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Experts respond to turkey troubles across Indiana

“I actually passed another police officer in the median waved, looked over, looked back on the road, and as soon as I looked, turkey was right there in my windshield,” said Indiana State Trooper Aron Weller.

Weller was patrolling Thursday morning on the toll road in La Porte County when he says a wild turkey basically dove into the front of his cruiser.

“Just at about 65, almost reaching 70 miles an hour, pretty much I put my hand up, kept straight, glass flew all over the place, put my hand back down and noticed my windshield was just destroyed,” said Weller.

Purdue Extension agricultural experts in Elkhart County say turkeys have been increasing in numbers across the state.

“Right now they estimate there’s probably about 125,000 turkeys in the state of Indiana,” said Jeff Burbrink, Purdue Extension Educator.

This number is much higher than what we saw over six decades ago.

“Turkeys were basically extinct in Indiana in the 1950s and then in 1956 they began to bring a few back in and over the years they have now increased,” said Burbrink.

Since it’s mating season Burbrink says they’ve only got one thing on their mind.

“Turkeys get into their mating season, the only thing they think about is other turkeys so they’re not really paying attention to the rules of the road, they’re going to be crashing into windshields or anything else that gets in their way,” said Burbrink.

If you do happen to be out on an Indiana highway or toll road…

“Whether it be a deer or a turkey, don’t try to swerve out of the way. it’s better to driver through instead of swerving off and losing control and hitting a tree or rolling your car,” said Weller.
 

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