Great Waters Group
This page is for kids who want to explore, enjoy, and protect the natural world we live in.
What You can find in the Outdoors
Can you name these animal tracks?
Do you know what this is?
Seen one of these lately?
Hey, what about me?
Did You Know?
Wild turkeys are native to parts of Wisconsin and were eaten by both settlers and Native Americans. But before long, settlement and an increase in farming and logging cleared the state's oak forests. Domestic fowl diseases spread to wild turkeys and unregulated hunting also took its toll. The last turkey sighting in Wisconsin was near Darlington in Lafayette County in 1881.
In 1976, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources traded ruffed grouse to the state of Missouri for wild turkeys. The first 29 wild Missouri turkeys thrived in their new home in Vernon County and began to breed. As turkeys multiplied, the DNR trapped them and moved them to other good turkey habitat areas. Turkeys have also moved into 12 counties on their own.
Now, the wild turkey roams freely in most of the state and is doing great. We estimate that there are more than 300,000 wild turkeys in Wisconsin.