State maps wild turkey transplant sites for next 5 years

There are between 25,000-35,000 wild turkeys in Utah, and part of the current management plan includes improving hunting opportunities and decreasing human/turkey conflicts. Photo courtesy Utah DWR

The Utah Wildlife Board last week approved new wild turkey transplant sites for the next five years. There are between 25,000-35,000 wild turkeys in Utah, and part of the current management plan includes improving hunting opportunities and decreasing human/turkey conflicts, which sometimes necessitates turkeys being trapped and relocated, according to a statement from the board.

The new map identifies 267 locations where turkeys could be relocated in the next five years. Of those release sites, 210 are for existing turkey populations and 57 are new areas for turkeys.

The DWR has trapped and relocated about 10,000 turkeys over the last 10 years. Recording the transplant sites is required by state law, and in the past, they were tracked in a list format. However, DWR biologists felt that a map format would be better because it is more detailed.

“Some of the areas where these birds are transplanted are very big, so using a map allows us to be more specific, rather than using a text list,” DWR upland game wildlife coordinator Dax Mangus said. “These transplanted birds either bolster existing turkey populations or start new populations in an area, and these maps will help us better track them.”