Turkeys were introduced into southern Maine in 1978 and Waldo County in 1984 -- guess our DIFW speaker-biologist didn't know about Waldo County and forgot to tell us they were brought once more into the Pine Tree State by biologists. Being a semi-believer in evolution within a species, I just assumed they evolved from big chicken hens or turkeys that escaped from farms. Also, I learned from a website that their numbers diminished in places where farms were turned into other uses, because, I guess wild turkeys also may have evolved from farmers.
When I was a preteen (maybe about that age) my parents sent me off to a Presbyterian church camp, Camp Michaux, somewhere in mid-Pennsylvania. Part of our weekly stay was one of those mile-long "hikes" for our health after which the staff fed us hotdogs for our ill health.
I remember the "cabins" were no-longer-used World War II barracks built to house enemy prisoners of war. That's one of the two things I remember about the camp.
The other was on one of those "hikes." As I was walking along, behind other kids but basically alone because I've never gone for group activities, something big leaped out of the bushes to my right.
And flew away.
My startled preteen mind realized I had just seen a wild turkey!
Now Dolores, the kitties, and I see a dozen or 20 of them in our yard nearly every day. Sometimes we see them running, apparently for their lives. We keep wondering why they don't trip on those long legs and break those long necks.
But despite running and not tripping and all, these on our yard are not nearly as startling as that first one in Pennsylvania.
What's up? this wild gobbler asked, as I snapped the digital shutter. Milt Gross photo.
Of course, there was the big male who challenged me one afternoon for the right to occupy our dooryard. I'd been putting sunflower seed down for the squirrels, birds, raccoons who showed up at night, and whoever else might be interested. Big Bird may have thought I'd be startled.
I had a plastic feed dish about a foot in diameter in my hand, when the big bird stopped, fluffed his feathers to scare me, and took a step or to toward me.
"If you want to fight," said I in defense of my right to occupy our dooryard, "take on this feed dish."
I held it up for him to see.
He grumbled, turned, and disappeared into the woods below the yard.
Nowhere near as dangerous or frightening as geese I used to encounter when I worked on a farm, as a teenager. Then my defense was to run into the barn and scramble up a pile of hay bales.
In Maine, I first learned about wild turkeys in the mid-1980s while I was a reporter attending a Norway-Paris Fish and Game Club supper. A Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife warden spoke that night and clued us into these strange big birds. They were in southern Maine, he said, but would never be as far north as South Paris or Norway. The reason, he explained, was that Maine's climate was too cold for them.
Now I understand two things. Either these turkeys are as dumb as you can get and haven't figured out that they shouldn't be gathering in fields and woods in our neck of the Maine woods because our climate is too cold for them. Or our climate is getting warmer.
I'm not sure which of the two things is true.
I do know they are a sporting bird. That doesn't mean they hang out in our yard for sport but that hunters are allowed to shoot them.
According to an article from the Sun Sentinel, which I assume is a Florida newspaper but which appeared in the Bangor Daily News sport section, an 89-year-old Florida hunter, who has seen a charging cape buffalo in some strange land far away from Maine and flew 35 bomber missions in World War II, is an avid turkey hunter.
"...few things excite him more than hearing the gobble of a wild turkey as he comes in to your calls," the article stated.
Being a retired "investigative" (or some kind of) reporter, I'm always interested in research. So about those turkeys, I've learned from various websites:
1. "The Wild Turkey is North America's largest upland game bird. Average adult hens weigh between 8 - 12 lb. and adult toms between 10 - 20 lb., but a large tom can weigh in excess of 25 lb. Toms sport which are bristle-like feathers that protrude from the chest and can grow to a length of more than 12 inches on older toms. Beards may be present on about 10% of the hens; however, they are thinner and shorter than those of adult males. Heads of gobblers (adult toms) are generally bare and blue with a hint of pink and red, but colors can change with the mood of the tom. During mating season , the gobbler's crown swells and turns white and its wattles become large and bright red. Heads of hens are somewhat feathered with smaller, darker feathers extending up from the back of the neck. Legs of toms are longer than the hens and are equipped with spurs.
"Footprints of toms can exceed 6 inches, whereas hen's footprints rarely exceed 4+ inches. The breast feathers of hens are buff or brown tipped; the tom's are tipped with a sharp band of black. Wild Turkey's plumage is more iridescent than domestic turkeys, and their tail feathers are tipped with brown rather than the white found on tame birds. Wild Turkeys have keen eyesight, acute hearing, and are agile fliers, although they often walk or run from danger."
