3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

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

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » January 27th, 2011, 8:07 am

One question I've thought about lately is. Around here it's mostly open farm land with small wood lots of less that 20 acers mostly. In the winter most of the birds bunch up and move off these small wood lots to a larger wooded area that has enough food and cover to support them over the long cold months of winter. They may move up to 5 miles sometimes, but in the spring there are always birds back on the farms again. The question I've been wondering is? The more dominant birds seem to be closest to the winter grounds, so as a bird gets older and more dominant does he travel less? The farther you get away from the wintering grounds the younger the birds seem to be. I would suspect that the jakes and younger 2 yo get pushed out farther than the older dominant birds do? I have farms that have a couple of 2yo on them and a bunch of jakes, but if you go up the road a mile or so closer to their wintering area you'll find a bunch of ground dragging long beards and very few jakes if any?
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mark hay
 
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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby mark hay » January 27th, 2011, 10:06 am

I can't say I've actually thought about that Scott. But have read of the older birds staying more to a certain parcel of land ,while the younger birds tend to roam around a lot .
 I do have a couple ornery old birds on the public hunting area that match the scenario that you have laid out . I really can't say that the two birds are actually the same ones each year in those given localities , but , they sure do run the same routes and patterns . One in particular has been whipping my hind quarters for about 4 years . The other for the past two seasons . Should have killed him two years running , but the bone that I am ,,,,SET UP IN THE WRONG PLACE, and once I sat down instead of standing .
 It does make sense to me that as the flocks break up that the older toms would tend to remain as the younger toms go off to establish their own range and the hens run off to nest .

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

Postby dewey » January 27th, 2011, 11:13 am

ORIGINAL: charlie elk

Turkeys were totally extirpated from WI.  After many failed restocking attempts with hatchery turkeys.  WI & MN made deals with states like MO & AR to trade ruffed grouse and geese for wild turkeys.


You are 100% correct Charlie. From the MNDNR "In 1971 and 1973, 29 eastern wild turkeys, trapped in Missouri and released in Houston County, demonstrated the potential of this subspecies to quickly expand in an area with proper habitat and develop a population that could sustain annual spring and fall hunting seasons. Minnesota's present wild turkey population is a direct result of releases in which only wild-trapped eastern wild turkeys were used."

Here is a MN DNR long range plan for the wild turkey in MN. Pretty interesting history and other cool stuff.

The projected turkey population in MN is ~75,000 birds. Pretty darn good considering experts believed for a long time that they would not do well in the extreme cold and deep snow.

Dewey
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." --Mahatma Gandhi

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

Postby mark hay » January 30th, 2011, 1:51 pm

ICE,,,,,,,,it appears to me to be the worst type of weather for any wildlife .
 Reminds me of a segment from the book ''THE SETTLING OF HIGHLAND COUNTY''.
 There were four men comissioned to clear a road about 3/4 the length of the state of Ohio . During this time as they were very far from home or settlement it came an awful ice storm . It came on top of an already existing deep snow . These four men were carrying tools and camp gear and of course their rifles ,,,no food . They nearly starved to death . In a last ditch effort to get food one of the four set out on the ice and snow to hopefully shoot some meat in order to increase their strength so they could return home . He somehow encountered a wild turkey on the ground ,,or I should say , on the ice . It tried to run and could not . It tried to fly but couldn't do that either because of it inability to get footing . The man shot the turkey ,,,returned to camp and they all ate well . They felt so good afterwards they all decided to continue the job at hand rather than return home .
 
 By the way fellers ,,,,Highland county Ohio is presently in the south central part of Ohio ,,,less than an hours drive north of the Ohio River . At the time of the four mens near death encounter Highland County took in most of the Ohio Territory and extended across what we now know as Ind. ,Ill., and up into Wisconsin .

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

Postby charlie elk » January 31st, 2011, 6:34 am

Had to think about this for awhile Scott in order to hypothesize. 


The question I've been wondering is? The more dominant birds seem to be closest to the winter grounds, so as a bird gets older and more dominant does he travel less?

Travel less due to normal flock hierarchy which is established in the fall. Top birds get to pick their preferred areas where ever that may be.

The farther you get away from the wintering grounds the younger the birds seem to be. I would suspect that the jakes and younger 2 yo get pushed out farther than the older dominant birds do?

In this case yes I would agree with your assessment.  Due to the pecking order that was established during fall and this may not be due to age rather the strength of individual birds.  Sometimes gangs of jakes take control over mature toms and hens.

I have farms that have a couple of 2yo on them and a bunch of jakes, but if you go up the road a mile or so closer to their wintering area you'll find a bunch of ground dragging long beards and very few jakes if any?

These 2yr old toms could be tough hombres and will not allow a gang of jakes to shove them off preferred habitat??
 
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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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby charlie elk » January 31st, 2011, 9:01 am

From the MNDNR "In 1971 and 1973, 29 eastern wild turkeys, trapped in Missouri and released in Houston County

As a young lad who suffered extreme A-D-D to the point the high school staff could not put up with me for long... They hatched a scheme to maintain my interest via self study and on the job training through the FFA program. Providing me the opportunity to be involved hands on with the MN turkey restoration program from 1969-1973. 
After years of applying for a scarce turkey tag I was finally drawn to hunt on the land where years before the group I worked with had released some of those birds.
Even though I did not kill a bird on that hunt;  it is to this day the most satisfying hunt I have ever done for any species.
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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RE: 3 Feet of Snow;How Do Turkeys Find Food

Postby charlie elk » January 31st, 2011, 9:06 am

ICE,,,,,,,,it appears to me to be the worst type of weather for any wildlife

You are so right Mark. 
Nearly all winter kill takes place in the North country during late Feb through March.  The deep snow is bad enough add the inevitable melt, rain and refreeze to animals already in a weaken state. ....[&o]
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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

Postby charlie elk » February 7th, 2011, 1:50 pm

While out snowshoeing this morning I found about a dozen pheasants feeding on a windswept field ridge.  After not seeing any turkeys for a couple of weeks; suddenly a flock of 7 came flying over, they banked into a circle decent, landing in amongst the pheasants.  Soft crackle-ly purrs began and within 10 minutes another flock of turkeys came flying in landing with the others.  Hm, a food call? 
Wonder if these turkeys were flying around looking for food and when they saw the pheasants decided to check it out.

 
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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