for want of a shotgun, the dinner was lost.

For Installment Umpteen of “Look At The Wildlife On My Lawn”, I present pictures of the biggest damn turkeys I’ve ever seen in my life.

Turkeys 008

The shot isn’t all that great, but you can see them calmly walking through the shade of the treeline behind and to the left of the bird feeder.  These were gigantic turkeys, halfway to “ostrich” level. 

Turkeys 010

Here’s a better shot of them walking down the driveway, although this picture lacks something for scale.  Take my word for it: Big. Ass. Birds.  I doubt I could have gotten either of them into the oven.  A bird that size can probably carry off a Shetland pony without much trouble.  A few more pounds, and they would have made the surface of my morning tea ripple as they walked.

Note to self: buy a shotgun for the birds, some .22 rat shot for the tree rats, and a much bigger freezer.


32 thoughts on “for want of a shotgun, the dinner was lost.

  1. Heath J says:

    Fine lookin’ fowl you have there..

    You don’t need the shotgun, just a well placed .22 rnd.. Save the meat!

    I’d recommend a CB Long at that range.

  2. Rob the semi-anonymous says:

    Not birds. Theropods! You’re going to need:
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  3. MarkHB says:

    Your telling me you can’t pull a headshot?

    A hero died today.

  4. jimbob86 says:

    They are not as big as they look: in cold weather, turkeys (and birds in general) fluff out their feathers to trap air under their feathers, as insulation. They may run to 30 lbs…. 22.5 is the heaviest that I have killed.

    I would not recommend a .22 for turkeys. A tightly choked, precisely aimed load of #6 birdshot to the head and neck will do the trick. Aim center mass and you will roll them and then they’ll get up and run away……. don’t ask me how many times you can knock one down and still have them get away……. I had to learn the hard way…….

    ….. and don’t expect them to look like a storebought bird- they are built to run forever and can take off vertically….. they are NOT Butterballs. Slow, moist cooking methods are key.

  5. Vaarok says:

    They’re actually probably not that huge, just fluffy because of the cold.

  6. Gerry N. says:

    .22 ratshot fired from a rifle has barely enough poop to kill a rat at 10 feet. Hit a grey squirrel with it and you are going to piss him off or worse, he’ll go hide somewhere and die horribly a week later from infection. Now a head shot with a bb or cb cap will likely do the trick.

    If you can find one, Mossberg used to sell .22 shotguns. When I was a kid there was a barbershop/restaurant/bar called Ben Paris in downtown Seattle that had a .22 skeet range in the back room. About every other month my buddies and I rode the bus from the Grand Duchy of Ballard downtown for a haircut, a cheeseburger the size of a toilet seat with a pound of wonderful greasy fries cooked in pure beef tallow, a huge coke and a couple rounds of .22 skeet, then took the bus back home. Total outlay for a full Saturday of Manly Fun: $5, the take from a week of cutting lawns and washing cars.

    Hearing the word, “allowance” would send my Dad into paroxysms of uncontrollable laughter.

    • Snake Eyes says:

      Holy Crap Gerry! You must be OLD!

      I’ve lived in Seattle all my life and never heard of such fun within city limits…course, I’m only 45 and you must be double that, with those memories.

      In case you’ve moved away, the City Masters finally ran out the last Pawnshop that sold guns and the last strip club. The Lusty Lady is still hanging on though!

  7. NYEMT says:

    Imagine a groundhog flapping its forelegs, trying to take off. That’s about what a turkey looks like when it flies, but not as graceful as a groundhog.

    We raised a few chickens and rabbits and turkeys when I was young. My mom told me (at age 8) that when God passed out the brains, the turkeys thought he said “trains”…and asked for a little black one that smoked a lot.

    Free-range turkeys are a little brighter and faster than domesticated ones. But not much.

    • wolfwalker says:

      My mom would say it as “when God passed out brains, they thought he said ‘rains’ and asked for a fine misty one.”

      Marko, are those really turkeys, or are they possibly escaped emus?

  8. NYEMT says:

    Note to self: Numerical “eight” followed by close parentheses = annoying emoticon. Sheesh.

  9. Heath J says:

    Injected with Creole Butter and deep fried… Om Nom Nom NOM…

  10. Looks like the damn things dropped off a couple of Hobbits on the lam… keep an eye out for missing foodstuffs from your pantry.

  11. C’mon, Marko, break out the .22 rifle and go for a head shot.

  12. Marko Kloos says:

    Backstop, people. Backstop.

    • Heath J says:

      Nations Rent+ Case 450 dozer… You can make a backstop darn near anywhere…

    • Tam says:

      Backstop, people. Backstop.