2. "Turkeys can fly up to 60 miles per hour and a distance of 1 mile. First year birds have dark legs? Game farm strains of wild turkeys do not survive or reproduce well in the wild, and they introduce inferior breeding stock into natural populations?" (I know this is more than one fact, but I'm not good enough in math to number all the website-learned facts individually.)
3. "Habitat. Eastern Wild Turkeys generally require large tracts of mature hardwoods (especially nut producing species such as oak and beech) interspersed with stands of mature pine. They also require grassy openings and hay and pasture lands for raising their young.
Food habits. Turkeys feed on a wide variety of animal and plant materials such as insects, greens, fruits, berries, seeds, grains, and nuts. During winter, turkeys feed on bayberry fruits, sensitive fern spore heads, burdock seeds and other vegetation around spring-fed brooks and on bare edges of fields. In Maine, turkeys also depend on dairy farms for food to survive winter. Dairy farms provide silage corn and manure containing undigested corn that is either spread on fields or stockpiled for future spreading.
Reproduction. Wild Turkeys in Maine breed during April and May. Dominant toms do most of the breeding. Through elaborate strutting and gobbling, they try to attract and mate with as many hens as they can, which may be as many as 12 or more. After breeding, hens confine themselves to nesting. They construct nests in shallow depressions on the ground at the base of a tree or stump, under a tangle of brush, or in dense herbaceous cover. One egg is laid each day for up to ten to twelve days. Eggs are incubated by the hen from 26 to 28 days before hatching. If left unguarded, eggs are vulnerable to predators such as crows, skunks, raccoons, and red squirrels, and incubating hens can fall prey to dogs, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats, fisher, and great horned owls. Poults usually leave the nest the day they are hatched. Hens and their broods frequent field edges and forest openings in search of insects, which provide protein poults need for rapid growth during their early development. After 5-6 weeks of age, young turkeys begin roosting in trees, thus greatly reducing their vulnerability to predators.
Longevity. Mortality is greatest and most variable in the early stages of life. Once Wild Turkeys reach adulthood, they may live as long as 10 years.
Movements. Hens and their poults join other poults and hens to form flocks of 6 - 25 birds (occasionally up to 50 birds) during late summer, fall, and winter. Adult toms generally remain loners, but small groups of 2 to 5 toms of mixed ages are commonly seen throughout the year except breeding season. Feeding turkeys can cover several miles in a day.
Population and distribution trends. Historically, wild turkeys existed in significant numbers in York and Cumberland Counties, and perhaps in lower numbers eastward to Hancock County. From the time of settlement until 1880, agricultural practices intensified until farmland comprised about 90% of York and Cumberland counties. The reduction in forest land and unrestricted hunting are believed to be the two most important factors leading to the extirpation of native wild turkeys in Maine in the early 1800s. Since 1880, many farms have been abandoned and the land has reverted back to forest. By 1970, only 15% of York and Cumberland Counties remained farmland. This reversion of thousands of acres of farmland to wooded habitat greatly enhanced prospects for reestablishing turkeys into their former range." (Boy, these are a fair number of facts and, also, boy, I wonder what "extirpation" means.)
4. Turkeys were introduced into southern Maine in 1978 and Waldo County in 1984 -- guess our DIFW speaker-biologist didn't know about Waldo County and forgot to tell us they were brought once more into the Pine Tree State by biologists. Being a semi-believer in evolution within a species, I just assumed they evolved from big chicken hens or turkeys that escaped from farms. Also, I learned from a website that their numbers diminished in places where farms were turned into other uses, because, I guess wild turkeys also may have evolved from farmers.
These "wild" turkeys appear daily, sometimes twice daily, in our dooryard or backyard. They come so frequently, our kitties will perch on a raised garden rail or porch rail and calmly watch or ignore them. The turkeys ignore the kitties. Sometimes when I drive into our driveway, a dozen or 15 of them will scatter and disappear in the woods. This group was very hungry and, as you can see, weren't concentrating on smiling at the camera for their picture. Milt Gross photo.
5. In Maine, you can hunt wild turkeys this spring from April 30 through June 2. In the fall, you can hunt them with bows and arrows from October 6 through October 20 in some wildlife districts and in some others from September 27 through October 26. In some districts, you can hunt them with bows and arrows and shotguns (I hope not at the same time) October. 13-19.
You need an archery license, if you're using a bow and arrow, a hunting license, and a wild turkey license that you pay DIFW $20 to obtain and put into your wallet.
