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Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults #7343230 11/09/18 01:49 PM
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CTX Mav Offline OP
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What is the biggest threat to a healthy turkey population in north Texas? Is it bobcats, raccoons, yotes, snakes, or? I get rid of every bobcat and coyote that I can, but i don't pay any attention to the raccoons, should I get rid of them too for the sake of having more turkey? Thanks for any input.

Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7343239 11/09/18 01:54 PM
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Curious as well... Last year, for the first time, we started seeing turkey. First, a hen on game cam for about a month, then she disappeared. Come Spring, she showed back up. We don't have an open season in Navarro county, so one morning while coyote hunting, I started in on the box call. Ended up having two toms come strutting in! I'd like to help the population.


Originally Posted by txhuntingguide
If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...
Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7343506 11/09/18 04:51 PM
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I would think that keeping the coon population in check could only have a positive impact. My son was trapping coons for a while and we have a lot of turkeys around. We had quite a few before, but they seem to be hanging in our area more lately. We also discovered that they like protein pellets, so we mix in about 25% in our feeders in the areas that they like. I've also heard that fire ants are a big threat for ground nesting birds. Not that we can do much about that.

Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7343556 11/09/18 05:31 PM
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I have heard fire ants are the problem in Texas for Eastern birds. If that were the case you would think it would be the same in other southern states like LA, MS, AL, GA and FL but that is not the case there. The ones mentioned are predators for turkey for sure and throw in Hawks, owls, and even Squirrels like an egg if they can get it.

Several studies have shown Squirrels are the main predator of quail eggs and have been told by some biologists in Mississippi squirrels also will eat turkey eggs.

Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7343576 11/09/18 05:56 PM
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On my place I rarely have a good hatch. I do not have a raccoon problems since I trap them year round. I rarely see a raccoon on cams and if I do I set the traps to catch them. So raccoons are not an issue on turkey nests. I do have a lot of bobcats and always have had so I think they work on them from the time they hatch till adults. I do not target bobcats when I kill predators when hunting nor trap them. There are a lot of fire ants here in very wet times so they might be an issue.I have also found dead turkeys next to a HF or just a pile of feathers up in the hill country at the time when Golden Eagles were migrating thru each year.
I had a friend who was into quail management back in the late 90's. Around his ranch (10,000 acres more or less) he built about 100 fake quail nests(not all at one time) and put a trail cam on them to monitor them. What he found on his place in Atascosa County was that hogs found or destroyed over 60%(63% IIRC) of the fake quail nest he had made. Coons and skunks were the next most common in the pics. He also had possum, snakes and few other things on cams.



Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7343613 11/09/18 06:13 PM
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Coons aren't a problem. The only thing I have more of than coons is turkeys. I can't keep them away from the feeders.


Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7344423 11/10/18 06:14 PM
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Around here, I would say coyotes before they hatch.
Immediately after they hatch, I would say fire ants.
After they get on their feet, switch back to coyotes, foxes, bobcats, etc. and maybe feral cats until they get bigger.


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Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7344513 11/10/18 08:52 PM
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Fire ants and hogs on the family's Cooke County place.

Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7346878 11/13/18 01:11 PM
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Hogs. They devour every egg they find.




" I don't hunt turkeys because I want to, I hunt turkeys because I have to."
Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7347043 11/13/18 03:08 PM
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Thanks for all the input, I appreciate it.

Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7348950 11/15/18 05:38 AM
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Skunks and raccoons did the most damage to ground nest (turkey and quail) on the ranches I used to guide on. Deer feeders throwing corn attract more than deer. Other critters come in and try to setup house keeping close to those groceries. When they get established their homes become the grocery store for other critters.

Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7353308 11/20/18 03:03 AM
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We have an old trapper that comes sometimes, his wife swears that armadillos are the worse on turkey eggs. She said that the armadillos can smell when the eggs are nearly formed and then raid the nests. She kills every armadillo that she sees, and claims that the turkey population had improved.


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Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: Simple Searcher] #7354029 11/21/18 12:31 AM
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Crows, when they see a hen on the nest the pesky devils aggravate her till she gets up and moves and then they peck the eggs.

Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7388342 12/28/18 02:23 AM
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I once heard that a raccoon can smell a wet hen and will go to that smell to raid the nest. Also heard that if predators are extremely high in numbers then the gobblers won't gobble as much since this gives their position away to predators. Not sure if any of that is true but I do know the last 3 yrs in Coryell County TX we have not heard very much gobbling in spring time even though we have a lot of turkeys.

Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: cos] #7388466 12/28/18 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cos
Crows, when they see a hen on the nest the pesky devils aggravate her till she gets up and moves and then they peck the eggs.


This....plus birds of prey like owls have somewhat of an impact. Big owls will see a hen on the nest at night and snatch her and eat her according to a recent study. You may get the occasional coons and opossums that happen to wander nearby and get a whiff, but crows are the worst!

Last edited by Tjack28; 12/28/18 06:36 AM.

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Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7407519 01/17/19 10:46 PM
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All your varmints are going to chase an easy meal

Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7439598 02/20/19 06:21 PM
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Hogs, coons, and opossums are the biggest threat to the eggs. Our family place in Georgia got overrun with hogs several years ago and the turkey population has almost completely depleted. Glad my family sold that portion of the farm.

Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7440703 02/21/19 09:06 PM
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Fire ants are the number one enemy of turkey as soon as they pip(crack their shell). The ants are drawn to the moisture from the egg and the turkey has no chance once found. The second most destructive would be hogs, eggs don't stand a chance against them. I hunted turkey on property that did not have hogs up until about 5 or six years ago and now they are very prolific and I have watched the decline of the turkey population every year since seeing signs of hogs all over the areas. It really is tough to face this situation since there was a tremendous huntable population until the hogs. As far as managing any huntable population of game, you number one priority should be hogs, dogs and cats and in no particular order. If you see it, kill it.


Born to hunt and fish.
Re: Biggest threat to turkey eggs and poults [Re: CTX Mav] #7443969 02/25/19 08:59 PM
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I think nest robbers are the biggest problem. Turkey aren't known for being intelligent nest architects. I've seen them next in the two foot shoulder between the county road and our fence with our farm road on the other side and an natural wildlife highway. Ferral hogs, opposums, racoons, skunks are the biggest problem in my mind.

Last edited by TXCrossTimbers; 02/25/19 09:02 PM.

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