Winter Kill

charlie elk
 
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Winter Kill

Postby charlie elk » February 27th, 2011, 4:07 am

Looks like some winter kill has started.  I spent most of Saturday and this morning out snowshoeing and glassing hillsides. [:o] Found the remains of 5 different turkeys and 4 dead deer. [:o]  There could be more that I could not detect.
As Mark indicated on the snow post ice is the deadly part of a hard winter.  We had some good melting take place for about a week but alas winter is not over.  Another foot of wet snow fell, temps dropped to subzero and now we are left with at least 8" ice sheet everywhere.  Even on the south facing slopes. [&:]
Does anyone know of any study or formula used to determine the lands carrying capacity for turkeys?  How many turkeys are sustainable per acre or per mile?
Anyone else finding dead turkeys?

Come on spring.
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: Winter Kill

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » February 28th, 2011, 5:49 pm

Were the birds you found last years young or older birds?
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Treerooster
 
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RE: Winter Kill

Postby Treerooster » March 1st, 2011, 3:09 am

I remember reading somewhere (and I can't for the life of me remember where) that turkeys really are not considered to have a carrying capacity on their habitat, at least for all practical purposes. They are birds and birds normally don't impact the carrying capapcity of the land with their population. They just have too many options to feed on.

In this instance they have not degraded their habitat. It would not matter if there was 30 birds or 300 in an area, it is the weather that has impacted them and made their food unavailable. For practical purposes it doesn't matter how many birds per acre there is if ice covers the area.

Turkeys may not be suited to live as far north as they are now. Wis had a bunch of warm winters for about 10 years or so and now the last 3 have been pretty hard. There has been winter kills reported every one of the last 3 where I hunt them. I don't think turkeys lived that far north in Wis historically and if it weren't for man and farms I don't think you would see them there now.

It would be interesting to see what the DNR thinks about this, but the only thing I have seen them do since winter kills started showing up is not INCREASE the tags like they were doing every year in zone 4. I believe the reason they quit increaseing tags is because they hit their "carrying capacity" for tags. Hunters don't really buy many more than they have available now.

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kygobbler
 
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RE: Winter Kill

Postby kygobbler » March 1st, 2011, 3:56 am

Charlie, Im sorry to hear about your birds. Fortunately it doesnt get that cold down here in KY. If I was in your shoes I think I would put up a couple of feeders and put some type of cover over the motor so that the snow won't get on it and freeze it up. Another option would be to just dump a few bags of corn in different areas. Either way I wish you the best of luck and that it warms up soon. Off the topic, did you take Vic with you and did he by any chance find the birds for you?
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charlie elk
 
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RE: Winter Kill

Postby charlie elk » March 1st, 2011, 9:00 am

Were the birds you found last years young or older birds?

They appeared to be young, usually it is the young that are first to die.  The deer were fawns a numbin and 3 small does.
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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Location: Wisconsin

RE: Winter Kill

Postby charlie elk » March 1st, 2011, 9:12 am

I remember reading somewhere (and I can't for the life of me remember where) that turkeys really are not considered to have a carrying capacity on their habitat, at least for all practical purposes. They are birds and birds normally don't impact the carrying capapcity of the land with their population. They just have too many options to feed on.

Not sure about this, there is only so much food above the ice.  For example the box elder seeds on most trees are stripped off.  A favorite turkey food to be sure but when a large flock gets to those trees each turkey gets  few; whereas if there were fewer turkeys there would be more seeds per turkey. The food options are limited here.
Sure would be nice if the WDNR would do more basic research regarding carrying capacity for turkeys. You are right about their current management strategy; it is all about the tags after looking at the sales and harvest.  That is like driving while looking only in your rear view mirror.

If I am not mistaken turkeys were historically common in this area WI- from the south half of 4 continuing to the south and east.  Northern 4 and up is probably pushing the range a bit during hard winters.  I would think that is where carrying capacity would matter.
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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Joined: August 7th, 2009, 4:50 pm
Location: Wisconsin

RE: Winter Kill

Postby charlie elk » March 1st, 2011, 9:17 am

Off the topic, did you take Vic with you and did he by any chance find the birds for you?

No Vic is too small to handle moving in the snow and he gets too cold.  He does however enjoy playing turkey.  I have some wings on a string he chasing and catches.  Good sign he barks at em when they go up above his head.  Also stuffed an old sock with feathers; toss this, he fetches and mostly brings it back to me.[;)]
Vic has been helping the between season time go quicker.
Thanks for asking kygobbler.
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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