Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

This Turkey Hunting Tale for the Birds

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

This Turkey Hunting Tale for the Birds

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson, Times-Union staff writer

You're not going to believe this. Even if you had seen it, you wouldn't have believed it.

Ray Croslyn didn't believe it when it was happening to him.

"Everybody thinks I'm crazy," he said.

This is what happened. Croslyn went wild turkey hunting early April 27, left his truck by the road and pedaled his bicycle to a hunting spot. He bikes into the woods because wild turkeys are easily spooked. At least most of them are.

Using a turkey call to mimic a hen, he lured a couple of tom turkeys into a grassy clearing.

Croslyn shot the one he wanted and the other ran off into the woods just like you'd expect.

But this is where it gets weird.

After taking the turkey he had shot back to the truck, Croslyn drove back to the clearing to check on the other turkey. He sounded his turkey call and up walked the tom turkey that had skedaddled.

"I started walking toward him and he started walking toward me," Croslyn said.

Right up to him. After watching the turkey strut around a bit, Croslyn patted it on the head and it didn't even faze him.

"I started looking around. Is this a Candid Camera kind of thing? Is this a robotic turkey the [Department of Natural Resources] set up?" he said. "That's when I got out my camera and took a picture of him."

A picture is nice, but it wasn't going to show just how odd this bird was. Besides, he didn't want to leave an obviously impaired bird in the woods. So Croslyn wrapped the friendly turkey in a camouflage net and struck out for Jimmy Sears' house in Mount Pleasant, near where he was hunting.

On the way, he decided to call home to St. Simons Island.

"He said, 'Debbie, you're not going to believe this,' " she said.

And later in the conversation, "This bird has got his head out the window like a dog. …

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