The Games They Play

Wild Turkeys  3-7-08

Image by Vicki's Nature via Flickr

Friday, a lovely warm day, was  fun for more than just me.  I spent the morning enjoying a view of deer from the blind.  I had 10 doe and two young bucks in front of me.  I  graced two hours of watching them, yes they stayed right there in front of me for two full hours.   It was  so warm I only needed a light jacket.  The deer were moving early, and shared one of those special sunrises with me, making it that much more spectacular and breathtaking.


I started out a little late, around 6:00 AM, and was kind of worried that I may have spooked the animals while walking into the blind.  Even the early morning was warm, requiring only my jacket and a light coat to stay warm.  It was that time when the black of night starts turning to a smooth yet abstruse  grey when the first deer came out.  A lone doe, grazing as she walked along an unseen trail, obviously familiar to her.  She moved with such grace and purpose, it seemed a prelude to a  beautiful ballet.  At first, I could only see her dark silhouette as she moved from the trees.  Detail was provided just a short time later, painting her in colors of soft warm brown and white.  As the morning changed and offered a view of it’s potential,  she was joined first by one, then another, and another, until there were 10 doe and yearling grazing in front of me.  The beauty of it was stunning to behold. 


As the sun just started breaking the horizon, bathing us with its warm glow, two young boisterous bucks came out to play.  Acting just like little boys in grade school, they stayed away from the girls, and play fought with each other.  Prancing around, posturing, and sparing, practicing those skills that will be of use just a little later in their life.   It was a treat for my eye’s and soul to witness.  I felt like the benefactor of all the wonders of the world to share this time, especially with a beautiful sunrise to go along with it.


After this amazing morning, we went back to the camp and sat out front enjoying the sunshine and scenery.  It was just JJ Jr. and I this weekend, and we spent some time discussing our plans for the deer lease, and how we could improve it for next season.  Of course it would not be deer camp with out a few tall tales, and practical jokes to help pass the time.   He has the enthusiastic and optimistic view of the world that only an 18 year old in his first year on his own can possess.  


For the evening, I sat the same blind.  We try to get into the blinds around 3:00 PM for the same reason as getting in them early in the morning.  The longer you have to get settled in and relaxed before the animals come out, the less chance they will discover you watching.  I had a  bit of a long wait, but it was not all that bad.  I kept myself occupied listening to the music of nature.  There is so much to hear if one just takes the time to quietly sit and listen.  Little did I know the wonders of the day were far from over.


The deer came out in a rush about 5:00 PM.  They were all running and playing, chasing each other around.  Two does were having a little argument, standing on their rear legs, slapping hooves with each other loudly.  When a flock of about 15 turkeys came in and joined in the fun.  Surprisingly, the yearlings actually played with the turkeys,  running around in the group of them like a bunch of school children playing tag your it.  The turkey seemed to join in the fun, and were not bothered in the least.  The adult does were a little on nervous, and moved away from the turkeys, but did not intervene.  It was one of those OMG moments that are so very common out in the wilds of the out doors. 


Two turkeys were following each other around, with  amorous intentions. The gobbler following close behind a bearded hen, chortling and trying hard to keep get her attention.  They moved down close to the blind, and continued their game away from the group.  As they crossed within a few feet of the blind, they caught scent of my presence, and let out a series of warnings that caused both the turkey and deer to quickly leave the field.  It was 20 minutes worth of startling fun for me, and an experience I will remember for quite a while.  The best part is I captured a few moments of it on video.


Please forgive the poor quality, I’m still trying to figure out how to focus this camera.  You’ll be able to see the adult deer on the left side, and the yearlings running around in the group of turkey.  I hope you enjoy it.


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Lilly's Life said...

Its almost like a country picnic Eric. They were all out for a bit of fun and frivolity early in the morn before any humans could be around. I love the way you described the whole scene. "The gobbler following close behind a bearded hen, chortling and trying hard to keep get her attention." Blokes are blokes no matter what their species it would seem.

Good on you for videoing it all too - I have yet to work all that out. By the way Kelli visited my blog and left a comment. She is as lovely as you, your sister!

Have a great week.

the walking man said...

The panorama created by your words Eric is...just beautiful.

tashabud said...

Now I understand why hubby likes going out to deer camp. And how he wished for me to go with him sometime--to see and experience evertything he sees and experiences.

I'm glad you enjoyed your time out there. Seeing those deer and turkeys are definitely pluses to your outdoor experience.


Jessie said...

you composed such a vivid picture...

confused said...

you always take me right there with your words..good stuff..

Jena Isle said...

Eric, it's an awesome video although not too clear. It takes us there and , coupled with your narrative, you gave us a truly wonderful time. Thanks for sharing.

God bless.

redchair said...

