Hundreds of thousands of times a year, automobiles strike a variety of critters, including turkeys.
An automobile traveling in Shawano, Wisconsin, struck a wild turkey in a head-on accident. The bird hit the windshield of the vehicle and busted right through it.
The photographs show just how much damage hitting a turkey can do to your automobile, depending on your speed. A wild turkey weighs, on average, between 10 and 20 pounds. So, imagine traveling at a high rate of speed and hitting a 20-pound mass of meat and bone.
Wild turkeys are an incredible conservation success story, particularly in Wisconsin, where this accident took place. I'm old enough to remember when you didn't see any turkeys in the Dairy State, but in the last 40-plus years their population has exploded.
Reintroduced in 1976, the DNR now estimates wild turkeys to number around 350,000. This is a great success story and great news for turkey hunters and wildlife lovers. But it also means that collisions like this one are going to be more prevalent on the roads.
The Shawano County Sheriff's Office shared these images on its Facebook page. There's still no information on the status of the driver, but we can only hope the driver didn't suffer major injuries. The turkey was pretty well shredded upon impact, and the damage to the vehicle is going to be costly to repair.
Here are two more recent images of an automobile colliding with a turkey. These are courtesy of the National Wild Turkey Federation's Facebook page, which also cautions drivers to be alert for wildlife when driving.
This should be a warning to all drivers, to remain alert while driving. I was working for the DNR a few years ago and almost struck a flying turkey myself while driving the backroads. It was a harrowing moment, and reminded me that these large birds can appear seemingly out of nowhere.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.