With Thanksgiving upon us, it seems appropriate to say a few things about Vermont Turkeys and our ever changing dynamic landscape. Wild turkeys still exist and thrive in Vermont forests today, but this was not always the case. Wild turkeys disappeared from Vermont in mid-to late 1800's due to habitat destruction and unregulated hunting. In the 1800's, Vermont's landscape was 80% cleared for farming and only 20% forested. The wild turkeys we see in Vermont today originated from just 31 wild turkeys stocked in Rutland County by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Dpt. in 1969/70.
Eventually, Vermont's forest was large enough to sustain a turkey population and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife biologists moved a group of these birds to a viable habitat. Today, Vermont's population of Turkeys is estimated to be at 50,000! This is just one of the many successful restoration stories for wildlife preservation. Funding for these projects comes hunting/fishing licenses, and federal tax on hunting equipment. On occasion, you might even see a flock of turkeys while driving up Magic Mountain Access road!