No table for this Turkey

We headed out to our destination around lunchtime (just under an hour away) with our prize peacock anxious to see his new home! From the pictures, we knew that Rufus was in for a wonderful treat! Upon our arrival, we were met by Kierstie, and before we barely even got out of our truck, she said that she had someone on the phone from the University of Michigan (coincidentally my Alma Mater) that needed some advice on capturing a wild turkey that had been running amok around North Campus for about six months. We offered some advice and told her that we could possibly take a ride out there after we made a trip to Woodmere Cemetery in Southwest Detroit to try to rescue a mallard with a severely injured bill, and attempt to remove a line from a domestic duck that was dumped there with about eight buddies. That is the third is a trilogy of rescues spanning the long weekend. Back to the turkey, We dropped off the peacock, went to the cemetery and then to Ann Arbor to work on the turkey. As we arrived at the last location where he was sighted, we met Gail Gey from the Pest Control Department (yes, they have one of those on campus), and began our futile attempt. I figured, how hard could it be, it’s just a ‘not too bright’ bird, or at least that’s what people have called it throughout my life. One thing is for certain, the easiest thing that I ever caught was a cold, and up to this point in my life, the hardest thing is a turkey! The chase was on, and on, and on, and after about two hours, we had to call it a day, as we were spent, while he was probably resting in the bushes somewhere calling us a bunch of ‘turkeys’ and laughing the entire time. He was extremely elusive, but he had shown me his entire hand THIS day. At one point, we had him cornered between two walls and three people, and as I thought to myself, he’s ALL mine, he suddenly took a flying jump over my ten foot pole and net held over my head. His cards were now all on the table, and I knew he had yet to see all of mine. We eventually put our nets between our legs and shamefully left for the day. Gail had called me Sunday morning to notify me that she had spotted him in his old stomping field, so I jumped in my truck, still loaded with the equipment from the failed day before, and headed back to U-M. I had again arrived at the previous sight where Gail was waiting for me, but no turkey was to be found. After a short ride around the campus with the thought that yet another trip to Ann Arbor was in my coming future, I spotted him standing completely alone in front of the Pierpont Commons Building. I pointed to him from my car as Gail trailed me in hers. I parked across the street, got out of my truck, handed Gail a net and asked her to slowly flank him as I approached him head on. I truly believe he recognized me from the previous day and pretty much took a nonchalant attitude at my return, his first mistake. As I slowly approached, he headed straight for the side of the building where some tables and chairs where right in front of the glass front. Rather than head to open pasture, he sauntered around the tables which gave me the opportunity to gain on him without being noticed, his second and most costly mistake. I had only a table between us when I feigned right, with my net left, and he ran right into the pad of the mitt, after which I fell to my knees and smothered him with a very comforting hold as Gail brought the carrier that would be him temporary home for the next hour while he was transported to his new and forever, safe home! No more eating scraps and dodging buses and cars, and trying to avoid the frequent harassment of passersby. Finally vindicated, after having lost the battle, but winning the war. He was however, one very tough, agile and elusive adversary. Funny, the irony… the top of a table usually seals the fate of a turkey, but in this case, it was the side of the table that did him in!  Now he will again share the company of others of his kind, as he once did before he was kidnapped from his previous family and tossed into a college mix of frat boys who’ve nothing better to do!

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