"Conflict" Turkeys on the Rise in Colorado

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In the 1980's wild turkeys were reintroduced to Colorado. The reintroduction was very successful, and now the state is working to control the population. An unlimited number of turkey licenses will be issued to help with the conflict turkeys. The goal is to cull about 10-15% of the conflict population.

Out of 64 counties in Colorado, 53 have turkeys. There is an estimated population of 35,000.

In late winter the turkeys move to the farms, and drink and eat the feed that farmers put out for their livestock. Kenny Rose is a rancher with land off the Arikaree River on Colorado's northeastern prairie. He thinks that wild turkeys could become a larger problem than prairie dogs if something isn't done to kill them.

There have been efforts to reduce the turkeys' impact on farmers, such as placing food out in the fields to lure the turkeys away from the farms. The turkeys eat it all and then return to the farms, around the barn areas. They've also tried "varmint guns" that make a loud noise. Initially it scared off the turkeys, but now nothing. "Nothing fazes them," Rose said. From Denverpost.com.


hunter25's picture

Well this one sounds great as

Well this one sounds great as I live in Colorado but have not yet killed aturkey myself. Unfortunately I live on the other side of the state and nowhere near where this huge population is. We have them over here just not in those big numbers. Despite what everybody is thinking that the farmers would welcome all to come and hunt them you might be surprised. You will notice even when it comes to elk and all the complaints of damage they cause on private lands that there are usually a lot of those tags left. It is still almost impossible to get access even with all the tags available. Same like the hogs in Texas, you only get to play depending on who you know or how much money you have. even tresspass fees are normally over 500 dollars now for most animals here.

groovy mike's picture

It sounds like there is an easy solution to me too!

It sounds like there is an easy solution to me too!

I know that the locals there must think of them as a problem, but this sounds like an awesome hunting opportunity to me!  My feeling is that any time that there is a human vs. game animal conflict that needs addressing that hunting is the most sane, economical, and efficient solution to reducing that game animal population.  I can't imagine that they don't have enough hunters who would be happy to fill more turkey tags.  I'm eagerly awaiting the opening of our New York state fall turkey season on October first!

WishIWasHunting's picture

I am sure this is not funny

I am sure this is not funny for the people dealing with this problem, but "conflict turkeys" does sound hilarious!  It sounds like they are on the right track increasing hunting licenses to deal with the problem, and I would imagine that private landowners dealing with these "conflict turkeys" will respond rather favorably to hunters' requests for access to their land to help deal with the problem.  

Ca_Vermonster's picture

If I lived there, I would

If I lived there, I would definately volunteer to take care of these "conflict" turkeys for them..... Wink

Interesting.  Those are some pretty good population numbers.  They'll continue to spread until they are throughout the state.  Maybe the winter weather will slow them down, but it hasn't seemed to stop them around the rest of the country.

Our fall season opens late next month, so I am still hoping for my first.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

This just cracks me

This just cracks me up..."conflict turkeys"...just sounds funny.  There area were they were relased so many years ago I know real well.  Have some friends that have had land along the Platte form years.  I used to ask then to hunt turkeys and it was always "NO..we like the turkeys".  Then this year they came to me after the season of course and asked me when I was gonna come and kill some of these turkey....Ironic.  So I guess next year I will get to hunt some conflict turkeys.  they come into their front yard so it should ot be to difficult so I think I will be on a trophy turkey hunt and hold out for a big one.

Retired2hunt's picture

Fall Hen Turkey Tags Increase?

I get an e-mail from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission and last week I received notice of this information. It is basically focused on private lands and increasing the fall turkey tags to allow 2 hens as a limit. I did a lot of turkey hunting in Southeast Ohio and would love the chance to attain a fall OTC tag for a hen or two! While I don't think they are anywhere close to a prarie dog infestation they are one of the successes of reintroduction within Colorado and just need the proper harvesting allowance to keep them in check.