MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On the open roads in Minnesota, more and more drivers have been running into a small and elusive roadblock: Wild turkeys. They appear to be the cause of a deadly motorcycle crash near Montgomery.

Toni Huber, 26, died when her motorcycle rear-ended a truck that had slowed down for the birds in the road. Huber of New Prague, Minn., was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Wild turkeys have a made a comeback. The population is at around 75,000, the largest it has been since the 1970s, when the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began a re-introduction program.

“My husband always talks about them. There are so many out there now,” said Donna Ginter of New Prague.

“They do well here. We do have a lot of them,” said Bill Penning of the Minnesota DNR.

Wild turkeys can be found in fields and forests in rural areas and they do have a tendency to wander, sometimes posing a risk to drivers.

Even though the DNR placed the turkeys in rural areas, the population is getting so big the birds are even making their way into the metro areas.

“Turns out urban-suburban areas make great turkey habitat,” said Penning.

The upcoming hunting season is one way to keep the wild turkey population in check, as people around state begin to notice that one of our bigger birds now has a larger presence.

Many local ordinances don’t allow people to fire a gun within city limits, so the turkey population keeps growing in the metro areas.

Turkey hunting season runs twice a year from mid-April until the end of May and the entire month of October.

Comments (22)
  1. Charlie says:

    Obviously something wasn’t right… she should not have died this way! I am sure that it was a combination of things, but probably not the fault of the pickup dirver. Bikers need to be the most attentive and defensive drivers for self-preservation…

  2. Tiny says:

    Love you Toni you will always be in our hearts!

  3. RIP Toni says:


    Put yourself in her family’s shoes…would you be saying the same thing if it was YOUR wife, daughter, mother, sister or friend? I have a sneaky suspicion that you would change your tune and change it fast. It’s extremely easy to sit and criticize the actions of someone you don’t know at all. Many of you should be ashamed of yourselves. A life was lost and all you can do is speak poorly of the deceased. Shame on you and I certainly hope compassion is something that can be learned.

    Toni, you will always be in our hearts and my thoughts and prayers are with the Huber family.

    RIP Tony

    1. Nacho Mama says:

      Of course not. These are Internet cowards. They’re safely removed from the subject, hiding behind a veil of anonymity, free to spew their hateful bile. It’s sickening.

      1. Nacho Mama says:

        Wow, this website sucks. It can’t even post my reply to the post I was replying to.

  4. reality check says:

    I think TOmFowler wore a helmut on the playground it didn’t make him any smarter. Heres a fact either the truck suddenly slammed on its brakes giving the cycle no time to react, or the cycle driver was not paying attention, we will never know end of story, most people commenting here can choke on their dinner tonight just for being so clueless. F. off living birth defects

  5. pat says:

    After 30 mph they are merely brain catchers, and often times cause severe neck injury, although not reported by the liberal media.

  6. Good Ol Boy says:

    This is what happens when you vote liberal.

  7. Citizen says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation. Hey, WCCO, what’s wrong with my comment.

    Geez, Roadkill, turkeys are big birds. If you don’t stop, you could have one come right through your windshield–a lot like a flying bowling ball!

    1. Good Ol Boy says:

      And if you do stop, you could have a motorcyclist come through your rear window. What’s your solution, genius?

      1. Citizen says:

        Then, obviously, the motorcyclist was following too close. Rules of the road demand that you have control of your vehicle at all times. Hitting someone in the rear end, means you did not have control. The leading vehicle is considered to have control of the road–the one following needs to maintain a safe stopping distance. Who are you trying to pick a fight with, Good Ol Boy? This was a tragic accident. No need for your vituperative comments. People make mistakes, accidents happen. Obviously, you parents had an accident….

  8. Bobbi says:

    I am Toni’s cousin and cannot believe the comment I am reading. Unfortunately there will only be one side to this story. The driver of the pick up said she was following at a safe distance but then somehow didn’t see him slow down or stop. Toni was a very safe driver. You would not want to see these comments if it was your family. Be respectful!

  9. LeAnn Kvestad Masche says:

    I was riding in a van for work a few years back and a wild turkey flew down in front of us as we were driving into Red Wing…that was very dangerous

  10. Some accidents are just that says:

    Turkeys are dangerous, unpredictable and will fly up out of ditches just high enough to hit a windshield. Turkeys can’t gain enough altitude in a short period of time like other birds. I’m sure they would startle anyone enough to brake. I speak from experience as I hit one while traveling on 35E south of the 35W/35E interchange by Forest Lake. It smashed into the upper center of my windshield sending glass blood and turkey pieces into my lap. My rear view mirror shot past my head and landed in my back seat shattered as well. I could not see out of my windshield and had to guess at where I was going by looking through my side window to get to the shoulder (I was in the left lane traveling 70 mph). The remains of the turkey was catapulted over the top of my car. Anyone on a motorcycle (or car) behind me would also have been hit by the equivalent of a 15 to 20 lb. bowling ball. It wouldn’t have mattered if the car or motorcycle behind me had been at a safe distance or not as they also would have been traveling at highway speeds. I only had a few small glass cuts on my hands and arms, but it could have been much worse.

    This incident was a sad accident for the motorcyclist and the truck driver. Lets just give condolences to the family.

  11. 2@ Tom F. says:

    Ass clowns like Tom Fowler are REALLY dangerous…motorcycles are louder than a cigarettes stink?? I’m surprised that dude is able to read anything let alone this article…
    RIP Toni, you will be missed at ANW

  12. Laurie Matson says:

    For your information to some people- Toni was a woman not a man. My son is a big motorcycle fan. not a day goes by that I don’t worry about his safety. but he is a good driver so I just have to have faith that he will be safe when he is riding. I live in Montgomery and her name sounds so familiar to me. RIP dear Toni !!!! You were loved by lots of people it sounds like and you will be missed.

  13. scs says:

    There are some really indecent comments to this story here, and I can only hope that the family of Toni Huber – a WOMAN – avoids reading them. I find it funny that readers have made comments regarding paying better attention on the roads while, at the same time, referring to the deceased as a male. How ’bout paying attention to what you read, and giving the deceased and her family a bit more respect? Should the motorcyclist have been wearing a helmet? Of course. Did the turkeys have a right to cross that road? Yep. Let this be a reminder that anything can happen at a moment’s notice, and that we all must do our best to stay focused on the roads, wear seatbelts or helmets, and follow the rules of the road. My sympathies go out to her family.

  14. Jeff says:

    Nacho Mama = Angry Black Lady

  15. Les Johnson says:

    Hey Tom, SHS92?

  16. Gloria says:

    Nowhere in this article does it say that the truck driver suddenly applied his brakes, only that he slowed down for the turkeys. (Which, by the way, are not responsible for this accident.) People slow down when driving for various reasons, and I would venture to guess that the truck driver had his brake lights on for a little while at least, but I could be wrong .

    I don’t like, or believe, in “blaming the victim”, but it seems to me that she obviously was driving fast enough that she didn’t have time to react, and even though some have posted that helmets can also cause some injuries, they are better protection than nothing. Since the fact that she wasn’t wearing a helmet is mentioned, I’m going to assume she sustained head injuries, which may have been the fatal factor. I sympathize with her family and friends, but after someone has an accident, you never hear acquaintances saying what a careless driver they were, rather, they always emphasize the person’s careful attributes. The truck driver sounds as though he felt she was a safe distance behind him, so someone awful happened at the last moment.

  17. Gloria says:

    I meant to write “something” rather than “someone” in the last sentence of my comment.

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