Skip to main content

wild turkey

Friends with Benefits: deer & wild turkeys hanging together


I came across these deer and wild turkeys feeding together along what was one of my favorite outdoor haunts in my teen years.

As I took these photos I thought back to the very first time I came across deer and wild turkeys together. At the time I thought it merely happenstance and simply savored the moment. After a second occurrence I chalked it up to coincidence. Today, several years later, gatherings between whitetails and wild turkeys may cause me to raise an eyebrow. But am I surprised? No way!

You see, in the time since my first deer/turkey encounter, I've heard it said that, "if the wild turkey, with its keen eyesight............

possessed the scenting ability of the whitetail deer...........

it would be nearly impossible to get close enough for a shot"....

A bit of an exaggeration perhaps? Maybe. While it may sound like a stretch of the imagination, it's a statement that attests to the keen senses of both species.

By definition, symbiosis isn't what we might label the relationship between deer and turkeys. Yet the wild turkey and the whitetail deer are two of North America's most sought after creatures, with pursuit being from man and natural predators alike. That being said, I find it not only interesting, but understandable as to why the high strung whitetail and the skittish wild turkey oftentimes work together. It's a relationship that benefits both species.

Mother nature on the move prior to cold front's arrival


The sun was barely up Thursday morning when this bluebird and downy woodpecker showed up to sample the frost-covered sumac. Thanks to their "built in" barometers, bird and other wildlife movement often precedes an impending storm or inclement weather.

This female "downy" opted to try her luck on the apple tree. In her search for a meal, she'll look high and low.....

and probe every nook and cranny, leaving nothing to chance in her quest to locate insects. 

How many times a second do you think she can rat-a-tat-tat the tree trunk? ......go ahead.....count 'em!

Later in in the morning, long after the frost has melted away, the male downy is still giving the sumac drupes a thorough going over.

Mr. & Mrs. house finch take a respite in the upper branches of the apple tree.

High atop the cottonwood, some 80 feet up the air, a lone crow keeps tabs on the surroundings below.

Pair of wild tom's scouring a harvested grain field for kernels of corn. 

For the past couple of days there was a good deal of wildlife movement around our neck of the woods. But that has already ceased, even as I write this. Everything seems to be hunkered down, waiting for whatever it is that's coming our way to pass through.   

Authentically Local