After consulting with the Department of Natural Resources a few weeks ago regarding a multitude of problems being experienced in Cherokee with roosting turkey vultures, the City announced that the Police Department would be firing noise shells in an effort to roust the large, troublesome, messy birds.
The noise shells were fired a few weeks ago near roosting sites immediately adjacent to the communications towers at the Cherokee County Courthouse and the former Garfield Elementary School building, and at the grain elevators on the River Road. The shells were shot off near dusk between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. when the vultures had just begun their roosting. The noise was similar to the explosions made by large fireworks and designed to scare away the vultures -- not to harm them.
But the big uglies simply flew away and returned later.
So, the City has submitted an application to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to conduct a limited hunt (harvesting) of the vultures, but will not proceed until the permit is approved and the issue is discussed formally with the City Council, which must sign off on the matter.
In the interim, the City is evaluating the use of water to force the birds to relocate, as they reportedly do not like to roost in an area where precipitation is falling. The challenge facing the City is finding a means of getting water to the top of the communication towers.
Those with questions or solutions may direct them to City Administrator Don Eikmeier at 225-5749, or to Police Chief Steve Shuck at 225-6464.