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We have a lacking turkey population on our property east of Scottville, MI. What are the most proven ways to improve turkey habitat? Our soil is incredibly sandy, and I have been reading that many people overlook the need for grit. The only rocks that exist near our property are on the road. I am looking at frost seeding a small clover plot for the spring season, but am wondering if there is anything else I can do to help boost the population in my area. I have no clue where they roost, but am 90% sure it's not on our property, although we do have some very mature white oaks. If grit will help, how do you disperse? There are quite a few coyotes in the area, but our property is fairly open, so I don't think that would be too much of a concern. Any guidance would be great, as this will be my first year turkey hunting this property.
 

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They eat some small stones that will last a few days in their crop .If you have a gravel road they most likely have plenty .Yotes are hard on turkeys kill them kill them all .Raccoons also they are worse .
 

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winter food is key

Plant crabapples then plant some more.

TD
I'll add thermal cover to the list. That should only take 20-25 years to grow if you have none now.
The liquid manure spread by the dairy farmers is a good source of winter feed in my area. Little pieces of corn for the birds.

L & O
 
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I'll add thermal cover to the list. That should only take 20-25 years to grow if you have none now.
The liquid manure spread by the dairy farmers is a good source of winter feed in my area. Little pieces of corn for the birds.

L & O
I never see them in liquid manure, now when they used to spread that solid stuff that was like an ice cream truck for turkeys
 
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Trap opossum, coon, skunk
This is dead on. Trap as many coon, opossum, and skunks as u can. We do this every year and have seen a reduction in the amount we catch. They can easily wipe out nests in a hurry. 16-18 eggs gone. Ever since we have trapped and managed our property for habitat and food plots has also helped. We have turkeys all over now. Food, roosting, and nesting cover is key as well as managing for predators. If they have no reason to be there then they won't be. Give them reasons to make ur property home and u will be happy.
 

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Trap opossum, coon, skunk
DEDGOOSE gave me this advice a few years ago and my dad and I have been trapping raccoons ever since. Havent seen a change YET but might take a couple years (im hoping). You really dont fully realize how many raccoons are around until you start trapping them. Its unreal. And like mentioned already, a routine nest invasion by a raccoon will take out up to 14 eggs easily.
 

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DEDGOOSE gave me this advice a few years ago and my dad and I have been trapping raccoons ever since. Havent seen a change YET but might take a couple years (im hoping). You really dont fully realize how many raccoons are around until you start trapping them. Its unreal. And like mentioned already, a routine nest invasion by a raccoon will take out up to 14 eggs easily.
Start shooting owls Hawks (just kidding before anyone gets their panties in a bunch)

But avian predators are tough on them,especially poults.

A while back I rounded a corner in a trail brushy pines just in time to see a hawk swoop down, the hen scattered her poults in the trees and flew up and looked like Bruce Lee kicking and beating hawk the put up a valiant effort but died.
Another bad bird are crows
when they find a nest they destroy it

Ok call me crazy, but I've seen Hawks and eagles fly over turkeys and they run for cover. But I've watched buzzards fly over they don't scatter. It's almost like they identify the bird. I've told a bunch of my turkey friends and they've noticed it too
 
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I have seen a huge decrease in numbers of turkey on my property, and in my area as well. I never gave a thought to the scavengers listed above. Not too many years ago I had turkey all over in my area, and fed close to 50 turkey year round. I haven't seen a turkey on my property in a couple years.
I put out a trail cam behind house last fall and had 6 huge coon coming in to feed. I guess I should have trapped them.. and skunks, while I don't regularly see them, I smell them spring thru fall regularly. The skunks tear up the yard searching for grubs I believe. Guess I know what I've got to do when I can. Trap!
 

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I've run overy opossum and coon I can skunks get a pass lol
It really hurts when fur prices are low, not many folks trap thus less bi catch

Another thing is how many folks you know run coon hounds anymore?

Growing up we owned a general store, about every night we'd have 10-20 trucks come in with boxes, great for business: beer, gas, cigs, chew, shells, batteries. Then with a falling market coupled with rising gas, decrease in access. You better do it for the passion.

I only know one person that now runs Coons whith hounds
 
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Used to have turkeys everywhere on the property near Hubbard. That ended in roughly 1995, right along with huntable population of rabbit. Funny thing is it seems like predator populations had been higher when there was lots of game.
 

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Start shooting owls Hawks (just kidding before anyone gets their panties in a bunch)

But avian predators are tough on them,especially poults.

A while back I rounded a corner in a trail brushy pines just in time to see a hawk swoop down, the hen scattered her poults in the trees and flew up and looked like Bruce Lee kicking and beating hawk the put up a valiant effort but died.
Another bad bird are crows
when they find a nest they destroy it

Ok call me crazy, but I've seen Hawks and eagles fly over turkeys and they run for cover. But I've watched buzzards fly over they don't scatter. It's almost like they identify the bird. I've told a bunch of my turkey friends and they've noticed it too
2nd this .
Atmosphere Grass Cloud Smoke Lens flare
 

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This cold snowy winter is going to be tuff on turkeys and all small critters. Especially with the crusty snow from the sleet and rain. Even with the feeding baiting ban turkeys can still be fed as long as the feed is put on a platform so the deer can not get to it.
 

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One thing that's overlooked is grass Any kind of grass even just junk grass that gets waste deep. This helps two things it provides nesting cover.

Second, a turkeys favorite food is bugs. The length is escaping me but poults live on bugs for the beginning of their life and adult turkeys love them.

Brush hog trails every so often so that they can walk the trails and bug.

I've mentioned this before. I think one thing hurting turkeys is the advance of farming.

They have new strains of alfalfa that grow faster with lower soil temps. Thus hay is cut earlier. Many hens nest in the tall alfalfa, but now harvest of 1st cutting is when hens are setting.

One of the guys I used to hunt called early June, he was taking hay off he gets I got 19 today. Nineteen what? Hens, ran um over not knowing they were nesting there. Hens will alot of. Time not move if approached even by people, til rightclose, he saidnothsaid left but eggs and legs

That's why my grass suggesion
 
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We just got over 1" rain overnight. That means another layer of ice for birds to try and scratch thru.. temp has dropped 6 deg in last couple hrs. Now trying to snow. (Sunday-24th 1 PM)

This just isnt turkey/pheasant country. Those who have em are probably being fed by someone. Kill all skunks, coon, possum, and night roaming cats and you will have more ground nesters.

The predators, unfortunately have to be harvested EVERY year.
 
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