3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

charlie elk
 
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3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby charlie elk » January 15th, 2011, 9:24 am

Do turkeys rely only on sight to see food?  I see them eating the hanging masts.
Also see them digging around tree bases and fields. With over 3 feet of snow on the ground how do they know where to scratch?  Just randomly and get lucky?
I've been watching them and can't figure it out.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
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Treerooster
 
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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby Treerooster » January 16th, 2011, 12:23 am

Perhaps memory? Knowing where they have found food before.

I worry about the turkeys in N Wis at this time of year with such weather. Seems like yet another tough winter for them.

Guess I am a bit of a worry-wart.[:)]

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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby nhtrkybstr » January 16th, 2011, 3:14 am

ORIGINAL: charlie elk

Do turkeys rely only on sight to see food?  I see them eating the hanging masts.
Also see them digging around tree bases and fields. With over 3 feet of snow on the ground how do they know where to scratch?  Just randomly and get lucky?
I've been watching them and can't figure it out.
Turkeys have a photographic memory when it comes to food. If they have been to a place where they remembered food was, even if it was only once, they will return to the same place time and time again.
You can't kill'em sittin' on the couch!

charlie elk
 
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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby charlie elk » January 17th, 2011, 5:13 pm

Turkeys have a photographic memory when it comes to food. If they have been to a place where they remembered food was, even if it was only once, they will return to the same place time and time again.

Never heard of that before.  I will have to give it some consideration.[8|] Are there any studies of their memories or is this based on your observations?
When a hunter shoots and misses many times they come right back to a call which has led me to believe there is no memory there.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » January 17th, 2011, 7:57 pm

There has been studies done on birds and how well they survive winters. If I remember right it said that a bird can stay on the roost for up to 9 days without feeding. They know every place that has a good feeding area and can survive of almost anything. Their memory is very good for survival, thats why you'ss see birds move 3-5 miles to a wintering grounds and come back to the same place they were all spring and summer, they know every south slope in the area that they can feed off of in the winter and which ones have the best feed. That's why in the spring, you can have 3 hay fields side by side but the birds keep going to just one, because that's where the best food is. It could be the closest field or the farthest field from their roost, but they keep going to the same one over and over.
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charlie elk
 
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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby charlie elk » January 18th, 2011, 4:23 am

They know every place that has a good feeding area and can survive of almost anything. Their memory is very good for survival

There is a flock consistently roosting in some pines across the valley from a wheat field that has wheat heads sticking up above the snow.  Not a one single turkey has entered that field, surely they can see it from their roosts.  They feed in this field spring, summer and fall!?  Do they eat wheat? 
Maybe rather than a memory it is an imprint of past feeding areas.
But they must be able to find new food sources too or they would not have been able to remember or get imprinted in the first place.

I am not trying to give anyone a hard time rather just trying to figure it out. Thanks.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » January 18th, 2011, 6:07 am

I'm not sure if they eat wheat or not, being a grain I would think they would? It could be that the wheat is no good, are any other birds, crows or finches in there eating it? I would suspect that the turkeys feed in it spring and summer for the grubs and insects.
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mark hay
 
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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby mark hay » January 19th, 2011, 11:32 am

I do believe that most if not all WILD game , and non-game animals have super memory . And some are far better than others . I don't know about the photographic memory ,,,maybe .
 
 Charlie , you mentioned the missed bird coming back . That's just it ,,,it was missed . Had one pellet touched that rascal I doubt he would return . Turkeys don't know what a shotgun blast is . But if the bird gets a pellet or two and runs off , you can bet his memory will warn him of the noise that follows those seductive hen yelps . Which brings me to say , by memory , each turkey in a given area knows each other turkey by sight and sound ,,which is why those seductive yelps from Scotts glass pot tells him there's a new chick in the woods .
 Their memory being so much better than ours is why we move our set up locations ,,,change from the glass pot call we used yesterday from ridge ''A'', to a whiney mouthcall today from ridge 'B'.
 Those point ridges where they like to roost so often. They remember where the food is from that point . They recall the best escape routes from the point . They walk out of memory to a saddle like being led on a string . It's all about survival .
 
 I was sitting back in the dark of the cedars one fall afternoon . Calling sparingly like a gobbler . After a nap , which I didn't know had taken place till I woke up , I see this longbeard tom walking fast down the old two-track . He wasn't 40 yards from me . I made a gobbler cluck . He never even cast me a glance . I think he remembered something that was heavy on his mind and nothing was going to deter him . Probably a Saturday evening free - for - all ,,,judging by the way he carried his feathers.

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Treerooster
 
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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby Treerooster » January 19th, 2011, 5:14 pm

ORIGINAL: charlie elk

There is a flock consistently roosting in some pines across the valley from a wheat field that has wheat heads sticking up above the snow.  Not a one single turkey has entered that field, surely they can see it from their roosts.  They feed in this field spring, summer and fall!?  Do they eat wheat? 


One time in Neb, during the spring season, I was watching a couple of hens that came to my calling and then moved on. They were a little ways away from me and I saw their heads going down and up. After several times seeing this I put my binos on them to see exactly what hey were doing. They were stripping wheat off the grain head. They would start just under the grain head and clamp their beak on the stalk then move their head up in a somewhat fast motion and strip the grain off the head that way. So some turkeys will eat wheat.

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mark hay
 
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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby mark hay » January 20th, 2011, 10:26 am

I witnessed that same thing Treerooster. This hen would strip it off the stalk and then catch some for herself , right out of the air . What she missed the quail size poults were in a frenzy to find and eat off the ground .
 I can't recall presently just what weed it was she was stripping . It was neat to see it .

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