Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Hunting Wild Turkeys . . . in Bohemia

By Diane Haberstroh (Feb 2011)

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkeys

It was at the Connetquot River State Park that I first saw wild turkeys. Several years ago, they were fairly common at the park. Whenever I saw them, they would be feasting on seeds spilled on the ground by the much smaller birds at the park’s birdfeeder. It was not exactly how I expected I would see these impressive birds in the wild, feeding on spilled seed, but I was still thrilled to see them. They looked just like the Thanksgiving holiday pictures that decorated my elementary school.

A few years ago, turkeys became an issue on Long Island. Local newspapers reported on how bothersome the turkeys had become. People complained that turkeys made too much noise and that they dirtied backyards. To solve the problem, it was decided that turkeys would be added to the short list of animals that can be hunted on Long Island. So, starting a few years ago, the New York State granted permits for turkey hunting on Long Island. The license fee is $10 and hunters can only kill one bird during four days in November, appropriately just before Thanksgiving. I don’t consider this to be a good deal for the hunters. For about the same price of the license, one could buy a ready-for-the-oven turkey, and it would even include a pop-up thermometer.

Whether the turkey hunt season has solved the problem of turkey droppings in people’s backyards, I do not know. Since I never had this problem, I never thought about it much, but I was puzzled at why I stopped seeing the turkeys at Connetquot Park, since no hunting is allowed there. I asked one of the park employees “What happened to the turkeys in the park?” He sadly replied, “They’ve been decimated by the foxes.” Although my heart sank, I found comfort in knowing that it was a situation designed by nature and not man.

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