Wild turkey flock hanging around

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by deacons, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2013
    New Hampshire
    All- I don't visit the turkey section regularly, so apologies if this kind of question is already posted somewhere- feel free to send me in that direction.

    We have a pretty robust wild turkey flock that ranges through our land. All told, there are probably about 40 of them in the large group, though I often see them moving in smaller clusters (family groups?). They successfully raised a lot of chicks this spring, so I think they must be a pretty healthy bunch and have a rich environment to support them.

    Now that there's about 2 feet of snow on the ground, I can see by their tracks that they are coming up pretty close to the house, eating off the dead plants they can find in my garden and winter berries on our shrubs. Maybe they're always this close to the house, I don't know. But with the snow, their tracks are obvious. I have a backyard chicken flock, and they free range for part of the day (though obviously that is very limited with the snow). Do I need to be concerned about the wild turkeys hanging around in the areas where the chickens also range? If so, do I dare try to set up appealing food far from my backyard (deeper in the woods) to encourage the turkeys to stay out of our yard?

    Or, do I just do nothing? That's my inclination. I've really been quite taken by them, and love seeing them around (watching them taking a running start down a really steep hill and then fly up into the tall trees to roost at night is a breathtaking sight!), but am not really the kind of person to interfere with wildlife.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I'd be inclined to "just do nothing" except enjoy them as you already are.
  3. popsicle

    popsicle Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could call your local game authority or extension office to find out if there are any local issues (blackhead, etc) why they wouldn't want the wild birds mixing with domestic fowl--both for the health and safety of your birds and the wild turkey flock.
  4. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Thanks, Popsicle. Good advice!

    I wish I could get some pictures of them, but they're so skittish they don't stay still long.
  5. grinningranny

    grinningranny Out Of The Brooder

    We have a flock of about 13 wild turkeys that parade through the area between the house and barn about once every 4- 6 weeks. They chat with our turkeys briefly then move on, but it is breathtaking, and everything in our human world stops to watch. They look so much like our Narris, only a little darker. My grandson went out to see them when they came through on Christmas, and said they seemed quite curious and non skittish when he approached.

    Has anyone out there ever tried to catch and tame wild turkey(s)? We have been tempted, but there are probably complications, and we are too new at this to attempt it, yet. Blackhead is not a problem in our area.
  6. popsicle

    popsicle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think you'd have more complications with your local fish and game agency than the actual process of catching and taming the birds.
  7. pv74

    pv74 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 1, 2014
    Southern Idaho
    I've gotten within 10 ft of wild turkeys more than once while living in Nebraska of all places.
    In fact, we had turkeys at the 200 yard line of a gun club I belonged to and had to stop a match until they cleared the area (happened more than once).

    I've never actually hunted wild turkeys (cheaper and easier to raise the heritage varieties IMHO), but based on my experiences coming across randomly them in the woods, I wouldn't call them that skittish.

    Agreed, I'd leave them alone and just enjoy watching them.

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