UPDATE: During a Village Board meeting on Dec. 6, 2011, Village President, Ron Coutts, received a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon from a resident, who was poking a little fun at him for his intolerance of turkeys in his yard. While Coutts gave the bottle back, he explained to the audience how the turkeys had become a nuisance.
ORIGINAL STORY: Two wild turkeys that chased people into their garages and caused traffic back-ups in the 5800 block of Erie Street won’t be a problem anymore.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a permit to the Caledonia Police Department to shoot the birds on Saturday morning.
Ron Coutts, the Village President, told Toby Schey, the chief of police for Caledonia, last week that the turkeys had attacked him inside his garage and he used a three-wood golf club to fend them off to get inside his house. Coutts told Schey he had called the DNR to see if they could set a trap to catch the turkeys, but he was told they wouldn’t set up a trap and that he would need to either just shoo them away or call the federal government.
“What are the feds going to do? I asked them. I told them then they just might as well arrest me right now,” Coutts said.
A number of neighbors in the area had been annoyed because the birds defecated on their porches. At one point Coutts said he couldn’t even get his mail because the turkeys were hanging around the mailbox and the mailman refused to deliver the mail.
According to a report by the Caledonia Police Department, one of the officers said one of the male turkeys had attacked his squad car while he was driving and when he slowed down, the turkey pecked at his front tires. Other officers had also complained of the same thing.
A few weeks ago traffic was backed up on Erie Street when a WE Energies employee had to shoo a turkey away from standing in the middle of the road because it had stopped the flow of traffic.
To resolve the problem, a police officer on Friday called Kevin Mickelberg, regional warden for the DNR, and told him about the problem. Mickelberg issued an authorization to remove or destroy animals causing damage or nuisance, according to the police report.
At 8 a.m. Saturday morning, the two turkeys ran into the roadway and started pecking at the officer’s police squad. A few minutes later they began to follow the police squad near the south playground area by Olympia Brown. When the officer got out of the car, the turkeys started attacking the officer and he shot them with his shotgun.
Sgt. Brian Wall said he’s not sure what happened to the turkeys after they were shot.