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Wild turkeys a relatively new thing in Idaho

Most people preparing for Thanksgiving probably picked up their turkey from the supermarket, but some say wild turkey tastes even better. Those birds are relatively new to Idaho.

The bird was introduced to the Gem State in the 1960s. Turkey hunting is a growing sport.

“It’s something a lot of sportsman never had a chance to do in Idaho. Starting back in the ’60s we started bringing turkeys in and now we are to the point where we have very huntable populations all across the state,” said Gregg Losinkski from Idaho Fish and Game.

Some may want a wild bird for Thanksgiving, but the main turkey hunting season is the spring. It is one of the only creatures that can be harvested in the spring.

“It’s great for retailers, hotels, restaurants. It gets people out that have been locked up all winter, and they spend their money out having fun and that is good for the economy,” said Losinski.

Edward Johnson loves hunting, but he wanted a tom for Thanksgiving dinner. That is why he raised his own.

“I am hoping he has good flavor. I know what he doesn’t have and that’s a lot of the drugs and medications that are administered to them when they are in concentrated animals farms,” said Johnson.

His turkey will also taste different, and arguably better, than a bird from the market.

“Store bought turkeys are basically all white meat. Wild birds have to work for a living so to speak so they have lots of muscle. They are a lot darker meat,” said Losinski.

Turkeys are more brawn than brain.

“They aren’t super intelligent but they are very wary and have very keen eyesight,” said Losinski

According to Losinski, wild turkeys can be seen this time of year near the South Fork of the Snake River along the cliffs.

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