Feeding Wild Turkeys Will Bring
Problems Homes to Roost.
California’s wild turkeys now occupy
about 18 percent of our state, and are a highly valued upland
game bird. Many Californians also enjoy watching them.
Some homeowners can’t resist feeding
them. That’s when trouble begins. A few stray visitors
soon become a flock of permanent residents that have lost their
natural fear of humans.
Adult wild turkeys, which can weigh upwards
of 20 pounds, can destroy flowers and vegetable gardens, leave
their droppings on patios and decks, and roost on cars, scratching
Turkeys can become aggressive during the
breeding season, occasionally even charging, threatening, and
acting aggressively toward people.
Prevent problems by discouraging wild turkeys
from becoming too comfortable on your property.
- If turkeys begin feeding under hanging bird feeders, remove
the feeders until the turkeys leave the area.
- If turkeys are causing problems in your yard, install
- Wild turkeys typically will not enter yards with dogs.
- If confronted by a wild turkey that has lost its fear
of humans, an open umbrella may help steer it out of your
- Depredation permits are required to kill wild turkeys
that are causing property damage. To get a depredation permit,
contact your local Department of Fish & Game office.
Controlling Wild Turkey Populations
California’s wild turkey populations
are healthy and growing. Hunting turkeys helps to control their
populations and maintain their natural wariness of people.
Where safe and legal, hunt wild turkeys on your property, or
allow others to hunt them.
- Spring season: season limit is three gobblers per hunter.
- Fall season: season limit is one turkey (gobbler or hen) per
- A hunting license and upland game bird stamp are required.
- Legal methods of take include shotgun, archery equipment,
or air rifle.
- Hunting regulations are available from DFG offices and
online at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations.
Homeowners experiencing property damage
from wild turkeys may obtain a depredation permit from the
local DFG office.