I was surprised a couple of years ago when we were in Moorhead, MN for our daughter’s graduation from Concordia to see a flock of about 10 wild turkeys strutting past campus. I, too, went to Concordia, and there was nary a wild turkey in Moorhead when I was there.
I follow the Fargo Forum newspaper online, and have read with interest the struggles that the city has with the turkeys. There seem to be dozens of wild turkeys in town, hanging out in residential areas, terrorizing mail carriers, attacking people’s pets, pooping all over yards and sidewalks, ripping up gardens, playing chicken with cars in the middle of the street, and frightening children on the way to or from school bus stops.
People have been feeding them, which is the crux of the problem. It keeps them nearby and increases their fecundity. Several solutions were bandied about by the city council, including shooting them. Thanks to the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, there is a solution that will cost the city nothing. South Dakota will pay for the whole thing.
After all the necessary permits are gathered, corn will be scattered in a specified place on the banks of the Red River in Moorhead. Once the turkeys start to gather there en masse, SD Game and Fish personnel will fire off a cannon that will shoot out a huge net that will ensnare the turkeys so they can be humanely gathered and caged and transported to South Dakota. There they will be released into the wild to repopulate South Dakota’s wild turkey population.
They estimate there are at least 75 turkeys that can be caught and removed this way. Good luck to them. I can imagine great success or hilarious failure. I am just glad they aren’t going to just shoot them. Getting Moorhead residents to stop feeding the remaining turkeys will be the real challenge, I fear.
Have you ever encountered a wild turkey? What are your favorite birds to feed and watch? How would you go about relocating a flock of turkeys?