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Ottawa's urban turkeys safe from hunt

CBC News

Posted: Apr 26, 2013 6:26 AM ET

More turkeys are being spotted on Ottawa streets, but the start of hunting season may not solve the problem.

The first sightings of the birds were in Barrhaven months ago, and now they are turning up downtown.

Hunter Rick Lacroix brought home a 25-pound bird on the first day of the spring turkey hunting season on Thursday.

"They're everywhere. I mean, they're in the city of Orleans, they're in Carp, they're in Stittsville," said Lacroix.

He said he has never caught a turkey so fast.

"They were just gobbling from the left, from the right. It was like 'Oh my God which way do I position myself?'" he said.

"I mean, there's just an epidemic of them."

Hunt won't affect turkeys in Ottawa

The Ministry of Natural Resources said this season's hunt likely won't affect the turkey population boom because it's against city bylaws to shoot the birds in urban areas.

"Actually I think it's going to make it worse. People are hunting in the woods so turkeys are going to run into the city to be safe," said Martin Morissette, a turkey hunting expert at outdoors store Sail.

He said it's mating season and the turkeys are looking for a safe place to find love.

"It's like Sex in the City - with turkeys. Females are coming in so the males will just follow," said Morissette.

Some hunters want a higher quota

The seasonal limit for hunters is two birds in the spring and one in the fall. Some hunters say to get the population under control, they should be allowed to hunt more of the birds per season.

"The hunters are not going to be able to keep up," said Lacroix, referring to the large amount of birds.

But the Ministry of Natural Resources says there are no plans to increase the quota, since other parts of the province don't have problems with turkeys roaming the streets.

The ministry says there is no need to increase the quota.

See the article here.
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