Saturday, November 12, 2005

Flying Turkeys and Rutting Deer

Took a walk in the woodlot today dressed in my protective chain saw gear with the intent of doing some serious bush whacking. The hardhat and screened face shield or visor along with the legging chaps provide much needed protection when bush whacking through dense under brush. The male white-tailed deer [Odocoileus virginianus] or bucks are now entering the rut and becoming quite aroused. During my walk in the bush today I found three patches indicative of the bucks in rut. Bucks will scratch a bare earth patch on the ground about a 30 cm. (a foot) across and nearby one can usually expect to find a small shrub all mangled up often with the bark scratched right off which the buck does by thrashing his antlers. I found these throughout the woodlot and not in any specific area. There were also deer tracks although not more than usual.

On the walk back I came across three wild turkeys [Meleagris gallopavo] who flew off from a perch high up in a tree. When turkeys are perched in trees it usually means that they were already scared or chased up. It may well be that they saw or heard me coming as I was bushwhacking or they may already have been chased up by other predators.

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