San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved a plan to move a two-day wild turkey hunt for youth to the Santa Ysabel East Open Space Preserve.
The event was held last March at William Heise County Park near Julian.
County officials want to move it to a larger and less-used venue a few miles away to lessen conflicts with other park visitors.
The change was opposed by animal rights activists and environmentalists who said the supervisors were redefining a preserve. Chairman Ron Roberts agreed. He and Supervisor Pam Slater-Price dissented in a 3-2 vote.
Public supporters of the hunt said the purpose of the preserve was to protect open space, not poultry, and that county documents show officials want to reduce the numbers of wild turkeys on the property.
Supervisor Greg Cox said he did not agree with a contention by opponents that allowing the one event will open the door for hunting on other county-owned lands.
“We have a limited area, a limited amount of time,” Cox said.
According to a staff report, six youngsters took part in the supervised hunt last March and four bagged turkeys. The event is limited to a maximum of 20 young hunters.
Supporters estimated that there are 20,000 wild turkeys in San Diego County.