MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wild turkeys are showing up in some very unexpected places in Minnesota.

The Department of Natural Resources says turkeys were once limited to the southeastern part of the state, where there’s rolling bluff country.  Now they’re showing up as far north as the North Shore.

Turkey sightings are not rare in Minnesota — after all this is the peak of spring turkey hunting season.  But the sightings our viewers are talking about are happening in their own backyards.

wild turkey Wild Turkeys Taking Over Minnesota

(credit: CBS)

Ron Snyder lives in Richfield.

“I would think they would be out in the country someplace,” he said.

But now you can associate them with Northeast Minneapolis, Richfield and Minnetonka, where they broke in a home, or Apple Valley, where they circled a police cruiser.

Snyder has a close encounter of his own yesterday.

“I was kind of kidding around with my son, I says, ‘Why don’t you just grab him?’ That’s how close he was,” he said.

“Right now you’re seeing more of them, more aggressive behavior because it’s the mating season April/May,” a DNR Officer told WCCO in April.

Ron Paulson has worked in city parks for 22 years.

“This year it seems they’re very dominant right in the city areas. I’ve never seen quite as many and as many together, they’re in flocks of eight or 10,” Paulson said.

The DNR says even though they’re native to southeastern Minnesota, turkeys can adapt easily to city life and life up north, foraging anything from berries to grass to snakes.  And even though they don’t cause harm, they may cause a little frustration.

“They’re OK.  They’re good.  I kinda like birds anyways,” Snyder said with a laugh.

You may have noticed it may be hard to get them to leave — DNR says establish dominance and try to shoo them away.

As for the reason for this year’s surge DNR says in the northern part of the state it could be because flocks are expanding  and some of the birds may be escaped or released from captive flocks.

Comments (3)
  1. John Schloot says:

    Saw one last night up on the Gunflint Trail just a few miles from Canada!

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