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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Turkeys in the snow?

Well, our season in 3 1/2 weeks away, and we got 1 1/2 feet of snow where I turkey hunt.  I was going to go scouting this weekend, but I have NEVER hunted or scouted in the snow.  My question is, do the birds change their habits in the snow, or should it be business as usual? 

I am not worried about the season, as the snow will be gone in a week or so.  But, I am just not sure if they will be hanging out around the normal areas a few days from now.

Anyone have experience with (deep) snow and turkeys?

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The vast majority of the feed

The vast majority of the feed that turkeys eat is on the ground so with 1 1/2' of snow they are going to have to head to bare ground to feed but as soon an it is gone they will be back to where they are at now.  I have learned in the areas that I hunt in the spring is that the turkeys will follow the snow line up the hill and very seldom will you ever find them actually in it. 

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So will they actually fly out

So will they actually fly out of the area, miles away, to find food?

Or, would they more than likely be found in plowed areas like driveways, and on/in the roadway?

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It all comes down to where

It all comes down to where they can find food at.  If there is enough for them along a plowed area or a driveway then that is where they will be at.  As far as flying I have never seen a turkey fly much further than a couple hundred yards. 

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They are resourcefull eaters.

The storage pouch/crop in their neck can hold and store food.  I've found salamanders, worms, corn, acorns, blueberry, clover and various other half digested things I can't describe in there.  They may not have multiple stomach chambers like a moose, but if there is something to eat, they'll find it and typically roost not far from it.

I have a close freind that has a Turkey farm and if the wild birds are anything like the domestic ones, they'll take in anything shiny with there beak they can grab, swallow it or take it into the crop and spit it out if they don't like it.  The nuissance part of this behavior with penned birds is their beaks have to be clipped with a dog nail cutter because the will peck each other in the eye and inadvertantly kill each other.

If you like to spot and stalk Whitetails, work on a Turkey Farm during the Thanksgiving kill and wear the same clothes in the woods.  Camo is irrelevant.  I guarantee you will get as close as you ever have regardless of wind direction.  I personally think it is the ultimate cover scent.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Interesting comments about

Interesting comments about their diet, and what they keep in their crop.

I figure they will probably hang around the houses out there, and I fully expect the locals to be feeding them on top of the snow.  That should make for some easy viewing.

However, i wonder if that will hold them together a little longer this spring, maybe leaving some bigger groups for the opener in 3 weeks.

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I like scouting turkeys with

I like scouting turkeys with snow on the ground. It gives you a good look into their movement patterns especially as spring gets closer. Ponderosa pine seeds are a stable in merriams winter diet and so snow really doesn't have a major impact on that particular forage. I have not found that the merriams that I have hunted for the last 3 years avoid areas of snow. They stay up in the higher terrain even after the lower stuff has melted out.

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