Staten Island Troublemaker Turkeys

Turkey Blog with Steve Hickoff

Staten Island Troublemaker Turkeys

Posted 2013-11-21T08:14:00Z  by  Steve Hickoff

Staten Island Troublemaker Turkeys

Turkeys are causing trouble for some Staten Island residents.

According to the Associated Press:

. . . a population of roving turkeys on Staten Island has become a mess-making, traffic-stopping scourge to some residents, an impromptu natural attraction to others and a fraught project for government officials.

Since dozens of the turkeys were rounded up and killed this summer, the birds' future has become a topic as heated as a Thanksgiving meat thermometer.

"We don't want to kill them. We just want them to leave us alone," says Barbara Laing, who watched as at least 50 turkeys converged outside her house around sundown one recent evening . . .

The turkeys milled on the grass, flew up like cartoon ghosts into a large maple tree, and settled in for the night.

It's a sight that charms onlookers and sometimes residents, when the turkeys aren't fouling yards with droppings, devouring gardens, waking up residents with raucous pre-dawn mating sessions, and utterly disregarding dogs and other supposed deterrents.

"They really are a beautiful bird ... but they ruined our property," says Laing's sister and next-door neighbor, Mary Jane Froese.

After decades of effort to halt the decline of the symbolically American birds, experts say the nation's wild turkey population has rebounded from about 300,000 in the early 1950s to an estimated 7 million now.

Is a controlled urban bowhunt the solution to this problem? What should New York officials do? Pardon all the Staten Island turkeys or put them on Thanksgiving dinner menus?

Check out the full report here and tell us your solution to the problem in the comments section below.

Steve Hickoff is Realtree's turkey hunting editor and blogger.