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Turkeys, Three Ways

Wild turkeys are taking over the East Bay.



No, you aren’t imagining things: Wild turkeys are taking over the East Bay. While Scott Gardner, the upland game bird coordinator at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, doesn’t have any hard numbers, turkey sightings and complaints are increasing. Here are three ways to deal with the feathered foes.


1. Infestation

Problem: Your veggie garden is trashed, and turkey poop coats your Lexus. How can you get the gang out of your neighborhood?
Solution: “I know of no case where a complaint persisted that didn’t involve feeding,” says Gardner. It may not be you directly—perhaps it’s your neighbor, bird feeder, or fruit trees—but cut off the food source, and these nomadic birds will eventually move on.


2. Roadblock

Problem: You’re late for work, and a flock has blocked the road.
Solution: “They don’t get cars,” says Gardner. “It’s an inanimate object, and they’re not afraid.” Honking typically yields only a gobble retort, so patience may be your best weapon. Get comfortable and snap a photograph to share on Instagram. Misery loves company.


3. Crowding

Problem: You’ve been seeing so many wild turkeys around, you’re thinking ... dinner?
Solution: Depredation permits are available to kill turkeys that have damaged private property (as a last resort). But to hunt, you’ll have to get a license with a game bird stamp and get out of the East Bay. Turkey season runs November 8 to December 7; the license and stamp fees support wildlife conservation.  

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