ODFW Launches Pilot Program To Help Curb Problem Turkeys

Apr 1, 2019

If you’re a landowner troubled by turkeys in the Eugene-Springfield or Corvallis area, state wildlife officials want to hear from you. 

A pair of wild turkeys wander through a neighborhood near the outskirts of Eugene.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

At a glance, turkeys don’t seem too troublesome. Individually, they wander around, gobble, and keep to themselves.  However, in large numbers roaming through areas inhabited by people…

"...the birds will get up on roofs and roost and scratch, and scratch up a garden, peck at windows…we call that ‘human-wildlife conflict’," says Brandon Dyches of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Dyches is part of a pilot program that connects landowners with hunters, ahead of the start of turkey season…which runs April 15th through May 31st.

Wild turkeys advance on a garden. Many landowners complain of extensive garden or yard damage, or large amounts of droppings when multitudes of the birds gather on their property.
Credit ***It's Snowing*** / Flickr.com

“Just this week, I’ve fielded calls from ladies who have had to replace a roof, or…60 turkeys defecating on a lawn will create quite a mess.”

Dyches says the goal is to reduce turkey numbers, which have been growing steadily in the South Willamette Watershed District for a decade.  Hunting will be kept out of city limits.

Anyone wanting to learn more about the pilot program can contact Dyches, either at (503)947-6004, or via email at Brandon.c.dyches@state.or.gov.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.