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Willamette Valley town plans to shoot wild turkeys

Apr 19, 2013


By The Associated Press

JEFFERSON — Jefferson is a Willamette Valley town of more than 3,000 humans and 50 to 60 wild turkeys, but the latter population isn't expected to last long.

A Marion County deputy is authorized to begin a turkey shoot next week, under a new city ordinance that aims to regulate domestic animals and keep out wild populations that could cause a nuisance.

The prospect of killing the birds has one resident trying to organize a last-minute effort to trap and relocate some of the birds to a rural area, the Albany Democrat-Herald reported.

“It's so cool to drive or walk down the street and have to stop for them,” said Lori Hayhurst. “They aren't pretty, but they are cool.”

She said state Rep. Jim Thompson of Dallas has agreed to take the birds on a 10-acre parcel he owns. An aide to Thompson, Jane Brown, confirms the arrangement. The Democrat-Herald said Hayhurst was trying to get traps from the state and was posting fliers to recruit volunteers.

Wild turkey numbers are growing in Oregon, resulting in complaints about messy lawns, ruined gardens and harassment from aggressive male birds. Nearby places such as Corvallis and Dallas have taken similar steps in recent years.

“If Ms. Hayhurst can make progress toward removing them, that would be fine with us,” said Gregg Gorthy, the Jefferson city planner.

The ordinance approved in February gives the city authority to arrange for state permits to shoot the Jefferson birds, which live in three groups. The meat must be donated to an organization such as a food bank. Gorthty said the deputy is authorized to begin the turkey shoot on Monday.

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Information from: Albany Democrat-Herald, http://www.dhonline.com

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