Don’t Feed the Turkeys

Wild turkeys forage in the snow-covered woods at the UW Arboretum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during winter on Dec. 29, 2007. ©UW-Madison University Communications 608/262-0067 Photo by: Jeff Miller Date: 12/07 File#: D200 digital camera frame 5311

Thanksgiving has ended and the community turkeys are thankful they made it through the holiday. There are still important tips when dealing with the turkeys this winter. DO NOT FEED THE TURKEYS! It is important this winter that we do not feed the turkeys. The following information is from the Department of Natural Resources:

Biologically, artificial feeding is not the best approach to helping wild turkeys. The department advocates proper habitat management (which does not include artificial feeding) to promote a naturally sustaining wild turkey population. A frequently asked question during Wisconsin winters is whether it is advisable to begin artificially feeding wild turkeys, especially during periods of sub-zero weather and deep snow. Wild turkeys, like other species of wildlife, need food, shelter, and cover in order to survive. They existed in Wisconsin long before there were people available to ponder such issues as winter feeding. One risk of winter feeding is that turkeys tend to become tame and dependent on the food. It does little, if anything, positive for the turkey population.

So please do not feed the turkeys this winter. Feeding the turkeys causes them to be dependent on, and attempt to interact more, with our residents.