Council Bluffs Tackles Turkeys

They're talking turkey in Council Bluffs. There’s too much turkey, thus the talk that there ought to be a law.

The problem is an over-abundance of wild turkeys. There are so many that the city wants to make it against the law to feed the birds.

This wouldn’t be a problem if the turkeys would say in the woods and out of the way but there not playing by those rules. They’re wandering all over the place and Director of Public Health Donn Dierks says that’s not good. He’s introduced an ordinance that would make it illegal to feed the turkeys.

Dierks said, “If you do feed them on a regular basis then you have a large number of turkeys coming in. That could lead to disease, also could lead to fighting within the turkeys themselves because they're all going for the same type of food.”

Todd Rule feeds his plants. He does not feed the turkeys but he says the birds do dine in his yard.

“They have been in our yard. They pick at a few plants and eat my grass seed,” he said. “But overall, they don’t really bother me.”

The plan on the table will bother the bird feeders. Anyone who feeds them will get a written warning for a first offense. A second violation will earn the feeder a $750 fine plus court costs.

Rule said, “I think the ordinance is probably a good ordinance. The fines you mention seem a little steep for the second offense but I actually think the ordinance is a good idea.”

Dierks said, “We found out with other ordinances that people sit up and take notice when it hits them in the pocketbook.”

The ordinance is just the first step. Council Bluffs officials also plan to set up an Urban Turkey Management Program for the fall of 2015. That will allow hunters to take the wild turkeys with a bow and arrow within the city limits.

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