      We had a trio like that out on the peninsula back in K-town that I could have harvested with the Zed Drei and not had to worry about a backstop. Actually, I almost did harvest them with the Zed Drei on more than one occasion, because they are too dumb to dodge a hrududu.

      Use the Grand Marnier. 4000 lbs @ 20mph? That makes major.

    • lenf says:

      Backstop. Check.
      NH hunting license. Check.
      Turkey tag. Check.
      Check calendar for opening & closing dates of turkey season. Mmmm. Wait til May 3.

  13. Al Terego says:

    Guns? No sport in that pot shot. Actually it seems like up there at Little House in the Big Woods you could set a snare or two around that birdfeeder and fill the freezer in no time. ‘Course if you catch a moose you might need a bigger cord. Or snag a pissed-off wolverine and you might find the whole idea horribly ill-advised. But entertaining to us nonetheless.

    Al Terego

  14. Jay G. says:

    I believe I’ve mentioned that I have a surplus shotgun or two…

  15. perlhaqr says:

    You don’t have a shotgun?

    That’s like… I dunno, not owning shoes.

    • Rick R. says:

      Hey! I resemble that remark.

      Of course, we do have several smoothbore arms with large bores. . . they’re just not “shotguns” per se. . .

  16. Ritchie says:

    ” they would have made the surface of my morning tea ripple as they walked.”
    I think I remember something like that from a movie.

  17. Will says:

    Got turkeys around here. Had a small flock perch on the back fence a while back. IIRC, 23 hens and 3 toms. BIG birds. Thought the fence might collapse under all that weight. This was warm weather, so they weren’t fluffed up. Camera batteries were in the charger at the time. Drat!
    I see them strolling through the cattle ranch across the road on occasion. Cattle don’t seem to mind them. They don’t do it at night, though. Not with the pack of coyotes that run there! Man, those things are noisy! Incredible volume to their barking and yipping.
    This town is so uptight, they ban the possession of BB/pellet guns. Got a ranch on a hillside as a backstop, but they would probably call out the swat team it they thought a shot was fired. Oh, well.

  18. MarkHB says:

    Something is approaching from the southwest.
    It is now quite close.

  19. Homer says:

    Back when I lived in and owned property in very rural Tidewater Virginia I’d see turkeys fairly frequently; they seem to travel loops with a frequency around 8-9 days. Rare during actual hunting season, there were other times of the year I could have bagged several easily, had my truck been equipped with a V8 instead of an anemic 6…..

  20. Mr Fixit says:

    A backstop issue with tree rats? Might I suggest one of the various spring piston pellet rifles? Economical practice, plenty of power for small vermin, quiet, and accurate.

    And if you need a recipe for squirrel stew, I think I have one (or three).

    Mr Fixit

  21. Al T. says:

    Skip the rat shot. 😦 CCI CB longs will work fine and be very quiet. Still have to watch that back stop, but out of a 20 plus inch barrel, the CB longs are as quiet as an air rifle.

  22. Matt says:

    .17HMR is my tree rat round of choice. Headshot accurate to 50 yards. Should the apocalypse come, the squirrels in my neighborhood will become the first victims of my Savage 93R17.

    As to the Big Ass Birds, yes, I am a heathen and lack a shotgun. But my 6.5mm Swedish Mauser works fine. You need to practice (and I did before turkey season) with one well-placed round at the base of the neck. Works in a pinch. Take their head off with the shotgun or kill them instantly with a CNS shot. Either way, turkey in the oven at the end of the day.

    It is for these reasons that both of these rifles are part of my “grab-and-go” kit.

  23. MarkHB says:

    It’s suddenly occoured to me what the etymology of “pot shot” must be. Thanks, Al Terego.

  24. jbrock says:

    Alternatively, the same shotgun you use on the turkeys will do for the tree rats, although you might want to use one size smaller shot.

    Rattus arborealis prandium est, as we used to say in North Florida.

  25. Cato the Elder says:

    Just FYI, a turkey needs to run before it can take off and fly. A .22 thru the drumsticks pretty much plants ’em on the ground. Not one little bit sporting, just an FYI in case of zombie turkey attacks or something.

    A trail of cracked corn leading under a suspended ‘fence/net’ will let the birds walk in to your ‘trap’, heads down. When they eat all the corn, they raise their head & try to walk out and can’t figure out how to get thru the suspended net. Rocket scientists, they ain’t. They’ll eventually figure it out, but if you’re nearby with a club and a cold, cold heart things can get real ugly. Or so I’m told. When I moved out of the weeds I left all this sort of hoorah behind me.

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