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Illinois DNR investigating turkeys shot in Chenoa

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is investigating a turkey shoot that’s divided Chenoa.

A lot of Chenoa residents are still upset about the decision to shoot a handful of turkeys that had become a part of the town.

Chenoa’s mayor last week said that he authorized shooting the birds because they were a nuisance. But there are questions as to why a non-town employee apparently shot the birds with a handgun, in town, about a block from a local school during the middle of the day on a Saturday. Neighbors say a Breakfast with Santa ended about a half hour before the shooting, and parents and children were still leaving the school.

Ed Cross with the Department of Natural Resources said questions like that are why investigators are looking into the case.

“Right now, Conservation police officers have been assigned to investigate the circumstances surrounding the turkeys in Chenoa,” Cross said. “Right now, it’s still in the investigative process.”

Neighbors in Chenoa say the birds may have needed to be dealt with, but likely didn’t need to be shot in someone’s front yard during the middle of the day.

Cross said DNR did issue a permit to deal with the nuisance birds, so he said the investigation will focus on what happened between the time the permit was issued and the birds were shot.

“We want to make sure everything was legal, we want to make sure that nobody was in harm’s way,” Cross said. “But that’s all a part of our on-going investigation right now.”
Neighbors say if the turkeys were a nuisance, they were docile enough that they could have been lured into a garage and rounded up.

Cross isn’t saying how long he expects the investigation to take. {IL Radio Network}

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