CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Wild turkeys will not be running wild inside city limits for much longer.
The Corvallis City Council has approved an amendment to the municipal code that will allow animal control officers to shoot problem wild turkeys within the city, The Gazette-Times reported.
People who testified in support of turkey culling cited aggressive male turkeys, property damage and animal waste on their property. But others urged the city to look for different, less lethal solutions to discourage the unwanted birds.
Lee Van Nice said he uses a "supersoaker" water gun to discourage turkeys in his yard, but that just sends them to his neighbor's property.
"When I moved there in 1992, there were no turkeys," Van Nice said. "This morning, I had 11 turkeys walk through my yard."
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He said he picks up more than 5 pounds of animal feces in his yard each week and that fences and barriers are ineffective.
"I would really appreciate some help controlling these introduced animals," Van Nice said.
Louise Marquering urged the city to also do something about the rampant deer population. She said that deer destroy gardens, leave unhealthy fecal waste in yards and draw cougars to the area.
Marquering said that "neighbors are starting to do illegal and dangerous things" to discourage the animals. She mentioned the use of bear spray repellent and that a deer had been shot with an arrow.
"More fences are going up around the neighborhood," she said. "Not neighborly fences, but tall fences."
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Nancy Taylor, who was on hand at the Monday meeting to answer questions, said the problems result from residents who put out bird feed.
She also said the oak woodlands found in many city neighborhoods are the preferred habitat for the turkeys.
Taylor said police in neighboring Philomath have killed more than 15 turkeys since obtaining state permits in 2008 to control the bird population. The animals are field-dressed and donated to needy families.
Taylor also said attempts to discourage the turkeys through trapping have been unsuccessful, noting the birds learn quickly and become "trap shy."
Information from: Gazette-Times, http://www.gtconnect.com
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.