Hi Eric
What a treat to witness them in their habitat. Nature at it's most innocent and wonderful play.

By the way- just wanted to tellyou- you're busted. June saw your comment.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Wow Eric. How awesome. Doing what you love. It doesn't get any better than that.

Have a terrific day. :)

Kel said...

I suspect the two groups were having a little "Survived another hunting season" hoedown! Tee hee hee.

How neat to get to see two fine mama nature moments in one day!!

Funny that I had wild turkeys in my day's vistas too. Our office building is within a relatively short distance from wild lands along the river, and we have two or three as-yet-undeveloped parcels of land between the commercial buildings in the neighboring blocks. So we get treated from time to time with visits from the wild lands folk: turkeys, possum, raccoon, lots of squirrel and gophers, and gorgeous birds of prey.

REALLY cool, when one lives in suburbia and don't tend to expect our cousins to come visiting.

June Saville said...

What a lot of wind life Eric -
May I come in your pocket one morning? I could do with a bit of 'close to nature'.
June in Oz

Kel (a.k.a. Kj) said...

P.S. It is SO weird seeing myself referred to as Kelli. I've been Kelli-Jo so long now, only mother continues to insist on calling me Kelli.

Eric S. said...

@ Lilly, Yes it was like a country picnic. They were just having so much fun. I guess you just have to accept that guys will be guys as you say, LOL. Yes Kel is a card at times but so much fun when she leaves comments.

@ Tashabud, You should go with him and have some fun. There is far more to it than the hunt, friendship and conversation is some of the best parts.

@ The Walking Man, Well thank you, I just don't know how to respond to that kind compliment.

@ Jessie, Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

@ Confused, Thank you kind sir.

@ Jena, Thanks, The camera I have is not the best for this type of videoing. Someday, I'll get a real digital Vid, and then really have some fun.

@ Vikki, LOL, I knew I shouldn't have said anything. Couldn't resist though, your portrait was just so perfect for her character, Pip.

@ Sandee, Yes it was a lot of fun, and the best part is writing about it.

@ Kel, You may be onto something with the survival hoedown sis. They were surely having a grand time. It was nice to see so much activity in one day. Funny, I never thought f Turkey being out where you are, but then I guess I just am not that familiar with your area. I just keep seeing picture in my mind of LA, and there is no way there could be any wildlife there, LOL.

@ June, certainly, I'll make room for ya, we just have to figure out how to get you here from OZ.

Eric S. said...

I seem to remember a few other AKA's you had through the years.

Kay said...

This is really remarkable. You are such a fabulous writer. You paint glorious nature pictures with your words. I wish I could be in one of those blinds to watch what you described. It all sounds fabulous.

Roy said...

I am beginning to envy this priceless luxury that you have. Imagine communing with nature and watching every beautiful creature that comes along. Honestly, I am surprised you can even take note of the time.

Your detailed words brings us exactly to the place and sits us right beside.

Thanks for sharing.

Liara Covert said...

A lot of times, people think about turkey on a platter at Thanksgiving and festive holidays. People often forget what these creatures are doing elsewhere and at other times of year. I find your choice of topic invites readers to awaken their senses to simple realities. We each live moment-to-moment, day-to-day and make the most of where we are.

Kel said...

LOL ! Other "a.k.a.s" indeed. Let's see . . . there was "Schweerdo", and "Bird Legs," then "Kellie" (my early francophile phase), and then "K-Jo,"; and then "Gavroche" for a very select few years and people during the LO-HI dance department days . . . and so many others over the years. LOL

Just Kelli-Jo, or Kj, or Kel (for family and pre 1985 days), these days.

LceeL said...

Cool. No wonder you like it out there. and I'm so glad you're armed with a camera.

Eric S. said...

@ Kay, Thank you, it is a lot of fun, and so very refreshing.

@ Roy, Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It is one of those simple pleasures that for me is so important. There are times when I do not notice the time at all.

@ Liara, Thanks, Turkey are plentiful down here, and it is commonplace for them to be seem just about anywhere outside the city.

@ Kel, LOL, K-J the moniker queen.

@ Lou, yes it is very fun indeed. I am trying to get my old Konika in good working order. Hopefully then I can get some pretty good 35 mm shots.

Jenaisle said...

Hi Eric,

I have cited you in my Kalinga rice article. Here is the URL:

Welcome back.

Eric S. said...

Thank you so much Jena. I would love to experience those traditions. I can imagine you have some wonderful mornings communing with nature, and relishing the music of her amazing creatures. Maybe some day I can figure out how to visit the area. The mountainous terrain sounds like my kind of place.

Kel said...

Cooooool . . . "The Moniker Queen"

LOL !!!!

Think I could get that done as a brooch in paste diamonds?!? BLING!


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