• Thriving wild turkeys doing their part
    November 25,2012
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    Photo provided by Vermont Fish & Wildlife

    The Thanksgiving turkeys on our tables this holiday originated from native wild turkeys whose populations have been restored across much of North America thanks to scientific wildlife management practices.

    One of our native wildlife species historically played an important role on Thanksgiving Day. North Americaís native wild turkeys were the ancestors of the Thanksgiving turkey on our dinner table.

    Originally found only in the wild, turkeys now exist as meat-producing domesticated derivatives ó the broad breasted white, broad breasted bronze, white Holland, bourbon red, and a host of other breeds Ė all of them descended from our native wild turkey.

    Wild turkeys exist throughout Vermont today, but that wasnít always the case. Wild turkeys disappeared from Vermont in the mid-to-late 1800s due to habitat destruction and unregulated shooting. The land was cleared for farming, and only 25 percent of the state was covered by forest.

    The wild turkeys we see in Vermont today originated from just 31 wild turkeys stocked in Rutland County by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department in 1969 and 1970. Vermontís forest habitat was once again capable of supporting turkeys. State wildlife biologists moved groups of these birds northward, and today Vermontís population of turkeys is estimated to be about 50,000.

    This is just one of many wildlife restoration success stories we can be thankful for in 2012. Funding for Vermontís wild turkey restoration was derived from the sale of hunting licenses and a federal tax on hunting equipment.




    The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is seeking submissions for the sixth annual Youth Hunting Memories Contest.

    Young hunters need only to submit a short essay or artwork describing his or her time in the field on a hunt. Bagged game is not a requirement.

    The essay or art should describe why hunting is important to the young hunter and must include a description of one of their hunting experiences. Criteria will be judged according to creativity, ethics, landowner relations, appreciation of wildlife, respect for our hunting heritage, hunting skills, and family. Entrants are encouraged to send in hunting photos with their story.

    Entries will be categorized by age: 9 years of age and under, 10 to 12 years and 13 to 16 years. One selected entry from each category will win a set of special prizes from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

    Winners will be announced on Saturday, April 20, at the inaugural Youth Hunting Awareness Day held at Kehoe Conservation Camp in Castleton.

    Submissions are property of the department and cannot be returned. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reserves the right to publish photos and essays. Submissions must include the hunterís first and last names, address, age, telephone number, and location of hunt.

    The contest is open to Vermont hunters 16 and younger. Submissions must be received by Jan. 4, 2013 by 4:30 p.m.

    Email submissions to Ann.Shangraw@state.vt.us or mail to:

    2012 Youth Hunting Memories Contest

    Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

    103 South Main Street

    Waterbury, VT 05671-0501

    Email submissions to Ann.Shangraw@state.vt.us or mail to:
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