Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

About Turkey Hunting
By Nancy Holmes | Jul 01, 2017

I am a Carolina Dog, a breed that long ago owned Native American people. We were designed by natural selection to be so intelligent and physically superior that we survived without human help. My great-grandfather was caught from the wild. I can offer advice based on the natural instincts and attributes of wild dogs. In addition, my adoptive person and I have had lots of training classes and other experiences. Some humans call themselves Mom or Dad of their dog, but I refer to my human, tongue in cheek, as Boss. Much as I love her, I admit she has many of the same odd notions as most humans, so I can relate to other pet dogs with problem humans. If I can’t help, at least I can offer sympathy, and we can have some fun talking about our amazing humans. Please send your questions! Bammy, 280 Pond Rd. Newcastle, ME 04553, or email:

About Turkey Hunting

Hunting is one of the best things I know! I have caught some wild animals, so I get really excited when I have a chance. Last week I was trotting through the long grass in the hayfield checking for mice and deer and woodchucks or any news from foxes or coyotes. When I got a strong scent of turkey, I sprinted as fast as I could in that tanglesome long grass. You have to be careful in grass like that. If you are running really fast, your feet can get caught and you’ll wipe out. I studied hard on that when I was a pup. We visited a friend who had long grass next to her lawn. I was doing zoomies on the lawn and ran into the long grass. It tripped me up and the people laughed. I was annoyed that the long grass stopped me, but I like people laughing with me, so I zoomed back onto the lawn and tried again and fell again. I just kept trying until I learned how to take one big leap and then slow down.

But anyway, last week a whole bunch of turkeys flew up every which way, cackling and cheeping. I leaped for the big cackley one, but she flew too high. Then I tried for one of the little ones that was fluttering just out of reach over my head, cheeping to drive a dog crazy. I went leaping as high as I could in that long grass, and every jump I thought I was going to bite it. It flew to the farm road, almost running into Boss—if she had tried just a little, she could have bitten it, but she ducked instead!

The little turkey landed—or maybe it just got tangled—in a bush just a little higher than Boss. She barked sharply, “LEAVE IT!” And for some dumb reason, I did and started back to her. Then I over-rode that bad habit and went after the bird again. I am well known for my jumping ability, but the bushes were so thick, it was really hard. Every time I jumped, the bird fluttered to another branch and almost fell, so I really thought I was going to get it. Then Boss worked her way into the bushes and thrashed around trying to get the slip-leash over my head while I jumped and dodged and ducked, and the bird squeaked and fluttered and almost fell.

Boss lassoed me, but it wasn’t over yet. Whichever way she tried to drag me, I went around a bush the other way, and I’m almost as strong as she is. She lost her hat and only had one hand on the leash because she was trying to push through the bushes with her other hand. While she worked her way down to get the hat, I made a huge jump and almost caught the bird. It flopped around some more, and I thought for sure it would fall into my mouth. But Boss finally got her hat, untangled us from the bushes, and dragged me with all her strength out onto the road.

We sat down panting and looked at each other. It had been glorious fun even though it didn’t end the way I hoped. Then I smelled that she was bleeding from scratches on her hands. I licked them gently. Our poor humans have those long, gangly arms and legs. They have evolved for open fields. And why, with all that fur on their heads, are the parts that really need protection completely naked?