It's just a big bird that makes a big mess, and some people don't like that. —Darren Debloois
MENDON, Cache County — This town is dealing with an unusual kind of wildlife invasion — turkeys.
The birds have been found roaming the streets, and residents say they are causing problems in the town of 1,300.
Mendon resident David Kotter said it started with a few turkeys in his yard a couple of years ago. The next year, about a dozen birds showed up. But this year, Kotter is dealing with hundreds of them.
"They're beautiful birds," said Kotter. "There's just so many of them."
Kotter said they show up every morning and every night. The turkeys come looking for food and shelter, and often tear into bales of hay meant for the horses.
Darren Debloois, a biologist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said a wet spring last year allowed more turkeys to hatch, and a harsh winter this year is driving them toward populated areas.
"We've had the cold and snow in the Cache Valley," he said. "Those birds are trying to seek shelter and food in some of the more urban areas."
One problem the turkeys are causing is the solid waste they leave in their wake.
"That's the biggest problem," Debloois said. "It's just a big bird that makes a big mess, and some people don't like that."
Debloois said there's no real problem with the large number, just that they may get in the way of humans.
"People have a hard time," said resident Laura Morgan. "They don't always move."
The DWR has set up traps and is releasing the birds in less-populated areas. Between Cache and Morgan counties, the DWR has trapped about 100 turkeys so far this season. Most of them are being released in Summit County.