Turkey Damage Prevention and Control Methods

Identification | Biology | Damage ID | Management | Resources

Overview of Damage Prevention
and Control Methods

Habitat Modification

  • Not feasible.

Exclusion

  • Netting
  • Bird spikes

Frightening

  • Mylar® strips
  • Motion sensing sprinklers
  • Propane cannons
  • Radios
  • Scarecrows
  • Dogs

Repellents

  • Methyl anthranilate

Toxicants

  • None are available

Shooting

  • Shotguns (12-gauge)

Trapping

  • Drop nets

Damage Prevention and Control Methods

Habitat Modification  

Habitat modification generally is not a feasible means of reducing conflicts with turkeys.  

Exclusion 

Netting is the best method to prevent access to sensitive areas by wild turkeys. To be effective, nets must cover stop access from all accessible sides, thereby making exclusion quite expensive and cumbersome to use.  

Use bird spikes (Figure 6) or other ledge exclusion products to prevent turkeys from roosting in unwanted locations.  

Figure 6. Spikes on top of this stop sign will prevent bird roosting. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.  

Frightening Devices 

Short-term results may be obtained by hanging strips of Mylar® tape in locations where turkeys are not wanted. Motion sensing sprinklers, propane cannons, radios, and scarecrows also have shown some effectiveness. Move items every few days to reduce the likelihood of the turkeys habituating to them.  

Some landowners have reported benefits from hazing turkeys with dogs and from patrols of individuals on all-terrain vehicles. Be sure turkeys are not harmed when using any frightening technique.  

Repellents 

Products made with methyl anthranilate are available to disperse roosting birds and to protect blueberries, cherries, and grapes from bird damage.  

Toxicants 

None are available.  

Shooting 

Shooting is an effective way to manage turkeys. Shotguns (12-gauge) with #6 or heavier shot is effective for taking turkeys within 30 yards. Shooters are advised to test various loads and chokes to determine the best combination for their needs. Follow all safety and legal requirements before shooting.  

Trapping 

Large flocks of wild turkeys may be trapped using nets dropped from elevations or fired from cannons. Set nets in open areas along travel paths of the turkeys. Pre-bait the sites with corn (white or yellow) and sorghum to encourage turkeys to visit. Drop nets consist of 60- x 60-foot net with 2- x 2-inch mesh. Set the drop net at least 8 feet off the ground to reduce likelihood of turkey refusal. NetBlaster™ nets range in size with 60- x 40-foot net being the largerst.   

Technicians should be available to remove captured turkeys quickly in order to reduce the risk of injury or capture myopathy. Three technicians can handle up to 35 birds per capture.  

Disposition 

Relocation 

Due to their mobility, relocation of wild turkeys is only practical when turkeys need to be rescued from life-threatening hazards.  

Translocation 

Many states prohibit the translocation of wildlife, including wild turkeys, for humane and public health reasons. If translocation is legal, move turkeys to suitable habitat at least 10 miles, preferably across major barriers such as and mountain ranges to reduce the likelihood of their return.  

Euthanasia 

Euthanasia by CO2  is suitable for wild turkeys.  

Disposal 

Check your state regulations regarding disposal of carcasses.