Several years ago, Brendan and I went camping at South Llano River State Park in Texas (prounounced Yah-no). It’s in the Texas Hill Country, where, in addition to lots of tourists, deer and turkey thrive. When we first turned into the state park, we were pleased by the cedar trees and limestone cliffs abutting the river, and we slowly made our way down a road that led to the campsites.
That’s when we realized we weren’t in the Big City anymore.
First, there was a ram-like sheep-thing in the road. A mountain goat? I have no idea. We had to honk at it to go away. Then there was a big black male turkey. And then another. And another. And another. And another. And another. By the time we got to the campsite, we felt like we had invaded a vacation spot for turkeys.
As it turns out, we actually were visiting the Disneyworld for turkeys. The park is a protected roost for Rio Grande Turkeys (this is not allowed), and “represents one of the most substantial and oldest winter turkey roosts in the central portion of the state.”
After we got our tent set up, and I headed to the bathrooms, I couldn’t hear any other campers, just lots and lots of loud gobbling. At every turn, and almost at every step, a turkey was underfoot, sometimes with babies trailing behind her.
And oh yeah, we had countless encounters with white-tailed deer, as well. But since they aren’t going to be served in millions of households tomorrow, I’ll save them for another day.