By the early 1900?s, unrestricted market hunting and drastic reductions in habitat had eliminated wild turkeys in Iowa.
For many years, the thunderous gobbles of the wild turkey were absent from Iowa?s woodlands and forests.
This silence was broken in 1966 when the Iowa Conservation Commission, now the Department of Natural Resources, initiated a program to return the wild turkey to Iowa.
Wild turkeys were released at several sites across the state, with the first release occurring in Lee County, Iowa.
Since these early days, turkey populations have expanded across the entire state of Iowa.