Wild Turkeys would be nearly extinct if it were not for our state game agencies working so hard to re-establish wild turkeys into suitable habitat. I have been able to assist the Colorado Division of Wildlife several times over the last few years in this process of trapping, processing and relocation wild turkeys. The trap is set over a bait site in an area with an abundant wild turkey population. Once the turkeys are routinely feeding at the bait site under the net trap a day is organized to do the actual trap. It takes a lot of labor as once the net is dropped the turkeys need to be wrestled down and pinned by hand in the trap to minimize any injury to the birds. It takes a while to work the birds out of the net, once they are out they get placed in a box and are then processed.
The processing of the turkeys involves drawing blood, getting fecal samples and tagging. The blood and fecal samples are rushed to a lab to be scanned for any dieses that could hinder the turkeys from establishing new and vibrant populations and also to be sure there are no new dieses being introduced into an area that could harm other birds or wildlife in the relocation area. Once the test results are completed, typically about 24 hours, and the results are negative the birds are shipped to their release location and we have another population of wild turkeys to enjoy.
Volunteering time and knowledge with our state’s Game and Fish agencies is rewarding and fun. For me I enjoy knowing I am doing a part, even if it is a small part to help promote and preserve our wildlife and sporting traditions for generations yet to come.
Team Outback Outdoors