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Nashua;51.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nfg.png;2014-04-23 04:32:27
Friday, October 4, 2013

Have wild turkeys jumped the shark - gone from charming to pesky?

I've wondered for years whether wild turkeys would follow the public-opinion trajectory taken by Canada geese, which were a rarity in my youth, then became a charming novelty, and are now an omnipresent pest.

Turkeys were wiped out of NH by hunting in the 1800s, and were brought back to N.H. in the 1970s, when a couple dozen were released near Keene by Fish & Game biologist Ted Walski. They took hold and in recent years their population has exploded; I have to wait at least once a week during my morning commute for some turkey troupe to blunder across the road.

How long before irritated drivers start asking them to be put down, I wonder? Nothing can interfere with the easy passage of our automobiles, after all.

The same thing has happened in many othe states: Maine has extended the fall turkey hunting season, and now lets hunters to bag two birds rather than one, as the Press-herald reports, in a story which indicates at least the hnit of an anti-turkey backlash.

Meanwhile, biologists are looking into what appears to be avian pox striking part of our turkey population; article here.