Group plans release of wild turkeys | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Group plans release of wild turkeys

Deirdre Parsons

INCLINE VILLAGE – A transplanted family of wild turkeys could soon be gobbling around the Sierra, as the new North Lake Tahoe Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation hosts a fund-raiser in hopes of setting free more of the rare birds.

In conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nevada Division of Wildlife, the new federation wants to purchase a “family” of turkeys, seven male “gobblers” and 23 female “hens,” to release in the Eastern Sierra.

“I wanted to release them right here in Incline but the biologists said they can’t survive in Incline because they can’t scratch the ground,” said Mike Guymon, president of the North Lake Tahoe NWTF. Guymon is spearheading the effort to buy the birds from Texas and move them to an undisclosed location on the east side of Mount Rose.

Wild turkeys were once native to Western Nevada. During the gold and silver rush, the birds were almost completely wiped out.

Since the 1970s the federation has been working to repopulate the country with wild turkeys and since 2001 three families have been released in the Western Nevada region.

“The groups that were released in Ely have tripled in size,” Guymon said. “They migrated 20 miles to find the perfect habitat. The birds actually found where they wanted to go.”

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Guymon hopes the next Mount Rose family will do the same, but it will cost $5,640, or $188 per bird, to bring them here to do it. So, in an effort to secure those funds, he arranged Saturday’s benefit and enlisted numerous businesses and even Incline Elementary to help out.

Silent and live auctions and a raffle will be held at the benefit that begins 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Cal-Neva.

Admission to the benefit includes dinner. The cost is $125 for couples, $80 for singles and $20 for children. For more information about the benefit call (775) 833-0960.

To learn more about the NWTF, visit their Web site at http://www.nwtf.org.

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