Turkeys' use of old windmill towers a twistby
are few farm collectibles that rank in historical value and necessity quite like
the windmill. One of
the first priorities of the homesteader was to dig and equip a domestic water
well. Volumes have been written and researched on the subject.
a new twist came to the Trew Ranch concerning windmills.
Sixteen years of intense rain water harvesting rendered the windmills
on the ranch obsolete. The equipment was removed, the towers taken down and the
wells capped in case they were ever needed again. As a result, I had three nice
welded pipe towers to sell.
An ad in the San Angelo Livestock Weekly stated,
"Windmill towers wanted,
wheels and gears not necessary." I answered the ad by phone and the following
strange twist came about.
The ad came from the Dallas
area and the wheels and gears not necessary brought about the question, what the
heck did they want with bare towers? I put the question to the Alanreed Coffee
Shop regulars. We guessed light towers around an arena, wind turbine towers and
even solar panel towers. When the return call came I asked the purpose of the
It seems they have a prime hunting lease in South Texas with quail,
dove, wild turkeys and deer. They have heavy brush but no large trees. Therefore,
they have no place for the turkeys to roost at night and predators keep killing
their turkey flocks. They hope to convert the ex-windmill towers into turkey roosts.
You could have heard a pin drop in the coffee shop.
| Heads up folks!
Think now! Visualize the traditional old creaking, clanking windmill, which made
living on the prairie possible, its tower now sitting amongst heavy brush, silhouetted
against the beautiful sunset, holding up a flock of turkeys roosting for the night.
This vision almost caused an aneurism among the old coffee drinkers. After two
refills, the sight became somewhat plausible.
Immediately old classic
windmill tales came forth.
One after another they told of different times when windmills
either saved their livelihood or nearly caused them injury or death. But, times
change and the old group came through like veterans and immediately began making
suggestions as to how to design, rig up, equip and set a windmill tower turkey
roost. After all, this bunch had been called a "bunch of turkeys" many times so
they had some experience. Here are a few of the suggestions to pass on. You may
1. Paint the tower brown to resemble tree bark and be politically
2. Tie or mount cedar stays in horizontal positions so the turkeys
can grip the wood with toes.
3. Mount several turkey decoys on a few roosts
to give the turkeys the main idea.
4. Add a turkey feeder below to entice
the flock to the location.
5. Splatter sheet rock mud along all the roost
bases to make the roosts seem more like home.
6. Paint a sign welcoming the
turkeys to the roosts, free use of course, compliments of the U.S. Game and Wildlife
Folks, believe it or not, this is a "true story" and not a
"It's All Trew" October
5 , 2010column
Delbert Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can
be reached at 806-779-3164, by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by e-mail
at email@example.com. For books see DelbertTrew.com. His column appears
in Texas | Texas Animals