Wild turkeys proposed for Whatcom County

Turkey hunters in the North Puget Sound area may soon have the opportunity to bag one of the big gobblers.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has scheduled an informational open house June 4 in Acme to discuss a proposal to introduce wild turkeys in Whatcom County.

The public session, the second meeting in a month on the proposal, is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Acme Elementary School, 5200 Turkington Rd.

Representatives from WDFW will provide information on the proposal to release wild turkeys at a site about five to 10 miles northeast of Acme. The possible release site was determined after the department conducted a habitat evaluation of several sites in Whatcom and Skagit counties, said Mick Cope, WDFW upland game bird manager.

John Thiebes, a regional biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation, also will give a presentation on wild turkey management and biology, Cope said.

Since 2006, WDFW has been discussing the idea of establishing a self-sustaining wild turkey population in the northern Puget Sound area with the National Wild Turkey Federation and other interested parties.

Washington has three turkey subspecies, all of which are non-native and have been introduced within the past 45 years to provide hunting and viewing opportunities.

Eastern turkeys can be found in southwestern Washington, MerriamÂ’s turkeys live along the eastern slope of the Cascade Range and in northeastern Washington and Rio Grande turkeys are found primarily in the southeastern corner of the state.

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