Tech & Science

‘Historic hunting opportunities’: Southern Alberta ranchers welcome B.C. problem turkeys

Some ranchers in southern Alberta are welcoming familiar poultry to their properties.

“Thirty years ago we had turkeys here,” said Tom, a rancher in the southwestern part of the state. “Then about five to ten years ago they disappeared,” added his wife Monica.

The couple have housed in the foothills of Alberta for over 50 years. Global News has not provided their surnames to protect the location of the coveted new company, which arrived on their land in January.

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A wild turkey rises to stardom in a small New Brunswick town

Wild turkeys are not native to Alberta or British Columbia, but have seen recent population increases in eastern British Columbia resort areas such as Radium and Invermere. For many residents there, they have become unwelcome and troublesome guests.

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Doug Munzer, senior scientist and wildlife program manager at the Alberta Conservation Society, said, “If a turkey decides to live on your property and roosts in a tree right behind or in front of your house, it’s It’s a serious problem,” he said. (ACA).

Since January, the ACA has transferred 178 problem turkeys from urban BC to rural Alberta.

The program is made possible thanks to the collaboration of landowners like Tom and Monica and tens of thousands of dollars from the Alberta Fish and Game Club.

Wild turkeys are not only a delicacy, they are also valuable game birds.

There are no restrictions or permits required to release wild turkeys in Alberta.state’s latest Wild Turkey Management Planhas expressed interest in restoring turkey populations that provide “historic hunting opportunities”.

The report notes that “similar hunting opportunities that are geographically limited in Alberta (e.g. Suffield elk hunts) and have brought hunters from across the province represent financial expenditures by hunters in excess of $1,000. and most of it is spent in the community.”

The state has said it may adjust its policy on turkey in the future if it becomes a nuisance, and Tom and Monica agreed.

“We’ve never been in a situation where we’ve been attacked by turkeys. We’ve occasionally found them in the haystack,” Monica said. “If you get a lot (of birds), welcome the hunters!”

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© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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