Here in W Central WI it has been freezing drizzle all day and it is forecast to continue all Monday night. The forecast is calling for subzero temps later this week. We are entering the winter period of "the ice sheet", at least that is how I refer to it. If the temps stay below freezing for longer than 2 weeks (according to wildlife biologists) the turkeys may start to suffer.
However, so far, this winter has been a cake walk for wildlife. The late December birds killed had incredible amounts of fat all over their bodies, not only did I find this on the birds I killed but many other hunters over a wide area reported the same thing. So as of about 3 weeks ago the birds were very, very well fed and the fields and forest have been relatively ice and snow free.
Should the ice sheet stay and increase between now and March then we could have a die off about mid March like in 2010. March is the deadliest for wildlife around here.
The order of death is usually the young of the year jakes & jennies, adult males then hens of breeding age. This is one of the many reasons why many fall hunters prefer to shoot birds of the year.
This winter due to a mild 2011 winter and excellent spring nesting conditions in 2012 we have, what I suspect a record number of turkeys across the landscape and mostly young ones. Perhaps more turkeys than the carrying capacity of the land? If that is the case our turkeys could be in trouble come March.
Vic and I just came back in from a "tour", no matter the weather or season we're out there. The turkeys were holding tight on their roosts, no sign of any feeding activity since the snow/rain yesterday. So far, there is about 2 inches of ice across the ground.
Good news for your turkeys around your cabin treerooster, mostly fluffy snow up there, which is good news for grouse and turkeys.
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.