CUB RIVER, Idaho — A Cub River, Idaho couple returned home after a few days away to discover that a wild turkey had been trapped inside, causing several thousands of dollars in damage.
Randy and Shirleen Halford returned to their home north of the Utah border near Preston just ahead of the holiday weekend to find an unwelcome intruder inside.
"I could see that the house was messed up, and I told my wife, 'Uh oh. We have problems. Something’s been in our house,'" Randy Halford recalled.
Halford said he opened the front door to find a wild turkey waiting underneath the Christmas tree. It has smashed through a bedroom window.
"The first thing I did was to ask my wife to go out the front door," Halford said, explaining that he tried to push the turkey outside. "When it saw me, it saw our kitchen window and tried to fly through it again."
Instead, Halford said the turkey went head first into the window, knocking itself out and fell in the sink.
"I was able to grab it by the neck and take it outside. I laid it in the snow, and it quickly came to and just kind of walked off," Halford said.
A big mess was still left behind: broken glass, broken window blinds — and turkey poop was everywhere.
"There’s only two rooms in this house, in the top level, that didn’t get destroyed — the master bedroom, the door was shut, and a guest bedroom across the hall, the door was (also) shut," Shirleen Halford said.
The Halfords called a restoration company, which helped clean up the mess that same night.
"They started just putting plastic down, and taping it so we could walk around," Shirleen Halford said, "because we were just walking in the turkey droppings, and the smell was horrible."
She said there were turkey droppings everywhere, the kitchen, couches and all over the carpet.
"We felt like it was probably in here at least two days," she said.
Wild turkeys are a regular part of Cub River, but this is the first time the Halfords have heard of a turkey break-in.
She said the turkey left behind an estimated $5,000 to $7,000 in damage.
“Even the insurance company, the restoration company, they said, 'This is a first. We’re not even sure we’ve seen anything like this,'" she recalled.1 comment on this story
Much of the carpet was thrown out, along with the Christmas tree. Still, the Halfords managed to have some of their grandchildren and their families over for the holiday.
"We still had a really good time," Shirleen Halford said. "We got this little tree up, and so yeah, it was fine because we were still all together."
A small, potted tree Halford referred to was delivered by friends, with a sense of humor. Perched at the top was a small, felt turkey.
“They brought that little turkey on that little tree that we stuck on the top of the tree as a remembrance of our Christmas with the wild turkey,” Shirleen Halford said while giggling.