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Group looks forward to turkeys running wild in Nova Scotia

The Truro Struttin’ Gobblers group hopes to see wild turkeys in Nova Scotia in the near future. The turkeys seen in the wild in Nova Scotia during the past few years are domestic birds that have become feral.
The Truro Struttin’ Gobblers group hopes to see wild turkeys in Nova Scotia in the near future. The turkeys seen in the wild in Nova Scotia during the past few years are domestic birds that have become feral. - Submitted

BIBLE HILL, N.S.

The Truro Struttin’ Gobblers haven’t given up on their efforts to have wild turkeys introduced to Nova Scotia.

The local branch of the Canadian Wild Turkey Federation (CWTF) has been promoting the benefits of the birds for many years.

“It’s 18 years since we started the process,” said Rick Hill. “We recently had another survey, and research, done to support the proposal.

“They’re in many provinces and states now, and haven’t proven to be a detriment to anything, domestic or wild.”

Wild turkeys from Maine have spread into New Brunswick, and there is now a considerable population around the Saint John, N.B., area.

Although some people have spotted turkeys in the wild in Nova Scotia, they’re domestic birds who’ve been released, or descendants of those birds.

“We want to have a pure strain of wild birds released,” said Hill.

He feels the best way to introduce the birds would be to allow CWTF members to live trap wild turkeys in Ontario, have them vet checked, and release them in designated areas of Nova Scotia. The federation would cover the costs.

Once the wild turkey population has been established he would like to see a government-regulated hunt.

He noted the turkeys will eat a lot of insects, including ticks, and some farmers have reduced the amount of pesticides used on crops after turkeys moved into an area.

The Truro Struttin’ Gobblers are holding their annual banquet this Friday, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at Jenkins Hall, Dal AC. To purchase tickets contact the group through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TruroStruttinGobblers/ or email trurostruttingobblers@gmail.com

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