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What's Wrong With Your Turkeys?

April 15, 2011
What's Wrong With Your Turkeys? - 2

 

It's as inevitable as the first gobble of spring. In fact, seasons are just now getting underway across turkey country and the groaning has already started: The birds just aren't right. What's wrong with the turkeys? The answer, plain and simple is: Not a darn thing. They're just being turkeys. They're doing their own thing—eating, pooping and doing things turkeys do. 

Turkeys are very social and spend a large part of their lives in large flocks, but spring is different. Increasing of daylight and warming temperatures trigger hormones in both hens and gobblers. Flocks break up and the urge to breed takes over their lives. Most state agencies attempt to schedule turkey season after the mating period—while most of the hens are sitting on the nest, incubating their eggs. This makes the gobblers are much more susceptible to coming to the call.

This is the small window of opportunity that all spring turkey hunting is judged by. If, for example, a hunter experiences an early season in which gobblers are running together and fighting, they are quick to say that something is wrong with the turkeys. 

It should be understood that the majority of the spring gobblers called in during spring seasons are two-year-old birds. These youngsters are trying to get in on some of the breeding action going on by responding to the excited calls of a lone hen, which in turn ends up being a hunter.

But when there is a drop in the bird population (bad hatches) like what’s going on in many parts of the nation or the timing of the season is off, hunters get frustrated. Anything less than bluebird skies, nice sunny mornings and fields full of gobbling two-year-old birds and hunters groan that it’s over. So what's a hunter to do? I'll give you my strategies in my next blog, but what do you guys do when the birds aren't gobbling or seem unresponsive? What are you seeing out there right now? Think this will be a good season?

 

Comments (2)

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from ICDEDTURKES wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

When turkeys aren't gobbling?
Lurk in the shadows and walk,walk,walk... I convince myself somewhere out there is a turkey that will gobble.

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from wvforester wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

Mr. Eye,
I turkey hunt in the mountains of western Virginia, our turkey population seems to have diminished over the past ten years and it seems that this diminishing population has corresponded with the increase in Coyote population. Am I incorrect to think there is a correlation between the rise in coyote population and the decline in turkey population. It sure seems to have had a negative effect on the amount of gobbling we have been hearing in the past several springs. Do you think a turkey gobbling his head off on roost is like ringing a dinner bell to a hungry coyote?

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from wvforester wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

Mr. Eye,
I turkey hunt in the mountains of western Virginia, our turkey population seems to have diminished over the past ten years and it seems that this diminishing population has corresponded with the increase in Coyote population. Am I incorrect to think there is a correlation between the rise in coyote population and the decline in turkey population. It sure seems to have had a negative effect on the amount of gobbling we have been hearing in the past several springs. Do you think a turkey gobbling his head off on roost is like ringing a dinner bell to a hungry coyote?

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from ICDEDTURKES wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

When turkeys aren't gobbling?
Lurk in the shadows and walk,walk,walk... I convince myself somewhere out there is a turkey that will gobble.

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