NSFAH Journal about Wild Turkeys

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NSFAH Journal about Wild Turkeys

Post by Raymond » Sun May 06, 2012 6:24 am

This is a piece that I have copied and pasted of part of th NSFAH Journal in regards to wild turkeys. Hopeful the government departments will get off of their butts and get this province stocked with some wild turkeys. I may have asked this before but how many years after it has been stocked before a hunting season can be established? In the area where I live it is mostly wood land, would turkeys settle in an area like this or do they tend to settle around farm land? Just thought you might be interested in reading this part of the NSFAH Journal.

NSFAH Journal
Bluenose Longbeards
Chapter of the National
Wild Turkey Federation
can be reached by
at [email protected]

Talking Turkey In Canada
As turkeys make their way across
the Maine-New Brunswick border,
some Canadians are pushing for
turkey hunting.
Maine's spring turkey season opens
Monday for all hunters. But for sportsmen
across the Canadian border, it's a
bittersweet reminder of what they don't
Since state biologist and sportsmen with
the National Wild Turkey Federation
reintroduced turkeys here in the 1980s,
Maine's flock has proliferated and spread
well beyond where anyone imagined
including across the New Brunswick
Now, with birds crossing into Canada
between Calais and Houlton, Canadian
hunters want their own turkey population
and spring hunt, and are taking steps to
get both in New Brunswick.
"Those people are where we were. Their
excitement is absolutely amazing," said
Rob Cotiaux, president of the National
Wild Turkey Federation chapter in Maine.
"I was at a banquet there on Saturday to
help raise money for turkeys in the
Maritimes. They are wicked excited about
Having the birds moving into New
Brunswick on their own inspired
Canadians this winter to lobby the New
Brunswick government to let them bring
wild birds to the province, the way
sportsmen and biologists did in Maine 30
years ago.
Last week, NWTF chapter presidents met
with officials at the New Brunswick
Department of Natural Resources about
their proposal. But Department Minister
Bruce Northrup sent the sportsmen away
with a list of questions, asking them to
find out how the birds will affect crops,
livestock and other wildlife. "The question
is, were they here originally? That's the
debate," said federation member Leo
Moore in Sussex, New Brunswick. "Are we
introducing them or reintroducing them?
"If we do nothing, they will be here in 20
years. We want to help them. I don't know
what will happen. All I can tell you is
sportsmen who hunt turkeys are giddy with
Officials at the natural resource
department in New Brunswick did not
return calls. And some outside the
situation aren't sure what Canada should
"They're not so sure the turkey population
won't be a nuisance. They've really
researched this hard, the issues pertaining
to disease that livestock might get. But I
think the draft plan raised more questions
than it answered. I get the impression it's
in a holding pattern," said Brad Allen, the
bird study leader with the Maine
Department of Inland Fisheries and
Like officials in the Canadian government,
Allen questions the history, and said
Maine's historical research indicates that
Mt. Desert Island is the farthest eastern
point where turkeys existed in colonial
He said Canadians must decide if they
want turkeys even though turkeys may not
have been there before.
"In our mind, we restored them because
we once had them.
"Should you be promoting an introduction
of a non-native species? But turkeys in
Eastern Maine are already in New
Brunswick. It's an interesting debate."
Bob Erikson, a National Wild Turkey
Federation biologist in New Jersey who
advises federation members in the
Maritimes, agreed the debate is
"There is some resistance. There is no
concrete evidence turkeys were there in
pre-colonial days," Erikson said. "But now
with the mosaic of forest and agriculture,
there is more turkey habitat. That's why
they're doing so well in Maine."
However, the Canadian hunters'
enthusiasm, like the turkeys' migration
north, knows no bounds.
Rob Wilson, another federation chapter
member in New Brunswick, believes turkey
hunting will be introduced there.
He said for years, people in Canada have
been raising wild turkeys and letting them
go -- supplementing the wild population
moving in from Maine.
"I feel there is a very good chance. We
have turkeys everywhere. Champlain had
them when he stopped his ship in Quebec.
He was eating them on St. Croix Island,"
Wilson contends.
In fact, wild turkeys exist today in every
state but Alaska, as well as in Ontario.
And the turkey federation members in New
Brunswick are not alone in their turkey love.
Their neighbours in Nova Scotia want
turkeys, too.
Terry Smith of Halifax, Nova Scotia, has
been hunting turkeys in Maine for 14 years.
He thinks it's time to hunt them out his back
"For 13 years we've been trying to do it in
Nova Scotia. We're very persistent. We're
not giving up. Sooner or later, we'll have
turkeys here," Smith said.
For their part, turkey federation members in
Maine are rooting for their neighbours to
the north.
"We'll do everything we can, offer moral
support and advice," Cotiaux said.
And Allen, too, said he will offer technical
support, if needed. He just wants the
Canadians to be certain they want turkeys if
they choose to grow a population there.
"I don't know what Samuel Champlain had
for supper. Just because he had some
barbecue in 1604 doesn't mean turkeys
came from the province. I think it's
questionable," Allen said.
By Deirdre Fleming
Staff Writer
The Portland Press Herald

Thank you,

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