by Bret “T-Bone” Amundson
It was sad news, but not all that surprising, to hear that “Roger”, the turkey that had been wandering the streets of Glyndon, MN for the past few months, has gone to Gobbler heaven.
Based on an incident I had with him earlier this year, I thought he may have been headed “south” instead of north in the afterlife. I narrowly escaped a vicious attack. I may be exaggerating that slightly. As it turns out, Roger was a model citizen in the community. Helping old ladies cross the street, playing games with children and bringing casserole to local potlucks.
A recent report by Valley News Live out of Fargo stated that Roger had been hit by a car. As I mentioned, I’m not surprised as I almost hit him with mine.
I was driving out to bow hunt on November 2nd, when I stopped to gas up in Glyndon. I noticed a peculiar sight in the parking lot of Tank’s Tattoos across the street. “Roger” was about to get some tribal markings around his wing. I hear that really hurts when you get on the bottom part.
I drove over to take a few photos and watched him mill about. He was asking me what was under the hood of the van parked nearby. I told him I wasn’t sure. He just kicked the tires a couple of times and checked himself out in the bumper reflection.
I went back and proceeded to fill up my gas tank. Despite warnings of leaving the pump unattended, I walked over to get some footage with my iphone video camera. I should have known better, as Roger scolded me with some serious strutting and herded me back to my truck.
Not wanting some man-on-bird-fisticuffs, I climbed in my truck to avoid confrontation. Had I been in possession of a Minnesota turkey tag, the outcome could have been different. I felt it wasn’t my place to turn Roger into a Thanksgiving main course, so I said my goodbyes and headed out to find Brutus.
Little did I know that would be the last time I’d get to talk to Roger. I left so many things unsaid. If only I could do it all over again, I’d…I’d, probably do it all over again just like I did.
It was a cool experience and I’m sure most of the town enjoyed his presence, but his untimely demise is exactly what happens when wild animals try to coexist within city limits. Feeding or other encouragement for these birds/animals only exacerbates the problem. But he was cool to see.
Besides we need to show these birds who’s boss. First Roger and now this ruffed grouse gets a little too close for comfort? What’s next, Canada geese that take over our golf courses? Wait…nevermind.
That’s why I’ve traveled to Wisconsin armed with a Fall turkey tag, buck tag and small game license. I’ve already evened the score on the ruffed grouse. Next up, we go after Roger’s cheddar and bacon brothers from the Dairy State.
Bret “T-Bone” Amundson