By Jeff Wagner

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — The fall turkey hunting season is weeks away, but it appears some archers in the area have already started taking aim.

There have been two instances in the past few weeks of turkeys walking around in neighborhoods with arrows lodged in them. One was spotted in August in Mendota Heights and another over Labor Day weekend in South St. Paul.

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources states you’re allowed to capture or kill certain nuisance birds on your property, but turkeys are not on that short list.

On a stroll through the woods, the sight of a wild turkey wouldn’t be much of a surprise. Stroll through a neighborhood and the sight of a wild turkey also wouldn’t be surprising — this is Minnesota after all.

“They just come up here in droves,” said John Troska as he stood on the deck outside his house.

He said he once had 30 of them near his back door, which isn’t too crazy considering WCCO witnessed about a dozen turkeys on his neighbor’s driveway minutes earlier.

“My wife hollers at them, gets them out of here. They fly all directions,” he said.

Even the turkey with what appears to be an arrow lodged in its back moved as quickly as the rest of its pack. Troska, who lives on Hunter Lane, said it’s been visiting his yard for a few days now.

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“(The arrow) should have went right through the turkey, I would think,” he said.

Nearby in South St. Paul, a man took this video of another tough turkey sporting an arrow.

A DNR spokesman said it’s possible for an arrow to get stuck in the big bird’s thick feathers, but never break its skin, which Troska suspects happened to the one in his yard. He said the arrow was in the “very top feathers. There’s no meat up there.”

DNR continued, saying the turkey will continue to stick with its pack so long as it is healthy enough to do so.

The question neighbors now have is who shot the arrow at the turkeys. There’s an archery range near the one spotted in South St. Paul, but not by Troska.

“Neighbors over here feed them. They’re not gonna shoot it,” he said.

Mendota Heights police responded to multiple calls about the turkey by sending an officer to try to catch it and remove the arrow. Unsurprisingly, the officer was unsuccessful.

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Police also want to remind people that it’s illegal to hunt turkeys in the city.

Jeff Wagner