A 1994 wild-turkey stocking program in Millard County has been so successful that a hunt has been proposed by the Wildlife Regional Advisory Committee.
The original stocking program included 17 Rio Grande turkeys, brought to the area from Beaver Canyon to a location east of Fillmore. This has provided a source of birds to relocate in other areas of Millard County, according to Brent Olsen, conservation officer with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.The wild-turkey hunt has been proposed to include Oaks Creek and the Pahvant Mountain from I-70 north to U-132 near Leamington. The first season would be next spring, beginning April 12 and concluding May 19.
Olsen said the number of permits won't be determined until early winter - and will depend on this year's hatch and the success of relocation programs.
Wild turkeys have also been trapped near Marysvale and, along with a few toms from Utah County, transplanted in Millard County. The county still has several areas that are suitable for wild turkeys, and some trapping and relocating will be done this winter, Olsen said.
Wild turkeys in Millard County are located in Oak Creek, East Eight Mile, Pioneer, Maple Hollow, Maple Grove and in the canyons of Chalk Creek, Meadow Creek and Corn Creek.
Olsen said most of the birds are Rio Grandes, a breed that originated in Texas, but it appears some may be of the Merriam specie. The Rio Grande generally frequents lower elevation creek bottoms that have large trees while the Merriam is more of a mountain bird, migrating up and down the slopes according to the seasons.
Wildlife officials are concerned about poaching of the turkeys and are asking the public to report such incidents. Poaching is always a problem when establishing game birds and animals, so the UDWR offers rewards for information resulting in the arrest of violators.