June 22nd, 2012

 

It sure is nice to see the Great Outdoors in a cycle of rebirth, and there is no better time to witness this transformation than during early summer.

 

Spring is often referred to as the time of rebirth and rejuvenation in the animal world, but this isn’t entirely true. The actual fruits of labour tend to come to fruition during late June – the early summer period.

 

The Wild Turkey, for example, is one of those creatures with a birthing period which falls around this time of year.  Sure, the breading is carried during the spring, but following a 28-days gestation period the poults are born (all within 24 hours) and join the hen on a great new adventure.

 

This year, I was very fortunate to capture some images of new-born poults on my property no more than a couple of days following birth.

 

In this trail-cam image the newborn poults are barely recognizable scattered around the ground below her feet. If you zoom-in, you get a better appreciation of their size and appearance.

Henpoults1

I find the newborn poults look like small woodcocks, actually, with a dull light brown-grey mottled appearance.

Henpoults2

Henpoults3

 

Wild turkeys are not the only animals having babies at this time of year.  Although I am not a huge fan of raccoons, I did capture these night-time trailcam images of mom coon and her two young ones.

coonyoung1

coonyoung2

 

The below images of a doe and fawn in my back field were taken about 4 years ago, and remain some of the nicest wildlife pics I have taken personally. Unless you’re a full-time wildlife photog who spends days on end in the field, capturing images of a nursing fawn is a rarity indeed.

 Quigleydoe

Quigleydoe

 

Although I have not captured any images this spring/summer of does’ and newborn fawns, I have seen a couple. One on my way to Cornwall a couple of weeks back, and the other morning I spotted a doe feeding on a nearby property, and as I watched her through the binoculars; her posture and mannerisms seem to indicate she may have a fawn hidden nearby( I will be watching her more closely over the next few days)

 

Without going into another long drawn sermon on the merits of trail cameras, I honestly don’t think I could live without them! Keep an eye on the Outdoors Guy Blog as the summer progresses; I will be testing out some new Bushnell Trail cameras. One revolutionary new model has all the features of the top surveillance cams, but retails for just over $100 from what I understand.

 

Thanks for stopping-by and have fun in the Great Outdoors this summer!

 

Oh yeah, and please feel free to send-in your early summer wildlife photos!

 

Outdoorsguy

Here’s one of Rick’s pics of a nice Tom turkey strutting his stuff for a nearby hen:
Rickgobbler1

Here’s another one of Rick’s recent pics of some nice ‘twin bucks’.  (This image is an exlusive for the Outdoors Guy Blog)

Ricktwobucks

Here’s the photo(& story) of Bobcat Rick saw in NB back in 2008:

Jeff this is the only Bobcat I have been lucky enough to get on film. The picture was taken on July 27 2008 in New Brunswick. I have never seen a Lynx.

Rickcat

Here’s an incredible Lynx image( & caption) sent in by GPG….man, some guys have all the luck!! (Is it me or does that photo look like a classic painting??)

“Here’s a picture of the Lynx which was watching us from shore. We were on our way back from the evening hunt so it was taken at dusk.

GPGLynx

Here’s another Bobcat pic sent in by Rick. This one was taken in Kemptville-area December, 2009. If I hadn’t known it was a Bobcat, I’d have said it was a Lynx…goes to show how similar they are.

KemptvilleBobcat