For at least three years, a dozen turkeys have roamed the streets and lawns of Hainesport without incident, according to residents who enjoy watching them, and, in some cases, feeding them.
"They're part of what's happening here," said Ted Barto, whose horse and chicken farm and adjacent lawn are visited frequently by the 15- to 20-pound birds. "They don't bother me."
Barto acknowledged the turkeys help themselves to his animals' feed and sometimes try to chase him.
But when the flock grew to 30 strong this year and a tom turkey started attacking people on the town's new recreation trail, New Jersey wildlife officials received urgent calls.
A few weeks ago, the state Division of Fish and Wildlife sent one of its trappers to town to try to move the turkeys away from the suburb, which borders a state woodlands park and creek. So far, the trapper has failed.
The town, meanwhile, plans to ban feeding wild turkeys.