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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 the paint.

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 motion-detecting sprinklers.
  • 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 path.
  • 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 hunter.
  • 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.

wild turkey
Feeding wild turkeys can cause major problems for you and your neighbors.

 

turkey range map
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Wild turkeys are well established in about 29,000
square miles of California.

 

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