Hundreds of turkeys hound Huntsville homeowners

Feb 28, 2024, 7:14 PM

HUNTSVILLE — Hundreds of turkeys are causing problems for some homeowners in Huntsville.

They say the birds come in large numbers, pecking through their yards and leaving behind a big mess.

If you don’t live here, it can seem more like a spectacle of nature, but not so much if you’ve got dozens of these turkeys in your yard.

Huntsville turkeys

Homeowners in Huntsville say turkeys are invading their yards and driveways. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

Carol Stoker even had one of these traps in her driveway for a while because of how popular her house had become.

“Well, I’m kind of tired of them,” Stoker said. “You have to be aware of where you step and walk because there’s turkey poop everywhere.”

Carol Stocker

Carol Stocker has had traps placed in her driveway to keep the turkeys away. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

The turkeys are the reason why Mack Devries has a new job.

He’s a retired school janitor, but now he works part-time with the trappers.

“They just keep coming in and each year there’s more and more and more,” Devries said. “I never thought in a million years that I’d be a trapper, but I say, yeah, that’s kind of really unusual. Especially a turkey trapper.”

He got the unique training because the Division of Wildlife Resources is spread thin. Employees trapped more than 100 turkeys last winter, and they still handle relocating them.

DeVries said he caught 66 of the birds since the fall. But it doesn’t seem to put even a dent in the problem out here.

That’s because they disperse and multiply each spring.

“They come in the early fall and the hens, you know, come with a whole stream of little chicks,” Stokes said.

Granted, it’s not a problem for everyone.

“And I feel like that’s part of what makes Huntsville charming, is when the deer come around and the turkeys come around. And I saw a fox in my yard the other day,” Gundi McClarin said.

McClarin says she’s willing to put up with the poop. She feels like the numbers have come down.

They’re still considered a nuisance by town government and wildlife management standards, which means Devries will keep chipping away. But it’s getting tough, “The turkeys get wise to all that stuff,” Devries said.

They’re learning to stay away from the traps.

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Hundreds of turkeys hound Huntsville homeowners