Wild turkeys overrun Cache Valley town

Nov 28, 2018, 6:42 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2023, 3:57 pm

MENDON, Utah – Residents in Mendon have been overrun with wild turkeys over the past several winters. The Division of Wildlife Resources has allowed for five times the usual number of turkey hunting permits in Northern Utah to try and reduce those numbers.

On the south side of the Cache Valley town, several homeowners told KSL they have become used to seeing hundreds of turkeys in their yards each day during.

“The turkeys like to roost in the trees across the street, which makes it very convenient for our yard,” said homeowner Debbie Gudmundson. “They get up in the morning, fly across our house and land in the back yard.”

Gudmundson said the birds make a mess.

“They were here this morning. They’ve made their way over through the neighbor’s and whatnot, and they’ll be back tonight. They always are.”

“They scratch up my flowers, my flower beds, and pull those up,” Gudmundson said. “They leave their droppings in the sand box, which is not really good for the children.”

In winter of 2017 alone, the Division of Wildlife Resources trapped and relocated 548 wild turkeys from Cache Valley. Officials said it was too early to tell if the additional hunting permits have made a difference.

“It’s still early in the winter to tell how much of an impact we’ve had so far,” said Jason Robinson, Upland Game Coordinator for the DWR. “It seems like the turkey population in that specific area has gone down. More importantly, it seems like the impact to local residents has also been decreasing.”

Gudmundson said she hasn’t noticed.

“The turkeys tend to flock to the city area where they can’t hunt,” she said.

A neighbor around the corner, Rodney Sorensen agreed.

“They get everywhere, you know,” Sorensen said. “There’s just so many of them that they reproduce far faster than they’re being harvested.”

DWR biologists have continued to trap turkeys in the area, while adding one more tool to the effort in tracking devices.

“We put GPS monitoring on some of the turkeys that are in that town,” Robinson explained. “To be able to track their movements, and see where they’re moving throughout the year, to give us a better idea of their seasonal movements and help us manage that population better.”

In the meantime, homeowners like Gudmundson and Sorensen said the problem will only get worse as more snow settles on the ground, pushing more of the turkeys down into the town to look for food.

“They were here this morning. They’ve made their way over through the neighbor’s and whatnot, and they’ll be back tonight. They always are,” Gudmundsen said.

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Wild turkeys overrun Cache Valley town