Wild turkeys indeed: Hundreds of ‘nuisance’ gobblers rounded up in northern Utah

MENDON, Utah — Utah state wildlife officials have corralled more than 500 wild turkeys this winter in Cache County that are a nuisance to homeowners. They were moved to a rural area known as the Book Cliffs near Vernal.

Drawn by food they can find near homes, the wild turkeys come into the small northern Utah town of Mendon outside of Logan by the hundreds, said Randall McBride, depredation specialist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. They leave waste and sometimes destroy property, KSL-TV reports.

“They’ve become a nuisance during the winter,” McBride said. “They get together in big flocks, and then people tend to not like defecating on their lawns or destroying their landscape.”

He said the city of Mendon set aside grazing areas near town several years ago in hopes of keeping the turkeys out of town but it didn’t work.

McBride urged homeowners not to leave out any pet food that the wild turkeys like to eat.

“Food availability is really what’s bringing them in,” McBride said.

On a recent day, wildlife officials corralled about a 12 turkeys in two traps in the area. It is one of about six places that wildlife officials stop at regularly during the winter.

Some of the wild turkeys who are caught are given GPS backpacks so scientists can track their behavior and hopefully better manage the herds. Most of them are moved to a rural area in the Book Cliffs near Vernal where a large flock lives.

“We’re just trying to better understand the turkeys in general,” McBride said. “Especially in this area so we can better manage them, so, hopefully, they’ll become less of a problem.”

Categories: Turkey

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