Willamette Valley town plans hunt for wild turkeys

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JEFFERSON, Ore. (AP) -- Jefferson is a Willamette Valley town of more than 3,000 humans and 50 to 60 wild turkeys, but the latter population isn't expected to last long.

A Marion County deputy is authorized to begin a turkey shoot next week, under a new city ordinance that aims to regulate domestic animals and keep out wild populations that could cause a nuisance.

The prospect of killing the birds has one resident trying to organize a last-minute effort to trap and relocate some of them to a rural area.

Lori Hayhurst said state Rep. Jim Thompson of Dallas has agreed to take the birds on a 10-acre parcel he owns. Hayhurst was trying to get traps from the state and was posting fliers to recruit volunteers.

Wild turkey numbers are growing in Oregon, resulting in complaints about messy lawns, ruined gardens and harassment from aggressive male birds.

"If Ms. Hayhurst can make progress toward removing them, that would be fine with us," said Gregg Gorthy, the Jefferson city planner.

The ordinance approved in February authorizes the city to arrange for state permits to shoot the birds, which live in three groups. The meat must be donated to an organization such as a food bank. Gorthy said the deputy is authorized to begin the turkey shoot Monday.