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Minnesota is home to many wild animals, and one of them-- a wild turkey-- is currently terrorizing residents of one neighborhood in the North Star State.

After once being nearly eliminated from Minnesota entirely, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says that there are currently around 70,000 wild turkeys that call the Land of 10,000 Lakes home. They're descendants of a flock of wild turkeys that were trapped in Missouri and transplanted to Houston County back in the early 1970s.

And now one of them is causing trouble in a neighborhood in Coon Rapids, in the northwest Twin Cities metro. According to this CSB-Minnesota story, the turkey in question has been terrorizing one Coon Rapids neighborhood by chasing residents, pecking at their tires, following their cars, and trying to get into their houses.

And, it's been happening since the fall of 2021! The bird has become so aggressive, the story says, that residents there say they rarely leave their homes without carrying sticks, brooms, a golf club or a water sprayer to try to ward off the bird, the story said.

The Minnesota DNR says that while turkeys DO appear in suburban neighborhoods, they're often afraid of people and won't try to attack. However, if they become acclimated to humans (after some kind-hearted but misguided residents feed them, for instance) some will try to assert their dominance, as this turkey is apparently doing.

I spotted a flock of wild turkeys roaming through our neighborhood in northwest Rochester last November, but they never attacked and moved on later that same day. The CBS story didn't say what the final outcome will be with the current terroristic turkey in Coon Rapids, however. You can check it out below.

While turkeys aren't usually thought of as being one of the smarter animals in Minnesota, some of our canine companions sure can be! Keep scrolling to check out the smartest breeds of dogs too.

Curt St John/Townsquare Media-Rochester/Preston MN
Curt St John/Townsquare Media-Rochester/Preston MN

And, the DNR has some tips about dealing with wild turkeys that might appear in your yard or neighborhood:

  • Don't raise and release turkeys.
  • Don't feed turkeys. Keep wild things wild! Feeding, whether direct or indirect, can cause turkeys to act tame and may lead to bold or aggressive behavior, especially in the breeding season.
  • Keep bird feeder areas clean. Use feeders designed to keep seed off the ground, as the seed attracts turkeys and other wild animals. Clean up spilled seed from other types of feeders daily. Temporarily discontinue feeding birds if turkeys are a nuisance. Remove feeders in the spring, as there is plenty of natural food available for all birds.
  • Do not allow turkeys to be comfortable in the presence of people; chase turkeys away from your residence. Don't let turkeys intimidate you. Don't hesitate to scare or threaten a bold, aggressive turkey with loud noises, swatting with a broom or water sprayed from a hose. A dog on a leash is also an effective deterrent.
  • Cover windows or other reflective objects If a turkey is pecking at a shiny object such as a vehicle or window, cover or otherwise disguise the object. Harass the bird by chasing it, squirting with a hose or other means of aggression.
  • Protect your gardens and crops. You can harass turkeys searching for food in your gardens. Dogs tethered on a run can also be effective in scaring turkeys away from gardens. Netting is another option to employ. In agricultural situations, some scare devices are effective. Motion-activated sprinklers are available which can sometimes be effective.
  • Educate your neighbors. Pass this information along: Your efforts will be futile if neighbors are providing food for turkeys or neglecting to act boldly towards the birds. It requires the efforts of the entire neighborhood to help keep wild turkeys wild.

Listen to Curt St. John in the Morning
Weekday from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5

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