IMDb > "Nature" My Life as a Turkey (2011)

"Nature" My Life as a Turkey (2011)

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Nature: Season 30: Episode 4 -- My Life as a Turkey is the account of an amazing experiment: Naturalist Joe Hutto incubates two dozen wild-turkey eggs with the intention of human-imprinting and raising them. But the relationship that develops between the author and the birds changes his life so that he wonders who has imprinted whom.


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Joe Hutto (based on the book "Ilumination in the Flatwoods" by)
View company contact information for My Life as a Turkey on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
1 August 2011 (Season 30, Episode 4)
Naturalist Jim Hutto's remarkable experience of being imprinted on by a group of wild turkey hatchlings, and raising them to adulthood and beyond, in the remote wilderness of northern Florida. | Full synopsis »
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User Reviews:
One man's remarkable experience of raising a group of wild turkey hatchlings to adulthood. See more (3 total) »


 (Episode Cast)
Joe Hutto ... Himself / Narrator
Jeff Palmer ... Joe Hutto

Episode Crew
Directed by
David Allen 
Writing credits
Joe Hutto (based on the book "Ilumination in the Flatwoods" by)

Lynne Hoppe  uncredited

Produced by
David Allen .... producer
Gaby Bastyra .... assistant producer
Kate Fulton .... producer
Jayne Jun .... associate producer
Fred Kaufman .... executive producer
Laura Metzger .... senior producer
Bill Murphy .... series producer
Jeff Palmer .... assistant producer
Chie Witt .... associate producer
Janice Young .... supervising producer
Original Music by
Rob Dunstone 
Cinematography by
David Allen 
Mark Smith 
Film Editing by
Darren Flaxstone 
Production Management
George Chignell .... production manager
Julie Schapiro Thorman .... production manager
Art Department
Anita Corcoran .... graphics
Joe Hutto .... sketches
Brian Santalone .... pagebuilder
Joy Weeng .... designer
Sound Department
Jeff Bottoms .... voice over
Ed Campbell .... sound re-recording mixer
Jonny Crew .... dubbing editor
Matt Skilton .... dubbing mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Jeff Palmer .... additional photography
Editorial Department
Patrick Krass .... on-line editor
Other crew
Daniel B. Greenberg .... senior director
Janet Hess .... series editor
Brian Lee .... technical director
Nick Miller .... creative director
David Nicholson .... science advisor
Andrew Ruhemann .... executive: Passion Pictures
Lovette Williams .... science advisor
Stephanie Winkler .... field assistant

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Directed by
Nigel Cole (episode "Wild Horses of Mongolia")
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mark Hobson  (episode "Gooney Birds of Midway") (episode "Mountains in the Mist") (episode "Resurrection at Truk Lagoon") (episode "Saguaro - Sentinel of the Desert") (episode "Yellowstone In Winter")

Produced by
Suzanne Weinert .... producer (episode "Wild Horses of Mongolia")
Production Management
John F. Schwally .... senior production manager (1993-1998)
Sound Department
Rob Whitehurst .... sound recordist (1995-)
Music Department
Rob Cairns .... composer: main title (1999-)
Other crew
Billy Pittard .... creative director
Juan Rosenfeldt .... title designer
Ed Sullivan .... creative director

Additional Details

52 min
Sound Mix:

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
One man's remarkable experience of raising a group of wild turkey hatchlings to adulthood., 30 November 2011
Author: angelofvic from United States

Oh my God, this is the best movie I've ever accidentally watched! I had no idea it even existed until the Masterpiece video I wanted to watch on the PBS website wasn't working, so I clicked through the other offerings and this came up on the Nature section.

Naturalist Jim Hutto does on-camera narration to his experiment of a lifetime: While living in the very remote wilds of Florida, he was unexpectedly given a pan full of wild turkey eggs, and he incubated them, planning to let them imprint on him when they hatched so that he could study them closely.

Little did he know that this would occupy his entire waking existence for the next two years! As the turkeys' de facto mother, Hutto becomes a literal Dr. Dolittle, learning and using all of the turkeys' myriad and subtle vocalizations, living with them from dawn to past their sleeptime every single day, and learning to live and see life through their eyes and hearts. Becoming a de facto wild turkey not only opens him up to their own fascinating existence, but it also opens a window into the other creatures of the forest: Escorted by the turkeys, he is welcomed by the rest of the forest-dwellers as one of them -- a condition that could never exist before the turkey experiment and never did after the two years were over and his brood was no longer with him.

Like other animal-human bonding documentaries and films ('The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill' or 'Born Free' or 'Ring of Bright Water' or 'Gorillas in the Mist' come to mind), this film is charming, funny, moving, thought-provoking, and enormously enlightening. I think the qualitative difference here is manifold, however: Firstly, the subjects are wild turkeys, a species that not much was known about beforehand and that was and is presumed unintelligent by the average person; secondly, these animals are completely wild, not domesticated or coddled in any way; thirdly, Hutto, as their imprinted mother, was fully accepted by the animals as a turkey rather than a human, and he lived that way, in the wild, as a turkey. Hutto revels in the turkeys' in-the-moment existence and joie-de-vivre, finding it much more satisfying than the insane worries and regrets of human existence.

I could go on, but let me simply conclude by saying this is definitely a movie any animal lover would enjoy! Beautifully filmed, as well.

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