Trustees also back $500 for educational campaign not to feed turkeys
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – Wild turkeys making Ashwaubenon home to roost will be fair game to bow hunters in the village.
The village board agreed Tuesday, Feb. 27, to an ordinance amendment adding turkeys along with whitetail deer as an animal that may be hunted with a bow and arrow or crossbow on village-owned property with a management permit or on private property within the village in compliance with state law.
The board’s action comes in response to complaints about turkeys in the village damaging lawns, roosting on homes, sitting on cars and chasing children.
“We got assigned this duty of doing something with these turkeys at the Deer Management Committee,” said Trustee Mark Williams, who chairs the committee. “We had some people come into the meeting and present pictures and discussion on problems that they’re having in their neighborhoods and their homes, yards – roosting on cars, roosting on their homes, just causing all kinds of havoc in their neighborhoods, chasing kids, all kinds of stuff.”
The amended language approved by the board also includes prohibiting the placement of any salt, mineral, grain, fruit or vegetable material outdoors on public or private property for the purpose of feeding whitetail deer or turkeys.
The related ordinance contains a presumption that placing salt, mineral, grain, fruit or vegetative material greater than one-half gallon at the height of less than six feet off the ground or in a drop feeder, automatic feeder or similar device regardless of the height is for the purpose of feeding deer or turkeys.
However, the ordinance also contains exemptions from feeding for hunting, naturally grown materials, bird feeders and deer or turkey feeding authorized by the village board for a specific public purpose.
Williams said the committee believes the problems with turkeys and deer in the village relate to people feeding the animals.
“People don’t understand what’s happening out there, and we want to inform them on not feeding turkeys or the deer,” he said.
Board members also agreed to spend $500 toward educational efforts to curtail feeding of deer and turkeys.
One possible option discussed by the committee for the educational campaign, off-premise temporary yard signs, Williams said would be illegal under the village code. He noted permanent signs affixed on existing poles could possibly be considered for the campaign to have legal signage.
Board members agreed to work with village staff to come up with the best plan for using the money for the educational campaign.