Regarding the North Asheville turkey situation [see “Talking Turkey: Who’s Gobbling Whom,” Outdoors, Nov. 26], I have a Thanksgiving story to tell.
Sadie, my German shepherd, and I were walking through our north Asheville neighborhood. On our way home, we turned a corner and began the final leg when about 15 turkeys stormed into the road and stopped, apparently as surprised by us as we were by them.
Initially I wasn’t worried. After all, I was with a large dog, which I believed to be a natural predator. Plus, I am much larger than a turkey. Assuming the birds would sense that we didn’t want any trouble—and if we did, would be formidable opponents—I waited for them to move on. However, these avian bullies had no intention of giving way.
Now, Sadie and I are nature lovers, but this gang was standing between us and the way home. We waited; they stayed. I tried loud noises and foot stomps, to no avail. These birds were undaunted. Suddenly one of the big ones started walking toward us and spreading his feathers in a threatening manner. Sadie looked at me, and I could tell she was getting worried. We backed up—but like I said, they were between us and home, and after all this was my neighborhood too.
So one more time we tried to hold our own. The leader stared us down, we stared back, then the rest of his posse started to get involved. Outnumbered and outbeaked, we had to retreat. We fell back about 50 yards and paused. The alpha let out what had to be a victory squawk and, strutting, slowly led his crew off the road. Sadie and I were dismayed—embarrassed in the knowledge that we got nutted up, in our own neighborhood, on Thanksgiving, by a bunch of turkeys.
— Andrew D’Onofrio