Wild turkey as Wisconsin’s official game-bird? Absolutely not

Spring grouse drumming counts are up from 2016. (Photo by Jerry Davis)

It was just what I needed to put more water on the wild turkey state symbol proposal fire.

Don’t do it. Don’t add the wild turkey to the Wisconsin Bluebook’s now 22 state symbols.

Choose the ruffed grouse instead. Why?

There are many reasons, but here is the best, along with Park Falls being the world capital of the ruffed grouse.

And what a stately bird the grouse is. Smart, too. Ask any hunting dog, even the best ones.

And in quoting from the Wisconsin Small Game Hunting Regulations, “For purposes of this pamphlet, wild turkey are not considered game birds.”  (Not sure about the verb in that sentence, but who are we to say wild turkey is not singular and plural.)

I do not know the reasons for this decision, but we surely do not want to confuse or contradict hunting rules and regulations with something the state legislature enacts as a law, do we?

Pass on the wild turkey, or wild turkeys, just as Ben Franklin came to realize, and go with something that is native, thriving, stately and hunted with great pride.

The ruffed grouse will do just fine for decades and cycles to come.

A group in Park Falls could start a movement in one of their fourth-grade classes to bring the idea forward.

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