Tue, Oct 11, 2011
No Birds Were Dropped During Turkey Trot Festival For The First
Time In Nearly 70 Years
There was a tradition in the town of Yellville, AR in the fall.
Wild turkeys were released ... some say dropped ... from low-flying
airplanes and allowed to glide to the ground. Organizers of the
Turkey Trot Festival say that the tradition ... rather than turkeys
... was dropped many years ago. But someone, and no one will say
who, reportedly had unofficially continued the tradition.
This year, the FAA says was on the lookout for any turkey
droppers, according to a report in the Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette. PETA had posted a $5,000 reward for
information leading to an arrest. According to the paper "Everybody
says, 'We have no idea who it is,' but everyone knows who it
The drop used to be sanctioned by the town, which holds the
festival to celebrate one of the states' largest exports. The
turkeys had originally been dropped from the top of the courthouse.
Now, the turkey-droppers stay secluded, according to Yellville
Chamber of Commerce President Travis Doshier.
FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the agency was paying close
attention this year, watching or planes flying during the festival.
He said a pilot who participates could lose his or her airman
certificate. "If a plane flies over and a turkey comes out of it,
we're going to be talking to somebody," he told the paper. Lunsford
said he had seen videos of turkeys dropping straight to the ground
and bouncing off buildings. Marion County, AR Sheriff Roger Vickers
admitted that some turkeys did get hurt, but said "that's going to
happen with anything."
Apparently, the federal agency's diligence and PETA protests
worked. Television station KSPR reports that there were no turkeys
dropped from airplanes during the festival, which was held this
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