Wild Turkeys were abundant when settlers first came to America. It was said their numbers in
the original 13 Colonies and much of the East Coast was in the millions. But their numbers
rapidly dwindled through hunting, severe winters and habitat loss so that they were rare by the
1850s. Restoration efforts beginning in the 1970s with the capture of free-roaming Wild
Turkeys from other areas of the U.S. helped re-establish Connecticut’s Wild Turkey population,
as well as numbers in New England.
It is now not uncommon to see Wild Turkeys when driving around Connecticut. Their
population is healthy and growing.
Master Wildlife Conservationist Ginny Apple will discuss Wild Turkeys, their role in early
America, their habitats, eating habits, mating rituals and offspring. She will also explain and
dispel the rumor that Ben Franklin insisted our National Symbol be the Wild Turkey.