Turkeys look for treats under a bird feeder in a yard in Hampden. Credit: Gabor Degre

No matter whether I’m hunting deer or grouse or turkey, there are plenty of days when I swear the critters are avoiding me.

There are also days when I’m not hunting, and those same animals seem to be taunting me.

You know what I mean. I’ll find a pile of deer poop right outside my front door when I take the dogs out in the morning. Or I’ll be deer hunting and have a grouse perch on a branch 20 feet in front of me, knowing there’s nothing I can do about it.

Or, as happened this week, I’ll drive into my own driveway and find a large flock of wild turkeys milling around, munching and paying me absolutely no mind.

Even when I hop out of the truck. Even when I walk toward them to get a bit of video. Even when I start squawking at them in a vaguely turkey-ish fashion.

This flock lives in the neighborhood, and they’ve become quite comfortable there. These are no dumb birds, after all.

I live in a section of town where firearms discharge is not allowed, you see. About the only thing these birds have to worry about is an occasional neighborhood dog barking at ‘em. Unless, that is, they linger in the road too long when they try to get to my side of the street, where they can taunt me more effectively.

On Sunday, after spending some time at a family function, I arrived home to find quite a party going on in my yard. And though I’ve not yet taken advantage of the fall wild turkey season, which is ongoing as we speak, I have had enough frustrating spring hunts to take this visit a bit personally.

The turkeys? They couldn’t have cared less and ambled slowly away. It’s as if they knew that we were in a bowhunting-only area, and that I don’t bowhunt, and that (surprise!) it was Sunday, and Sunday hunting isn’t allowed in Maine.

Just another day in the Maine woods. Or something like that.

John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...