My Life as a Turkey
Audio Slideshow: Recreating a Life with Turkeys

My Life as a Turkey recounts Joe Hutto’s experience raising a group of wild turkey hatchlings to adulthood; however, the actual footage in the film was of wildlife photographer and actor Jeff Palmer. Sixteen turkey chicks were imprinted on Palmer, and his time with them was carefully documented by filmmaker David Allen. In this audio slideshow, Palmer discusses reenacting Joe Hutto’s imprinting experiment, his involvement with the production, and being mom to his own rafter of turkeys.

  • JJ

    I could watch My Life as a Turkey dozens of time. It was just amazing. LoveJoe and everything he has to say. The cinematography is sublime.

  • Pat Nanigian

    What a wonderful and beautiful life affirming story about our fellow creatures and their capacity for love, as well as having their own little “turkey personalities.” I found this to be an excellent commentary on how we underestimate the power of the animal kingdom.

  • Stacey

    This was amazing. Joe Hutto relived this experience all over again in the filming, what a lucky guy.

  • Stacey

    **Nevermind, apparently an actor.

  • Reeve Baily

    One of the most sincere, articulate, beautiful expositions I’ve ever seen, in any genre. The seamless weave of Joe’s story and Mr Palmer’s footage had me forgetting it was a recreation, just seconds after I’d been told. It’s a wonder to me that televsion this powerful isn’t just pouncing the drek that fills the prime time slots. I’ll never look at a Turkey the same way again.

  • jeanne

    i agree with you reeve.


  • Jess Tremaine

    Mr Baily said it all very well. An absolutely beautiful picture of lifes’ connection to itself.

  • Dock

    One of the most stunning and captivating videos I’ve ever witnessed. Found it accidentally while channel surfing and couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Would love to find more background material on both Joe Hutto and Jeff Palmer. Please make more films like this!!!

  • Tammie

    This was the most magical program that I’ve encountered for a very long time….

  • Tom

    Loved the program but was wondering which part of Fl. it all occured in ? Could have been anywhere from north to mid south! Just curious. Thanks for a wonderful hour that provided a glimpse into the life of a man as well as a look into the world that we all occupy but seldom notice.

  • Louise McKenstry

    Thanks for having the patience to watch, record and write about such an enlightening experience that can be shared with those of us who love nature, but don’t have the means to observe it so closely. Just loved this and am going to check into buying either the book or dvd!

  • suebee

    i live in a rural area of central florida and see wild turkeys almost daily. thank you to everyone involved in this PBS production for showing me what amazing creatures i have nearby. i had no idea of their intelligence, affection and general life in the wild. i will never take them for granted again and will share this program with my neighbors, hoping they see the same beauty in our wildlife that we are so lucky to share.

  • suebee

    i would also like to know where in florida this was filmed. guessing Ocala? perhaps they don’t want to disclose it fearing some people will start disturbing what small areas of natural lands we have left. if that’s the case, keep it a secret.

  • Brian

    It was filmed in Highlands County.

  • Scott

    Wondering about this rafter of turkeys. Wild turkeys are hard to hunt. They are smart, fast, cautious, and blend in well with the surroundings. The birds in this show however are very used to being in the presence of humans. Will this familiarity make them easier prey for turkey hunters?

  • Megan

    Amazing! Watched it twice, my 5 yr old was mesmerized, my husband turned off football, and I’ve sent it to countless friends. Thanks for the truly inspired work! One question, how do I get a list of the songs on the sountrack? The music was amazing, too! thanks!

  • ML

    We have wild turkeys on our 10 acres. Always enjoy watching them but now I am an “insider”.



  • tlbob

    found a list of songs here:

  • Francine Schwartz

    Beautiful, inspiring, another example of the wonders of our world and how little we know it, really. As well as a reminder that animals have much to teach us–love, being only one of those things. Thank you for showing us this. Animals are sentient beings, with emotions, feelings, that are perhaps are as complex as our own. In fact, they may be more complex. How are we to know?

  • Sheila Tibbs

    I share my ranch fenceline with the Wekiva State Park… a flock of turkeys live near here. I will never see turkeys the same again…there is so much to them, really. I bought the DVD and will share it with friends. Jeff Palmer is such a convincing actor and I read he had some challenges over this long, intense, commitment. Many praises for Jeff! The photographer, Mark Smith, and everyone involved in this film are first class! More, more of this kind of reality show, please!!

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