I learned #5 from among lots of other words on the Maine DIFW website. To actually hunt them, you'll be wise to go to the DIFW site and read those other words as well as the paragraphs from which I learned about #5.
There is one other rule of which I'm certain. Don't hunt them in our dooryard or one of our kitties will get you.
As you who read this column at least sometimes already know, I'm not really good at writing turkey, so I'll stop here.
No wild turkey was injured in the writing of this column.
Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at
"Think of the story of Jesus walking on the water, found in Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6:45-52," Strobel writes, quoting a scholar he was interviewing. "Most English translations hide the Greek by quoting Jesus as saying, 'Fear not, it is I.' Actually, the Greek literally says, 'Fear not, I am.' Those last two words are identical to what Jesus said in John 8:58, when he took upon himself the divine name 'I AM,' which is the way God revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush in Exodus 3:14. So Jesus is revealing himself as the one who has the same divine power over nature as Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament."
The approximately 150 miles of trails are as varied and scenic as ever, and the Island Explorer buses allow circle hikes. Up one trail and down another. Not yet succumbing to GPS except to find corridor-boundary markers and recording their GPS settings along the Appalachian Trail (150 miles north of Acadia) as a Maine Appalachian Trail Club volunteer, I recommend a map that shows Acadia National Park's trails. The long southern part of Cadillac mountain, which the 3.5-mile South Ridge Trail follows from Route 3 to the summit.
So I poked though our little library and came up with the perfect book about green, Adventures in Contentment, by David Grayson. A fellow employee gave me this book back in the year 2,000. I remember the year only because we were working on the U.S. census together, that is, until I realized how ridiculous it was to be starting the census in rural, woodsy, lakeside Maine in mud season.
I believe in wind power, just not where it's not appropriate, such as scenic areas where folks have been vacationing and living in for a century, the great forests, mountains, and lakes of Maine. For about ten years, we purchased hydropower -- the kind that Belfast is thinking of developing from a couple of hydroelectric dams built by the late Larry Gleason in the 1970s. The city is thinking of buying those dams. Now we don't buy pure hydropower, because the company that was selling it to us, 'First Wind', suddenly and without any notice to us, the customers, stopped selling it.
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]
About the KingsCalendar Publisher
R.P.BenDedek is the owner and Editor of KingsCalendar.com which was originally set up to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran'.
Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah.
Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
R.P. BenDedek writes social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both at KingsCalendar, and as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News in Maine USA.
(He has been teaching Conversational English in China since 2003 and currently (2013) is teaching in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province.)
General formula for Biblical Data conversion:
The formula for constructing the artificial calendar was:
'X' times 364 equals 'Y' days'Y' days divided by 336 equals 'Z' artificial years.Values are:'X' = any given number of 'real/solar' years364 = perceived days in the sectarian calendar'Y' = number of days calculated336 = number of days in an artificial year'Z' = artificial years = 1.083'X' and represents the original number of the converted years plus 8%.To reverse the process by hand:'Z' years times 336 equals 'Y' divided by 364 equals the Number of 'X' years converted.
To see how effective this method is, SEE:Appendix 5:Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BCE:
The Principle of Linear Causality
The King's Calendar is a very simple approach to Biblical Chronology. It substitutes a value of 336 days for every year listed in Scripture. As far as the Divided Kingdom is concerned, when you use this 336 day year value, the synchronisms actually work. To see how effective this method is, SEE:Appendix 5: Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BCE
Because it is a mathematical system, the King's Calendar must abide by certain mathematical rules, the most important of which, is that if you change any date for any day, month, or year every other day, month, or year is effected and must also change. It's like a 'domino effect'. Chronological references cannot be 'forced' to fit, and nor can they simply be ignored or 'compressed' as is the usual case with historians and archaeologists.
If any King's Calendar chronological determination disagrees with anything in the history books, it must argue the case as to why the history books are wrong, or why the evidence for an assertion is untrustworthy. If the King's Calendar successfully defends its' position, then the history books cannot be treated as definitive, and if the King's Calendar is 'proven' wrong, then every other chronological reference it provides is also wrong.
Because of this, the King's Calendar Chronological Reconstruction of Israel's history is unique, in that its' methodology can be scientifically (mathematically) tested and demonstrated to be either true or false. Its' chronological predictions are able to be 'proved' or 'disproved'.
Rules of Evidence Series at Kingscalendar.
Part 1. The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology Part 2. The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology Part 3. The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology Part 4. The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology