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The Whitehurst Diaries: Turkey Season in Pellyton
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By: Sharon Whitehurst
Our Pellyton neighbor, Jay Rose, has accumulated a large store of knowledge regarding birds, animals and plants. We have come to know that when he stops by we will learn more about the flora and fauna of our adopted state. If we encounter an unfamiliar tree or wildflower, Jay will be able to supply identification.
Jay pulled into the driveway of the lower farmhouse as I was crossing the lawn, trowel in hand, at about noon. As I approached the open window of his truck he inquired, "Would you like a turkey dinner?"
Peering in, I could see the gobbler suspended by a strap from a knob on the dashboard.
The racket of construction ceased in the house behind me and Jim appeared.
"Come see what Jay has," I called.
Jay described how he had flushed several young 'jakes' feeding near the portion of Spruce Pine Creek which winds between our strip of woodland and the big cornfield.
"I missed the first one I shot at," he admitted ruefully, 'I expected his friends to take off, but this one led me up the creek onto the old track behind Jake Millers' and then stood there, waiting for me."
Jim and Jay laid the turkey on the back of the truck so that we could admire the coloring of the feathers. Jay had a video captured on his phone of the turkey 'purring' as he stalked through the dry leaves.
Jay pointed out that while the gobbler had the distinctive tail feathers of a 'jake' or young Tom, the 'beard' was more indicative of a mature turkey.
Willis the Cat joined us to marvel over the turkey. [Willis has transferred his self-appointed task as supervisor from the Gradyville property to the larger Pellyton farm.] He sniffed the turkey thoroughly, from tail feathers to beak, butted at Jay's arm for attention, then bent his face again close to the head of the lifeless bird.
I posted the photos immediately on Face Book for the benefit of Jim's Vermont cousins--dedicated hunters from the cradle.
A friend in Wales quickly provided the perfect caption for the photo of Willis: 'A bit too late for mouth to beak resuscitation!'
This story was posted on 2015-04-27 13:54:09
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