turkey

Kristie Gianopulos / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_turkey#mediaviewer/File:Baby_turkey_in_FL.jpg

In the years I have worked for the Department of Natural Resources, one of the most common tales I hear repeated involves dropping rattlesnakes from helicopters to control turkey populations. Some of you are convinced this happens; others frankly find the idea absurd. However, I have to field this question, or accusation, a few times every year, so I thought I would explore the topic in further detail.

Wikimedia Commons

Turkeys are the focus of the on-going series "Wildlife Matters" with Jeremy Holtz. Today he thinks there are many things to be learned during the hunt.

DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz. His series, "Wildlife Matters" is heard most weeks on WXPR.

Next we hear from DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz with his on-going series, "Wildlife Matters".  He says it's still unknown how our severe winter will affect turkey populations.

Robert Engbert

Many wild turkeys may be struggling to survive the harsh winter in northern Wisconsin.

Bird expert Laura Erickson says in an average winter, turkeys are protected by their fat reserves.  But a severe winter like this one is another matter. 

“The problem is that they need a lot of food.  And with the deep snows we’ve been having, it’s virtually impossible for them to find the acorns or other food items that they would normally get on the ground.”   

Rene Schwietzke

If you’re planning to cook a big turkey this Thanksgiving, you may need to start thawing it this weekend. 

Oneida County Health Department Sanitarian Jody McKinney says the best way to thaw a frozen turkey is in the fridge, but you have to allow one day of thawing for every five pounds of turkey. 

“Therefore if you’re going to serve a large turkey approximately 20 pounds, plan at least four to five days in the refrigerator for thawing.”