Wild turkey hunt sought for province

The New Brunswick chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation continue their lobbying efforts to re-establish a population of turkeys in the province for hunting.

Local chapters of National Wild Turkey Federation lobby government to reintroduce birds

The New Brunswick chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation continue their lobbying efforts to re-establish a population of turkeys in the province for hunting.

They submitted a proposal to the provincial government about its plans. But Saint John River Valley chapter president Rob Wilson says they haven't heard anything since the spring when the department was preparing an environmental impact assessment on the idea.

"We've beat that around, answered questions back and forth and then it's just kind of died or went into a little room somewheres where they put things they don't want to answer," said Wilson. "So we don't really know where it is."

Wild turkeys are considered an exotic species by the department. The EIA was to look at any potential issues with disease or crop damage that could result from establishing a turkey population in the province.

Wilson hunts wild turkey in Maine every year, but says he would rather do it in New Brunswick and has been pushing the government to re-introduce wild turkeys into the province and set up a hunt.

"I mean, it's not going to cost the province any money at all," said Wilson. "The National Wild Turkey Federation will spend the money on their own, bring the birds in, manage them, set up a plan and work with the province to get it going.

"So it's really a no-brainer."

Wilson said the attraction of hunting turkeys is the challenge the birds present.

"It's not the kill," he said. "A lot of people think hunters just like to kill stuff. That's not the case. We like the challenge."

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