Orrington Woman Pleads for Turkey Pardon

Joy Hollowell

Updated 2 years ago

Shotgun hunting season for wild turkeys begins this Saturday in several areas around Maine.A woman in Orrington is going to extreme lengths to make sure one bird in particular isn’t a target.Joy Hollowell tells us why.=====A large white sign stand prominently on the front lawn of Molly Poole’s Orrington home. It reads- please do not shoot injured wild turkey who lives here. It roams surrounding fields and woods by day.The wild turkey Poole is referring to, showed up last Spring. She noticed the bird had a limp.”One of his legs is thinner than the other,” says Poole. “His left leg bows out extremely to the side when he walks. His claws, some of them are gnarled.”Poole called a local bird sanctuary for advice. They told her the fowl would eventually heal on its own, and in the meantime, she could supplement his diet with sunflower seeds. Poole promised herself she wouldn’t get attached.”You weren’t going to name him at first?”"Nope, no, no, no,” says Poole, laughing.She did.Buddy, as he’s called, sleeps on the branch of a tree in Poole’s front yard. She feeds him twice a day. Poole does not touch the bird and there are no cages or fences to keep him in. “It’s happiest being wild and I’ve tried to maintain that,” Poole explains.She says Buddy will roam, and once went away for two days. But he always returns for food and attention. “In the morning, first thing, he’s right outside my doorstep,” says Poole. “And sometimes he gobbles to let me know he’s there.”And it’s not just the traditional turkey call coming out of Buddy’s beak. “In spending time with him, talking to him and everything, when he’s very relaxed, he makes a purring sound,” says Poole with a smile.She adds Buddy has tried joining other wild turkey flocks that come onto their property, but they’re not interested and will actually peck Buddy if he comes too close.Poole knows the day will come when Buddy doesn’t return. “I think it probably will be rough if something does happen to him, but I was fortunate to have this journey with him.”====Poole says it took her awhile to figure out Buddy was a male. Several tell tale signs cinched it, including spurs on the inside of his legs and the fact that he gobbles, something only male turkeys do.She adds folks around town now refer to her as the Turkey Lady, and a woman from Bucksport even offered to turkey sit when she and her husband need to leave town.


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