Wild Turkey Zombie

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So I found a wild turkey zombie on Jordan Lake yesterday.

I was out on Jordan Lake in a kayak yesterday and after a while I noticed a wild turkey feeding on insects in the sand nearby.  So I started filming.

As I approached, I noted first a respectable beard on the bird. It looked to be a 10″ beard.  Then, it became odd that he let me approach so easily. Now, if you know anything about wild turkeys you’ll know they are very, wary animals with extremely good eyesight.

I’ve never gotten so close to a turkey in my life and it almost ran into me a few times, especially when it flew almost straight into me near the end of the video. You won’t believe what this bird does. I’ve seen wildlife doing some strange things over the last few years, but this takes the cake.

I only have a few theories as to why this bird acted the way it did. 1. It was the feed! The bird might have just been unwilling to leave prime browse – doubtful. 2. His lady was nearby; it is spring – also doubtful. 3. He’d been run out of gameland by hunters scouting for the opener on April 1st. – possible, but Jordan is permit only for turkey and the woods have been pretty vacant since deer season – also doubtful 4. ZOMBIE TURKEYS!!!!!!

Seriously though, check out this crazy encounter with this wild turkey.

 

Down East Bass & Alligators for Mother’s Day! (VIDEO)

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So the family decided to get together and fish for Mother’s Day Weekend. We opted to chase largemouth bass but didn’t bargain for the alligators.

Especially those in excess of 10 feet long.

We wanted to hit the grass flats and chase drum and trout, but heavy rains the week prior to our outing and high winds changed those plans. Then we thought we might hit a slow moving black-water river, but the gauges rose all night long the night before, so we again made an audible.

Greenfield Lake it was. It was small, close to us in Wilmington, and would be far more protected from high winds than anything else we could think of. This is a really beautiful place. The fishing pressure it gets is obvious, so I don’t really recommend it for a trip as far as angling, but as far as a place to see some really cool wildlife, both reptilian and avian, it’s a must see.

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There are bass, gar, bowfin, perch, bream, crappie, pickerel and catfish, but they obviously see everything off the Wal-Mart shelf daily. So we caught fish, and some nice ones too, but it was a serious grind. This was my best bass of the day; a 4 pounder that ate a weightless senko.

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As the morning began we drifted slowly and quietly through Cypress trees covered in everything from Bayberry to Poison Ivy. Wax Myrtles and Azaleas surround the lake too, but the Old Man’s Beard hanging from all the Cypress and Sweet Gums is what really catches the eye here.

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We had been told that there were rumors of a big alligator here; like a 14 footer. Let me rephrase that, we figured after what we’d been told; there might be an alligator in these waters, like maybe a small one with an exaggerated size to keep people from the small city lake. But we didn’t expect to see close to 10 alligators with 2 of them around 10 plus feet.

But that’s what we got. Here is the video of an 8 plus foot alligator I saw after a few smaller ones.

Then I encountered a bigger gator. This one was easily in excess of 10 feet! Two videos of him follow…

So yes, I probably did cross a line while filming these alligators. It could be said it wasn’t smart to get so close (even though the videos in no way show how close I really was). But I was ready to get away from them at a moments notice, and I kept them in my sight the entire time I was close. When they submerged I stopped filming and got out of the immediate area. I’ve also kept reptiles, both native to NC (when I was a permitted NC wildlife rehabilitator) and exotics in my lifetime (including large constrictors). I am also keenly aware that the intelligence these prehistoric creatures have far surpasses what science would grant them based on their brain size. I knew when I was filming when they were aware of me, when they were ok with me, and when they were tired of my presence. Body language does reveal a lot in the animal kingdom.

I also knew these gators have been in this location a long time and they have never had an incident, even though there are houses all around the lake, and visitors in the waters on a daily basis (there are even kayaks and pedal boats available for visitors to rent in this small lake loaded with alligators).

So I certainly don’t encourage anyone to get as close as I did to a big alligator; no more than I encourage anyone who doesn’t feel able and comfortable to kayak fish in swift water, or to go rock climbing without experience and knowledge. But I do encourage people to get out there and experience stuff like this at whatever level they happen to feel comfortable with. I know my life was enriched by experiencing this yesterday and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Here a few pics of Mom catching her bass.

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Southern Charm is Now Selling My Tables

Southern Charm, a unique retail store in the Cary Towne Center Mall, is now selling my tables.

The store is a co-op between the owners and many talented local artists in North Carolina. I feel truly blessed to have been allowed to sell my products here, as the items within are handmade and representative of a time when craftsmanship meant something in this country.

The store sells wooden monogram letters, hand-crafted artisan jewelry, all kinds of holiday gift ideas; including items for Halloween and Thanksgiving presently, there is an abundance of ACC merchandise, as well as bath and body soaps and lotions. They even have school supplies and most of the vendors will accept custom orders.

And of course you can find my tables and other products there….

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Southern Charm is located at 1105 Walnut Street in Cary, NC, in the mall, located near the Food Court, and is open 7 days a week. If you need holiday gift ideas, or just want to find something rare for yourself, please give them a visit and see all the wonderful crafts they have in the store.

Warning – Brutal Footage and Some Funny Stuff

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YouTube

Animal Attack Compilation

Tigers are unreal. I don’t normally post anything like this or watch it. But trying to find videos for WOS weekly has me looking past fishing adventures.

The first ambush 27 seconds into the video is amazing. The way the big cat comes out of short green grass and attempts to reach the guy on top of the elephant is simply awesome. This guy is lucky to escape with his life. I do not hunt anything I don’t eat, and I would never hunt something so rare either. However, it looks like this animal was a problem cat. Judging by the video, they are in an agriculture area and the tiger had probably already attacked a human.

Fortunately these sorts of incidents are on the decline. India has had its share of tiger/human interactions over the years as human populations have exploded and tiger habitat has diminished. Its heartbreaking really.

But I imagine if a tiger were killing people in your neighborhood, where your children played, something would have to be done. In this country we try to re-locate wildlife, like bears for instance, when they become dangerous. But there are times when the bears injure or kill, or keep coming back to the same populated areas. This is most unfortunate, and I don’t claim to know the answer to the problem.

I posted and wrote about the video because the raw power of this tiger is something to behold. Nothing more, nothing less.

The second tiger attack on the video is not as impressive, but likely was deadly. Viewer discretion is advised.

Click the link below to read the story and see the video at Wide Open Spaces.

http://www.wideopenspaces.com/2015-compilation-animal-attacks-video/

Let the Kayak Wars Begin!

Brother Joey got out yesterday before the snow and ice started to fall from the sky. He found stripers and catfish willing to bite on the Cape Fear river. Best striper was 25″ and 8lbs. The rest of the team stayed warm and dry while he carried us to start the nearly year-long tournament put on by Kayakwars.com. Nacho Fish took the Northeast freshwater division again last year and we plan on three-peating this year! Anyone else get out yesterday before the ice? Let’s hear your stories or your smack talk! Let the Kayak Wars begin!

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Joey Sullivan