Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 30, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
-Tuesday, May 39, 1971 THE LETHMIDGE HERAID S Wild turkeys released to mother nature The Fort Macleod Fish and Same Association has released J7 wild turkeys within a 20- mile radius o( Alberta's oldest town- Two and 15 liens, pur- chased from the Lowen Turkey Farm twu miles west of Fort Macleod, were set free by fish and wildlife officers and fish and game officials. The birds were banded in tho morning with the assistance of Ron Black of Claresholm and Frank Somraerville of Letlv- bridge. Leg band numbers ara 120 to 13B inclusive and will bo used for identification purposes Anyone finding a bird with these numbers are asked to contact the Fort Macleod Fish and Came Association. After being crated, the birds were taken to the release posi- tion, being kept secret by of- ficials until the birds become established in the region. Herman Lowen retrieved tho first bird from the cage to al- low bird committee chairman for the local fish and game as- sociation, Boyd Loysi to re- Herman Lowen holds a turkey for Julius Moitiahn to opply a bani Mr. lowen displays a turkey for wildlife officers Frank Sommorville and Ron Black. OT V4------ Bird committeo chairman 8oyd Loyst releoses biro1 lease the first torn turkey. Club President Julius Moltelm released the ulhcr torn turkey. Other officisls took turns re- leasing the hen tnrkeys. _ Some of the birds flew with no difficult'.-, clearing 30-foot trees while otters would fly a short distance, land and then take off again. As part of the festivities, tho club announced an honoarary turkey-owner certificate. Bert Kingston, Pat Wharton, Bob Welsh and Mr. Moltzahn aro co-owners of the first turkey. Anybody else wanting to "own" one of the turkeys must pay ?10 to Mr. Loyst or any other club member. The owne- ers will receive a certificate validating the ownership. A similar project is being undertaken at Brooks. Fort Macleod fish and game officials are hoping to release moro birds this fall. The progress of the turkeys will be studded by the fish and wildlife officers. The initial start for the wlwlo wild turkey scheme for Alberta originated with Mr. Lowen when he received the first li- cence in the province to raise wild tin-keys in captivity for the purpose of commercial sale. He received birds and eggs for breeding stock from tlie Jumping Rainbow Ranch in Montana. The history of wild turkey in Canada is quite interesting. The first wild birds were intro- duced to the Cypress Hills in eastern Alberta in 1961 and later to the Porcupine Hills in the western portion of the prov- ince. Three years ago the Stettlcr Fish and Game Association re- ceived a special permit to bring wild turkeys for release to the wilderness. In 1970, tiie Foremost Fish and Game Association released some birds along the Milk Riv- er. The birds released are Mcr- riman turkeys and are compar- able to the broad breasted bronze domestic turkey. Tho main difference is that the wild turkeys have pink beaks and legs, said Mr. Lowen. like the Fort Mac- leod Fish and Game Associa- tion or individuals can buy the birds for sport lie said. "If wild turkey can be estab- lished in Alberta, it would add to the tourist attraction." Two tufToys rneo for eovsr.