December 18, 2013

RIP, Lucky

Turkey that ruled the Reed Road roost dies

Misty Watson
mistywatson@daltoncitizen.com

— They called him Lucky.

He acted like he owned the place. He chased cars that trespassed onto his territory. He even stopped traffic on the North Bypass and Reed Road a few times to strut around and remind everyone that they were merely visitors passing by an area he called home.

Lucky was a wild turkey that had made his home in a lot on Reed Road near the intersection with the bypass. He had become sort of a community pet for those who lived and worked nearby.

But Tuesday, the turkey was found dead. He had most likely been hit by a car.

“I go by there every day,” said Eddie Mowles, who lives nearby. “I had gone by there Monday night and checked on him. He was standing in the driveway (of Accent Yarns).”

Mowles often fed him. John Oxford, of Accent Yarns, said Mowles was one of Lucky’s caretakers.

“Eddie helped with Lucky’s special dietary needs of doughnuts and peanuts,” Oxford said.

“I would just sit here and watch him,” Mowles said. “You’d be surprised how many people pull through just to see the turkey. There are a lot of kids that don’t get to see a wild turkey that close up. ... He chased cars. He chased cars like a dog.”

The turkey had made a lot next to Accent Yarn his home at least six months ago.

“The turkey is going to be missed,” Mowles said. “Someone complained one time about him stopping traffic. I thought it was hilarious because he owned that road. He owned it. You’d pull up in a car and he’d chase you.”

“He didn’t care. I think he was nuts.”

Oxford said Lucky would see his reflection in the chrome bumper of cars and would try to defend his territory by attacking the car.

“We’re glad no one got hurt,” he said. “He was in the highway quite a bit.”

After researching the behavior of turkeys, Mowles said he believes the turkey had been a member of a flock who was run off by another male.

“A tom turkey is like any other thing: he has to be strong to survive,” he said. “He wanted to be the head gobbler. Another probably ran him out of the flock. He came over here and liked it by himself and was being fed and took care of. He had the best of both worlds.”

Mowles said the turkey was “amazing.”

“You talk about him like he’s a human,” he said. “He became a friend of everybody’s.”

Oxford said Lucky became a legend.

“He was special,” he said. “We all came to look forward to seeing him every day.

Lucky was laid to rest near Cool Springs Baptist Church, and Clay Ryals was the minister in charge, Oxford said. He said he as well as Orville Jvistad and Pete Purvis served as pallbearers.