Wild turkeys on the rise in Missouri

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Our Bommarito Automotive Sky fox found the signs that the birds are back in Missouri.

So we called Dan Zarlenga to talk some turkey.

"We do have very good turkey numbers throughout the state and that's definitely a very good perspective," says the Missouri Department of Conservation`s Dan Zarlenga.  "They're very common.  You can see them in subdivisions.  I've see them along the road of Highway 94, even in highly populated areas."

But the gobblers were nearly gone in the early part of the 20th century.

That is, until the 1950's when the Missouri department of conservation got their restoration efforts off the ground.

"So we trapped turkeys where there were turkeys in small pockets, and we brought them to other areas and restored them and since then the turkey populations have boomed and doing really well," says Zarlenga.

So well that the wild turkeys are winding up in domesticated areas and trotting around towns.

But for those hankering for some hunger games and a turkey for the dinner table, bow season begins today and runs until January 15th.

"This past year October 1st through the 31st we had a total of about 5900 turkeys taken," says Zarlenga.  "So that's a pretty good, healthy harvest.  And we don't have the numbers for this year because it's still underway but we took about 3200 turkeys through archery."

So be on the lookout for the bird that's on the rise, thanks to good deeds from the conservation department.