Wildlife: Turkeys

It may seem a bit odd to write a post about turkeys because they look so nonchalant and move fairly slowly and deliberately.   However, they can get aggressive and they often travel in packs.  You don't want to get attacked by six turkeys at once.  As turkeys get habituated with humans, this aggressive behavior is likely to increase every season.

The primary time when a turkey is most likely to be aggressive is when there are chicks around; as you might expect, turkeys will get aggressive if they think their chicks are in danger.  The season for chicks typically begins in early May.  Some chicks can hatch in April.  So, chick time is essentially from about mid-April through the end of the year.  Essentially, always be wary that chicks will be somewhere near turkeys. 

If there is a turkey or turkeys in the trail and you can't get by, do the following:

  • Be loud and aggressive with your words; turkeys will avoid dominant species.  The turkeys are likely to move on into the woods.
  • If the turkeys won't move after yelling at them, spray the turkeys with your water bottle.  This is one of the few species of animal where this could actually work, like cats, turkeys hate water.   We haven't ever had to do this.  However, as stated above, as turkeys get more comfortable with people each season, they are likely to get more aggressive. 

Aggressive turkeys are no joke; be aware.