By Ron Glas
Watch out for those turkeys, they can attack and it can be quite the ordeal. Let me explain.
A few years ago, I was walking with my wife and my two Chihuahuas along Lime Ridge open space and were heading up the hill towards the cul-de-sac at the end of Via Montanas. Having seen a number of coyotes in the area recently, we were cautiously anticipating seeing one cross our path.
Sure enough, out of a grove of trees comes the charging nemesis. Wait, it was not a coyote, but a TURKEY! And it was mad as hell charging at us with wings flapping and squawking.
Not knowing exactly what to do but having heard that it is best to stare down rather than run from an attacking critter, we bravely faced the turkey. But this turkey just kept coming. Our two dogs attempted a rescue straining at their leashes and barking. There was no deterring this bird.
I had no weapon, if only I had an umbrella. But I was holding a leash.
Twirling the end of the leash madly above my head, I was able to keep the turkey at bay, only to suddenly realize that I had also managed to pull the harness off my dog. This was actually fortunate, or this turkey would have received a beatdown by a twirling chihuahua.
Now, I had to figure out how to keep my freed, brave little dog from going after the turkey. Fortunately, my wife was able to grab him, and still fending off the turkey, I managed to pick up the second dog.
With both dogs in our arms, we finally manage to back slowly away from the turkey and gave it as wide a berth as we possibly could. After a while, it lost interest in us and slowly retreated into the trees, most likely to its nest.
This is still one of our favorite Thanksgiving memories. Dinner was particularly enjoyable that year.
Turkeys can become aggressive during the breeding season, occasionally charging, threatening, and acting aggressively toward people. You can most often shoo them away if you are aggressive about it.
Turkeys dislike water. If they refuse to budge, give them a good spraying.
Do not feed them or a few stray visitors will soon become a flock of permanent residents that have lost their natural fear of humans.
In 1959, and over a 40-year period, nearly 3,800 wild turkeys were released throughout the state. Now, wild turkey estimated population is reaching 240,000.
Permits are required to kill wild turkeys that are causing property damage. To get a depredation permit, contact the regional California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) office at (707) 428-2002.
This story has been updated from an earlier version.
This article has been updated from an earlier version.