Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful Wild Turkeys




  We were blessed this year with 3 wild turkey hens and their broods of poults to watch trot through the yard while they grew up. Even with the hot dry weather conditions the wild turkeys made their daily pilgrimage trotting through the yard, usually skirting the tree lines for a quick escape.

one hen wild turkey watching while 6 fuzzy poults peck and dig for treats

I know they are hard to see. Hubby snapped them through our old windows and they are drab in color to begin with. Hopefully you can spot them, especially if you click on any of the photos to enlarge.

During our dry hot summer we decided to have 3 huge trees cut down that were dying and so tall they could easily hit the house if they fell over. We've already had a few fall during high wind storms and when a tornado whipped through the property, but luckily none ever hit the house. One tree had a large patch of bare dirt surrounding it, right off the end of the house. One day I was looking out the kitchen window and noticed some dust flying... Wondering where it was coming from and wanting to make sure it was not smoke, I went outside and found the young turkey chicks were having a good old time getting dust baths! That picture didn't turn out to well, as it was taken even faster than normal with these zippy birds, but what a treat to see! Here (below) is a hen with one poult behind her, walking in what is now a small clearing near the house, where one of the tall trees was cut down and we had cleaned up some of the scrubs and weeds around it. We throw cracked corn out for them every day along the path we normally see them foraging. That path does vary day to day. We just kept the food near the house for our viewing pleasure.


you can see the wild turkey hen in front of a tree base 
with the poult behind her on the left

They grow rather quickly and we have not seen them close to the house for about 2 months now, but do catch them running quickly across the back of our hill or in the neighbors larger, flatter open yard. Below is about 3 weeks after the above photo, where the poults would quickly scurry to dig under the wild bird feeder for any left overs. They have lost all their fuzziness by this time.

2 wild turkey hens and many poults 
pigging out under the main wild bird feeder.
you can also see how dead our lawn was during the drought conditions this past summer

  So why are these wild turkeys thankful? 
Because they are more than safe in our yard and woods, including our neighbors on either side of us. Even though we are they only ones who purposely throw out seed and corn for them, there is lots of bugs and natural plants to eat as well. So these turkeys will not end up on anyone's table in our immediate vicinity!!! Hunter hubby knows these birds are off limits! Besides, he enjoys their visits as much as I do.

no need for the wild turkeys to protest or warn anyone in our yard!

  As we, in the United States, celebrate our Thanksgiving day, I hope everyone finds time to say Thanks for any blessing, no matter how small they had this past year. 
I am thankful that I am still healing from my neck surgery. And extremely thankful that we were able finally able to travel to meet the newest member to our family, our youngest grandson, Ethan! We also had a short trip to see the older 2 grandsons last month. We love and miss our family, and pray for the next time we can be together. We are always thankful for the men and women who are away from home serving this country now or have in the past. We pray for your safety and a quick return home.

What are you Thankful for this year?



  until next time...
  Wishes for a wonderful and 
healthy Thanksgiving holiday !



To view our photos, stories and wild turkey facts 
from previous years Here and part 2 Here .

Friday, November 16, 2012

Deer Gun Season Opener 2012




 Sunny and cool with a good chance for whitetail deer!

  Thousands of blaze orange wearing Wisconsinites and visiting non-residents eagerly await the arrival of the 2012 9-day gun deer season, which kicks off Saturday Nov. 17.

Hubby's buddy being silly after a good harvest
taken when breaking down camp, why he is not wearing more orange

   Approximately 10 percent of Wisconsin residents will take to the fields and woods for the annual hunt, and thousands more will participate by providing food, hotels, and other services that make deer hunting such a vital and important part of the Wisconsin culture and economy.

a recent funny blogged, U-tubed and replayed on radio and TV shows of a 
very convincing woman concerned about deer crossing at these signs
click to enlarge any image

Kevin Wallenfang, big game ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, says the 2012 gun season is one that he hopes will be exciting and satisfying for all involved. “It’s a tradition that many hunters and businesses look forward to all year long. It will also have more of a traditional feel to it this year due to the elimination of most early season gun hunts."

Deer populations throughout most of the farmland region of the state are strong, says Wallenfang, especially on private lands. Still, despite comparatively high deer numbers, farmland units can be difficult to hunt, especially for those spending their season on public lands where hunting pressure is often much higher than surrounding private properties. The good news is that Wisconsin has more than 1 million acres of private lands open for public hunting, including Voluntary Public Access program and Managed Forest Law program lands. Which is why hikers, campers and general nature lovers are advised to take a short break, this annual 10 harvest season and wear blaze orange or other brightly colored clothing if out near any trails or wooded lands. I also strongly recommend keeping your pets inside as well. Be smart, use a leash, your furry friend will be safer too.

I can testify, the deer in my yard do not read,
nor do they get shot, other than with a camera ;o)
 thanks to a email friend for image credit

Even with increasing deer populations in many units, hunter success during the gun season can vary based on a wide range of factors. Hunter effort, weather events, rut activity, hunting pressure, and stand site locations in addition to deer numbers can all play influential roles in whether or not individual hunters see and harvest deer.

“Deer are not distributed evenly across the landscape and their movements vary greatly from one day to the next,” says Wallenfang. “Some hunters simply have access to better hunting and more deer.”

Another step hunters can take to increase their opportunities and enjoy their season is to take advantage of more good weather days in the field. “There has been an increasing trend of hunters spending fewer days in the woods than in years past, often hunting just the opening weekend,” Wallenfang says. “Although deer sightings can be fewer after opening weekend, there are still deer to be hunted and the later part of the season can be more relaxing than the high pressure of opening weekend.”

Forecasters say we’ll have some temperate and mostly dry conditions through out the state. Especially opening weekend. Though most hunters prefer cooler temperatures and a nice fresh snow fall, that makes it better to scout and track any deer they may be lucky enough to harvest. Cooler temps also help in keeping the carcass cold until safe processing can be arranged. The weather looks favorable for hunting conditions that will allow people to stay in the woods and enjoy the hunt and Wisconsin's beautiful nature longer.


Remember to always be aware of your surroundings, distance and people population or buildings before taking careful aim to shoot. Wisconsin requires blaze orange outer wear for others to see you as well. More general hunting ethics can be found here.


For more info on Wisconsin's hunting seasons, other outside activities and news click  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for their web site.

Enjoy your 9 day deer gun season.
Good luck and good hunting!
   A safe hunter is a successful hunter!

 image credit icanhascheezeburger.com

        Just click to view last years deer hunting funnies .

Do you have a hunter in your household? or any funny stories to share?

 


     Until next time,
      thanks so much for visiting!