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Got An Urban Turkey Problem? Utah's DWR Is Seeking Input On New Turkey Relocation Sites

If you live in one of Utah’s towns that are overrun with turkeys, you might be interested in a new Division of Wildlife Resources proposal that will add new release sites for captured turkeys –making the new sites far away from suburbs and farms.

Utah’s wild turkeys like living near Gambel Oak, which frequently grows in Utah suburbs. This can cause conflicts. Turkeys leave behind waste on lawns, scratch up flowerbeds and eat food for livestock. Although hunting is usually successful at reducing numbers, it’s not legal to discharge a firearm in city limits where these troublemaking turkeys often live. When conflicts become major, the DWR will catch and relocate turkeys.

“We’ll go in and set up a trap that we bait and when they come in to eat the corn they’re trapped inside that box,” said Dax Mangus, the upland game program coordinator for Utah’s DWR. “Our technicians check the traps regularly. When there’s birds in there they’ll put them in a box, and then we’ll take those birds and move them to the release sites.”

According to Mangus, DWR has trapped and relocated almost 10,000 of Utah’s turkeys. To meet the demands for relocation with increasing turkey populations, the DWR is proposing adding 57 new release sites for wild turkeys.

“Those are sites that our biologists have assessed as good potential sites to restore wild turkeys across the state,” Mangus said. “They are sites that have good suitable habitat that don’t have good connectivity to adjoining turkey populations, so there aren’t birds there at this time. We choose sites where the potential for continued conflict is very low. Our release sites are public land that are not close to neighborhoods or agricultural operations.”

If you live in a turkey-ridden town, you might be interested in giving the DWR input on the proposed release sites for wild turkeys. Meeting dates and locations can be found on the DWR website.