Legal Issues Related to Wild Turkeys in the Mountains

Today, most agricultural producers must learn to live with wild turkeys. However, when in large numbers, turkeys can cause losses to farmers.

In fact, balsams covered with hay, silos-pits and the edges of grain silos are the favorite places where the latter gather to eat, without ignoring the consequences. in soybean, corn, cereal and horticultural crops.

Many producers are wondering what can be done, and more importantly, what can or cannot be allowed, if the presence of turkeys becomes a problem.

On the one hand, let’s remember that under section 27 of the Law regarding the preservation and development of wild animals: “No one may voluntarily chase, cut or kill an animal using a vehicle, airplane or de -motor boat. Similarly, using a dog to scare turkeys is prohibited under article 61 of the same law. On the same basis, article 67 prohibits the slaughter and capture of the animal, if it is possible to stun it. all of these violations expose the offender to fines ranging from $250 to $5,000 for a first offense1.

Alternatively, an agricultural producer or his partners can hunt wild turkeys. They must respect the hunting seasons established according to the hunting area, the type of weapon used, the sex of the animal and its maturity level. A ministerial decree provides the applicable rules.

For example, for the 2022 fall hunting season, if you are in an area where hunting is allowed, the season is established from October 22 to 282. It is allowed from half an hour before sunrise to noon. To learn more about all the rules that apply to turkey hunting, consult the website
next: In addition to the usual permits and certificates of compliance for any type of hunting, wild turkey hunting requires obtaining a “wild turkey hunting training certificate”.3. During this hunting season, in the spring and in the fall, the baiting of animals is prohibited4.

Other solutions can also be put in place by the producer to limit the damage suffered by this animal. As a preventive measure, the farmer can, if it is financially profitable to do so, protect his crops with fences or nets. For hay bales, group storage near farm buildings and the installation of a fence that allows the animal to be excluded can be considered. It is recommended to make food out of reach to avoid harmful interference.

As far as fear goes, some solutions can be offered by the producers. Sound repellents, propane cannons and light devices temporarily keep animals away. These are temporary solutions, but effective if implemented quickly, before the animals get used to the area.

Samuel Fecteau, starstudent at the Faculty of Law at the University of Sherbrooke

With the collaboration of M.e Diane Simard


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