Turkeys Wreak Havoc in Maine

Maine extends hunting season to reign in population

turkey wild eastern us

A wild turkey in the eastern U.S.     Photo: Dimus/Wikimedia

Even around Thanksgiving, there can be too much turkey. Maine is extending its turkey-hunting season and loosening regulations in wake of a massive explosion of Thanksgiving fowl. In 1977, 41 turkeys were reintroduced in Maine after more than 100 years since they were last seen in the Pine Tree State.

That modest flock has grown 1,400 percent with approximately 60,000 turkeys roosting in cars, leaving droppings, and purportedly damaging the landscape and affecting state agriculture. Republican congressman and apple producer Jeff Timberlake told USA Today that 20 turkeys can eat $10,000 worth of apples in an hour. However, Brad Allen, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, says that most of the proven crop reports were actually the result of raccoons, foxes, and other animals.

Forty years ago, 1.3 million dotted the landscape; today a total of 7 million turkeys occupy every state but Alaska. 

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