Turkey trouble: City asks state for OK to have cops kill critters

JEFFERSON, Ore. - Police officers may soon start shooting turkeys to reduce the size of the flock living in town.

About two dozen wild turkeys call this town of 3,000 people home.

David Abram said the birds are bad neighbors.

"They're running up on our porch, eating our cat food - they're running our cats in the trees," he told KVAL News.

"There is no sleep because you go to sleep, and three, four in the morning - gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble," he said. "When you're in your house, and it feels like thunder, something's going on above your house. Kids are chasing the turkeys and the next thing you know, you have 15 turkeys on your house."

The Jefferson City Council recently deemed the turkeys a nuisance.

"We've received complaints for the last several years that the wild turkeys in town were becoming aggressive and destructive of private property," said Gregg Gorthy, the city's planner.

Now the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will survey the damage. If they agree the turkeys are a problem, the agency will issue the city permits allowing police officers to shoot and kill the turkeys.

"ODFW will only issue tags up to 10," Gorthy said. "If and when we fill those tags, and if we want more, we can call them and ask for more."

If police shoot a turkey, the meat will be processed and donated to local families.

The solution isn't everybody's first choice.

"I'd definitely prefer they be relocated up in the mountains or something," said Charlotte Abram, "but if they were gone, it would be a lot easier."