CACHE COUNTY – Residents in Avon, Mendon and Clarkston may have noticed fewer wild turkeys wandering through the area thanks to biologists from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
Each winter DWR traps and relocates turkeys from areas where they have become a nuisance to other areas of the state.
“We’ve seen our turkey population grow in a lot of areas,” said biologist David Smedley. “We get birds coming into areas that we don’t want them and people don’t want them. As they get into town, that’s not an ideal place for the birds. That’s not where we want to see them.”
DWR has trapped and relocated turkeys for years as a way to reduce conflict between the birds and residents who don’t care for the mess they create.
Biologists have spent the last several weeks trapping the birds in the valley. As of January 9, they captured 102 in Cache County and an additional 206 throughout the region. They will be released this week in the Book Cliffs area of eastern Utah, according to Smedley.
This year, DWR will release some turkeys with GPS backpacks to document their movements, habitat use and survival.
“The GPS backpacks are really cool because they give you a lot of data,” said Smedley. “The collars allow us to see a lot of that movement when you transplant a turkey and where they go and how they respond.”
“They are looking at how well the birds survive and where they move,” he said. “We look at how far we have to move them so they don’t go back to the same spot or another town.”
Smedley said they will be trapping turkeys in Richmond and Wellsville in the coming weeks.
“We want to have a balance where we can provide a healthy population for people to look at and hunt, but have a balance where they’re not causing problems in towns,” he added.