Wild Utah Turkeys get new homes

Local News

UTAH (ABC4) – Every winter, wildlife biologists trap and relocate wild turkeys across the state.

On January 22, wild Utah turkeys are drawn into a ‘planted’ grazing field and trapped. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources then gathers the wild turkeys and relocates them to new homes.

“Each winter, our wildlife biologists trap and relocate wild turkeys from small towns and urban areas where these birds have become a nuisance to more suitable public lands where the potential for continued conflict is very low,” shares the department.

According to officials, these relocation efforts aim to establish and maintain healthy turkey populations for people to view and hunt within the state.

In Utah, the wild turkeys typically inhabit cottonwood tree bottoms, pinyon/juniper habitats, ponderosa pine, and oak tree forests, Utah State University shares.

Turkeys tend to prefer habitats that create “mast-producing” fruit such as acorns and other nuts. In Utah, these habitats are usually gambels oak thickets, and pinyon forests.

Turkey types

“Wild turkeys are one of the largest of the game birds,” informs the university. “Adult males are called Toms or gobblers, one-year-old males are called Jakes, adult females are called hens, and one-year-old females are called Jennies.”

There are two species of turkeys that inhabit the Utah area. They are known as the the Rio Grande and Merriam species.

Both of these species have long legs, wide rounded tails, and small heads with a slim neck.

“Merriam turkeys are considered mountain birds, spending their summers in ponderosa forests and up into spruce and fir forests. Rio Grande turkeys, on the other hand, are associated with cottonwood river bottoms,” they add.

In the video shared by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, we watch as wildlife biologists trap the turkeys and then release them into a healthier environment.

The Utah Department of Wildlife Resources estimates that there are as many as 25,000 wild turkeys in Utah.

If you have issues with wild turkeys and would like a trap placed on your property, you can contact your DWR Region and request one.

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