The DNR communications team works with agency experts to develop the weekly questions and provide the answers. This feature addresses current DNR issues, interesting topics, or the most frequently asked questions from around Minnesota.
Q: It seems like you see more and more wild turkeys these days near urban areas. Is this just cyclical, or has their population shifted?
A: Turkeys are another species of wildlife that have adapted to living close to people. Prohibitions on hunting, the relative lack of predators, and the abundant food sources found in urban and suburban areas contribute to high reproduction and low mortality for turkeys and other wildlife in urban areas.
The preservation of natural areas, including river corridors, wetlands, parks, and backyards provide habitat for many wildlife species that many people feel contribute to a higher urban quality of life.
-Bryan Lueth, DNR forest wildlife habitat team supervisor
Q: What does the DNR do with animals that are taken illegally (poached)?
A: For those animals that are taken illegally, the DNR tries to ensure that the animal poached is not wasted. Meat from illegally harvested wild game such as deer is often donated to food shelves and other groups that serve those less fortunate. However, sometimes meat must be thrown away or destroyed. This has been especially true for fish. The DNR has an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Health to dispose of meat, such as pre-packaged fish fillets, because it is often hard to tell whether or not the packaging was done properly. In some cases, the animal or bird, or parts of the animal, such as deer antlers, are turned over to schools and other educational institutions for study.
- Maj. Roger Tietz, operations support manager, DNR Enforcement Division