Wild turkey continues to thrive, despite arrow

Wild turkey continues to thrive, despite arrow

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A wild turkey with an arrow through its back is still on the run in Vineyard Haven, and he apparently continues to thrive, according to Tisbury animal control officer Laurie Clements. (See “Archer’s arrow fails to fell wild turkey,” June 17 issue.)

“At 8 am Monday, I received a report from someone that saw him on Daggett Avenue,” Ms. Clements said in a phone call yesterday.

Last week, concerned residents in the vicinity of Greenwood Avenue and Franklin Terrace spotted a turkey with a hunting arrow lodged just under the skin along the bird’s back, with the feathered end sticking out on one side and the tip protruding slightly through the skin on the other.

Although the turkey was identified as a female to The Times and reported as such last week, Island hunting experts have now confirmed it is a jake, a male, based on the beard and the red on its head.

Ms. Clements had made three attempts last week to catch the turkey but was unsuccessful. Yesterday, she said she has continued to respond to any calls about the bird, and she still hopes to capture it.

After The Times article appeared last week, Massachusetts environmental police Sgt. Matt Bass said he received a few calls from Islanders about the injured bird and went looking for it, without success. Anyone who sees the turkey may report it to Sgt. Bass, at 1-800-632-8075 or 508-726-5208.

The Massachusetts spring turkey hunting season began on April 26 and ended on May 22. Sgt. Bass said that it might be possible the turkey had been shot during hunting season and had been walking around with the arrow in him ever since. Otherwise, hunting a wild turkey out of season is illegal, he pointed out.

Yesterday, Sgt. Bass said he received a call on Tuesday from a representative from the Humane Society of the United States, which has an established reward program to catch suspected wildlife poachers.

“The Humane Society is interested in helping out, perhaps by offering a reward to find the person who shot the turkey,” he said.

The Humane Society’s plans are tentative and will be reviewed by Sgt. Bass’s superiors, he said.