Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Close Call for 5 Frightened Turkeys

November 1st was the end of the six-day Massachusetts fall turkey hunting season and it didn't come a minute too soon.

I watched in horror this morning as five turkey hens crossed the road in front of me and fled from an open field to the safety of a thicket, just yards away from a party of orange-jacketed men with guns and predatory dogs.

I froze as I realized the turkeys' plight, praying that the hunting party wouldn't find the beautiful birds. Their fear was palpable, and for a minute, I felt like I was in danger, too.

If the dogs had picked up the scent, the turkeys wouldn't have had a chance, but they passed without noticing the hens, who somehow safely camouflaged themselves, against all odds. I'm not sure that others were so lucky. The boom of guns shook the countryside around me during my half-hour walk, and I'm afraid to imagine how many wild turkeys were lost today, in Holden, and in other rural venues throughout the state.

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