Safari Club Donates RoboTurkey to TWRA

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - by Richard Simms
<i>(l-r) Bill Swan (Safari Club), TWRA Off. Brandon Selvog, TWRA Off. Russell Vandergriff, TWRA Off. Shawn Edgmon, Bill Swan III (Safari Club)</i>
(l-r) Bill Swan (Safari Club), TWRA Off. Brandon Selvog, TWRA Off. Russell Vandergriff, TWRA Off. Shawn Edgmon, Bill Swan III (Safari Club)
- photo by Richard Simms

Tennessee wildlife officers have a new tool in their arsenal to catch illegal turkey hunters, affectionately called RoboTurkey.

Robotic deer have long been used by wildlife enforcers to catch people who hunt illegally out of their vehicles from public roads and highways. Now wildlife officers have a similar tool to catch people who do the same thing in search of wild turkeys.

In Tennessee it is illegal to hunt from a motorized vehicle, or shoot from a public right-of-way. However some unscrupulous poachers do sometimes drive the backroads watching for wildlife in fields adjacent to the roads, then stop and shoot them out of the vehicle.

Do that now, and they might be shooting at RoboTurkey. It is a robotic mounted wild turkey. Wildlife officers hidden away can control the bird's head and tail to make it appear lifelike. It even gobbles.

The remote controlled mounted wild turkey was presented to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officers Wednesday by the Chattanooga Chapter Safari Club International (SCI).

On hand to accept the RoboTurkey were Officers Shawn Edgmon (Sequatchie County), Russell Vandergriff (Marion County) and Brandon Selvog (Grundy County). Of course RoboTurkey can be used anywhere.

According to the Safari Club Chapter President, Bill Swan, the robotic turkey costs $1,100. It is the second robotic turkey donated to the officers.

In addition, the Chattanooga Chapter of the Safari Club has donated five remote controlled whitetail deer decoys to TWRA. Officers say many arrests have been made and prosecuted as a result of the Chapter's donations.

The Chattanooga Chapter consists of 100 local members in Northeast Georgia and Southeast Tennessee. They are dedicated to assisting with enforcement of wildlife laws and protecting our natural resources.

- Photo2 by Richard Simms

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