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Chased by wild turkeys

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Chased by wild turkeys

Old 12-18-08, 10:44 AM
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PLUChris
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Chased by wild turkeys

There's a flock of wild turkeys that wander around our neighbourhood. I've come across them frequently in the car - they stand around in the middle of the road and refuse to move until you force them out of the way, at which point they peck at the car and chase after it - but had never encountered them on the bike until yesterday.

The last mile or so of my commute home is very hilly and 1/2 way up the steepest incline, I heard some clucking coming from the bushes to my right, I looked over and saw a group of 10 or 12 of the buggers starting to run towards me! I stood up on the pedals and accelerated up the hill, but it is a very steep hill and I'm only hitting about 10mph pedalling as hard as I could (bear in mind, this is right at the end of my 12+ mile commute!).

Anyway, 2 or 3 of them tried to chase me, clucking loudly and flapping wings, for about 50 yards - but I was just about fast enough to outpace them and I left them to go bother the next vehicle that passed their way!

I'm trying to think of a strategy for dealing with them if it happens again - the motorist's approach of just driving straight at them is probably not going to be that effective on a bike, especially at low speed. Any ideas?
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Old 12-18-08, 10:47 AM
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I'm sorry. No matter how you look at that that's just funny
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Old 12-18-08, 10:48 AM
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next time please bring a camera. preferably video.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:01 AM
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A really lound sound like an air horn might scare them off. If you can find a recording of a turkey's natural predator (mountain lion? bear?), that would probably work best. As a last resort there's always pepper spray.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:05 AM
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I'm sorry. No matter how you look at that that's just funny
Yeah! My wife thought so!
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Old 12-18-08, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by gtnissanfan View Post
A really lound sound like an air horn might scare them off. If you can find a recording of a turkey's natural predator (mountain lion? bear?), that would probably work best. As a last resort there's always pepper spray.
you could try spraying them with your water bottle. My fear would be falling off my bike due to hysterical laughter. These gangs are really getting out of control!
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Old 12-18-08, 11:08 AM
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Yeah sorry but that's funny. Mark it - the list of cycling hazards is now officially longer than the non-hazardous list.

I have heard that birds are not affected by pepper spray, though really that was just from the Mythbusters episode where they try pepper 'spray' on sharks.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:12 AM
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Dress up as a pilgrim for your ride home. That'll give them the message!
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Old 12-18-08, 11:13 AM
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You were ambushed by wild turkeys? Now that is funny!!! I say you get off the bike and show them who's boss.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:19 AM
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Threaten them with a baster!
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Old 12-18-08, 11:23 AM
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Pepper spray. They think it's seasoning, and will assume the oven is next. If that doesn't work, show them a bag of stuffing.

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Old 12-18-08, 11:26 AM
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I've drunk a few....never been chased by them though.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:38 AM
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I think the people that think this is funny have never seen a wild turkey. I have them on the road fairly frequently, but they just cross the road for me. The damn things are big and fast, and I imagine they can be pretty mean.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:41 AM
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Funny and dangerous. That's what makes it such a good story.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:58 AM
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It is funny - but only in retrospect! At the time, it was pretty scary!
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Old 12-18-08, 12:11 PM
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We have a flock of wild turkeys in our neighborhood as well. They are ******* though compared to your bunch. Start carrying a small .22 pistol. Next time one charges, plug him, then drag it home and throw'em on the grill.
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Old 12-18-08, 12:15 PM
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I wonder why your turkeys are so aggressive? A flock lives in my neighborhood and they're pretty civilized. They cross the street carefully and run away from me when I approach. The worst thing they do is gobble loudly at 7am on the weekends.
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Old 12-18-08, 12:16 PM
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Turkeys can be kind of aggressive in the short-term when they are startled, but they also don't like to be disturbed. Be careful if they do something similar again, and stop if you have to and yell at them. Your biggest dangers are falling off the bike, or getting one stuck in the spokes. If you stand your ground, they WILL back off. Face it, you are HUGE compared to them. Even 5-6 of them are no match for you if you start swinging a bicycle at them.

Anyway, they will probably find a place where they don't come into contact with you after the first couple of times. They may avoid the immediate area where you encountered them today from now on, but Turkeys are not bright, so they may hang out in a similar place down the road where you will still pass close to them. Just be careful then too.

I would consider giving them a wide-berth, and making a loud pishing noise as I passed them (a series of loud "PSHHHHHHHHHHH"!!! noises). Most animals don't like that, and instantly recognize it as a warning sound. It has worked for me with things like deer, foxes, jackrabbits, coyotes, and even cows when I'm riding and some critter is too close to the road for my comfort.

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Old 12-18-08, 12:39 PM
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My wife did a program on Native American Stick Ball (what they referred to as "Little Brother of War", or as we know it, LaCrosse). The Native Americans revered the turkey as a fierce warrior and would make combs out of the shin bones of turkeys to scratch the players skins to invoke the turkey's warrior spirit.

Benjamin Franklin wanted the national symbol to be the turkey.
Originally Posted by Ben Franklin
For my own part I wish the Eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead tree near the river, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
With all this injustice, he is never in good case but like those among men who live by sharping & robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our country...
"I am on this account not displeased that the figure is not known as a Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the truth the Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.
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Old 12-18-08, 12:42 PM
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We have lots of wild turkey around here, but they run from me.

Agree that some intimidating sound should do it.

Unless it's in a bottle, of course.
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Old 12-18-08, 12:44 PM
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You are going to have to start rolling like this. Free dinner too.....
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Old 12-18-08, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I think the people that think this is funny have never seen a wild turkey. I have them on the road fairly frequently, but they just cross the road for me. The damn things are big and fast, and I imagine they can be pretty mean.
I find it funny because I see them all the time. I have a place in Western Mass where they flock right in the woods by my house. I've watched lines of 25 of them walk across my property and like the OP heve been "attacked" (really more like squacked at) by a few on my MTB rides.
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Old 12-18-08, 12:45 PM
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the Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on
Oh dear! Maybe they heard my accent!!
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Old 12-18-08, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I think the people that think this is funny have never seen a wild turkey. I have them on the road fairly frequently, but they just cross the road for me. The damn things are big and fast, and I imagine they can be pretty mean.
I think its funny and they are all over my house. They are constantly in my yard. If they get too close I will just kick them. Think of them as a big soccer ball.
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Old 12-18-08, 12:47 PM
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