Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally
ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer -
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff
Tuesday 11/30/2004 Turkeys at sunrise and a buck at sunset.
Just as I swung my legs out of bed this morning and glanced at the Suncook River and beyond, my eyes picked up movement in the cut corn field along the river. It was a whole troop of turkeys advancing across the field. Thirteen by my count. I dashed downstairs to grab my new binoculars as my bedside pair is missing. What a wonderful sight it was to watch them walk across the field without stopping, but pecking on the move. They must have felt vulnerable in the bare field as they slowed their pace and fed more at the fields edge along the small tributary.
I couldn't help but steal glances from time to time between my shower and getting ready to head to the office. I have only had a small part in the return of the turkey to New Hampshire. Biologist Ted Walski has led the project since before I can to the Game Division in 1978 after a two-year stint in the fisheries side. But, I have released turkeys for Ted at several sites in the early to mid 1980's. Ted would trap the birds along the Connecticut River and ship them in boxes to Concord headquarters with instructions as to where they were to be released. I released turkeys in Boscawen, Loudon and Chester. I would have to check my diary, but I'm pretty sure I released a few in the last release site in Moultonboro as well.
So as I gazed and admired the birds I couldn't help but wonder if their ancestors were birds I had released. Probably.
At days end I was able to shoot out to my tree stand not far from Great Bay for just under an hour of hunting. I felt good walking in thinking that I might see a deer today as the clouds were building in just before sunset and should get the deer moving early. This was probably my last chance to deer hunt this year as the rest of the season is booked with work and other demanding needs. I kept glancing at my watch thinking, "I have 40 minutes to hunt this year...30 minutes...20 minutes." Then, there he was. A nice buck was walking across the field I had so quickly moved across just a few minutes before to get into my tree stand. He slowly walked across the field and was well silhouetted by the last light. Background noise drowned out my first grunt with the call, but my louder second grunt had him stop mid field and cast a glance in my direction. Not a bad rifle shot, but a shotgun was in my grip. He slowly sauntered off and didn't respond to my please on the call as darkness quickly swallowed any hope of seeing him. Still a wonderful memory of the fading light of the 2004 deer season for me.
2004-11-22 Slowly slipping into winter with a few fall hiccups along the way.
2004-12-03 Green fields under a gray sullen sky in the south and snow
< to top >