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The Incredible Edible Flying Turkey

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, I'd like to pause in brief appreciation for the bird that is so closely associated with the holiday. Whether or not the pilgrims sat down to that first historic meal with wild turkey as the main course, is up for debate. What's not is that the big bird loomed large in the early days of the republic. None other than Benjamin Franklin himself considered the wild turkey a top pick for national bird. Luckily for the Bald Eagle, it won out, and the wild turkey was nearly hunted to extinction over the next couple of hundred years. Conservation efforts over the last half century have enabled the bird to bounce back, and the population has expanded across the U.S... With robust numbers, the turkey is now hunted during a limited season. Seeing the wild turkey in it's natural habitat makes you realize just how big these birds really are. Last Fall, while paddling with a group down the Black River, we encountered 7 or 8 wild turkeys along the shore. As we passed we spooked them and they took flight across the river. The group stared in awe as they glided into the trees. Many did not realize the bird could fly, and with wings spread, the turkey took on a majesty not usually observed elsewhere In this context you could see how Ben Franklin would have been impressed with the bird. So this Thanksgiving, as you sit down to your meal, say a little prayer of thanks for the incredible, edible, flying turkey. 


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