Since 2003, we have lived in the Longwood area of Brookline, which is walking distance to Fenway Park. From the very beginning we have been terrorized by wild turkeys. My son Seamus used to get off the bus at the end of our street. He would slam the back door and rush in, panting. “I was being chased by the turkeys,” he’d report once he had caught his breath.
This past Sunday we arrived home from Mother’s Day brunch to see the beasts wandering around in the park across the street. I had recently checked the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife laws regarding killing turkeys, with thoughts of setting up a blind in our third floor to shoot the bastards as they terrorized squirrels and small children in the Longwood Mall across the street.
The turkey-hunting season is short and happens to be right now: “the spring turkey season begins on the last Monday in April,” the site says. “It continues for four weeks (i.e., ending on the 4th Saturday).”
My youngest son Luke (otherwise known as Cole) is 6. He saw the turkey and had a much better idea: lightsaber attack. “Let’s go turkey hunting, Dad,” he told me in the dead serious tone of voice of a Jedi Knight who has taken on the Dark Side before and knows when enough is enough—no matter the danger.
He grabbed his saber and we were off. By the time we made it back outside, the bird had disappeared. But we heard a gobble from across the street. We were in luck: The turkey had wandered into a courtyard at Wheeler College just across the street from our house and the park, where we could come in from both sides and corner him. I went in from behind and flushed the beast out of the bushes. The turkey made a break for it, but Cole/Luke took off in hot pursuit.
We spent the next hour zipping after the bird around historic beech trees and in and out of our neighbors’ back yards. The Darth Vader of birds stayed just one step ahead of us.
Pretty soon it was time for Luke’s play date, and we had to give up for the time being. But fear not: We will be back. The Dark Side will not win this battle.
Just in case you decide to go turkey hunting, remember these rules:
Wild turkeys may be hunted only with a shotgun (including smoothbore muzzle-loaders) not larger than 10 gauge (allowable shot sizes #4 to #6) or by archery. Bows must have a minimum pull of 40 lbs. at 28 in. draw (or peak draw for compound bows) and must be used with well-sharpened steel broadhead arrows not less than 7/8 in width. Rifles and handguns are not allowed. Wild turkeys may not be hunted or taken by means or with the aid of: dogs, live decoys, bait, electronic calls, or traps. Driving wild turkeys is also prohibited.
I guess driving the bird out of the bushes and then attacking it with a lightsaber is, strictly speaking, against the law. But honestly, we were just fighting back out of self-defense.
—Photo Rich Moffitt/Flickr