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Curious....

Is it possible that one could have too many turkeys on a given property that it could effect whitetail deer? I hunted on a friend's property in the thumb for the last 8 years. I always see plenty of deer while afield. This year, I saw very few deer but always saw dozens and dozens of turkey. Yesterday, I counted 80 turkey in an open field but did not see one deer in 3 days of hunting. The other 3 guys I was hunting with saw no deer either (it's an 80-acre parcel). Talking with the nieghbors, they have been skunked too, and they have as many, if not more turkey, on their property as my friend's.
 

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What Area do I apply for?....:evilsmile
 

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i dont know about the effect on deer but a few years ago i read that where the turkey population is high the tick population is down.the article said turkey eat ticks.
 

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Welcome to the site Kaiser Sose.

I've never heard that too many turkeys can inpact your deer hunting. Maybe you're on to something, we find the same thing is true with wolves in the UP.
 

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Welcome to the site Kaiser Sose. I do think you are onto something. It is something that I've argued for quite a few years. Especially those years with a "weak" acorn crop. The turkeys get the acorns and nothing for the deer. That is only one thing I have against the birds. The other is that it is difficult in some areas to get a crop because the buggers can really scratch the Hell out of things. I've lost 3 crops completely now and several more that have been hurt badly. We even have to fence them out of areas where we want to grow things. As far as that, we even have to fence in the wife's bird feeder because of the turkeys. It was funny though that the wife kept complaining that she had to be so careful where to walk in the lawn.... But seriously, when you are seeing that many turkeys, that is a lot of bellies to fill. You can only feed so much wildlife.

This will probably raise some eyebrows and maybe even some tempers. I've said for years that the DNR would prefer to make turkey hunters out of all of us and get rid of the deer. Turkeys don't do as much damage to a car when hit and deer hunters are such an ornery bunch....
 

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Have not seen a grouse on my property in the last 8 years. In 1990 when I bought the property there at least 14 or 15 living along fence rows etc. Only thing I've got now is too many turkeys. Try and deer hunt with over a 100 turkeys in your food plots, none able to get along with each other. Last year I sat in one my stands just before dark and counted 195 turkeys walking single file into my pines. These were just the ones I could see, I heard plenty more flying & walking in behind me. The neighbor next door (cattle farm) complained to the Mich. DNR, biologist told him there were probably between 400 & 500 birds on our two properties & there was nothing he could do about them or with them. This is in the middle of Michigans thumb. Deer hunting would have to be better if I wasn't feeding all these flying tree rats. Just my little problem. WW
 

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I can tell you that when you hunt deer in Texas the guides will tell you to make cat sounds when the Turkeys come out. The deer will not come out at the same time. I have never seen deer and turkey together there. I can't say I have ever heard of that problem here. Sounds like you need to have some friends over for Turkey season! :evil: :lol:
 

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I can say that the turkeys certainly compete with deer for winter food. They were both hitting the acorns hard since the snow fell.
 

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we have over 100 turkeys on my 100 acres in oceana county. we see alot of deer this year and buck included. they come out with the deer and vise versa. about 3 years ago my buddy was watching the turkey and about 30 deer came by. and he downed his does and the turkey keep eating.
 

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Wow, those are some amazing turkey numbers.
I thought I had a lot but, I cant even imagine seeing hundreds at a time.

When the turkeys first started showing up I noticed that the deer seemed to avoid them. Lately the deer seem less concerned and will feed in the same plot, although I have never seen mature deer do this, only 1 1/2 year olds. Whether this is a sign that the younger deer are aclimating to the turkeys or that they are just stupid remains to be seen.

I watched the same group of 7 jakes flydown every morning and roost every night from my firearm stand and when I shot my deer they didnt spook until I climbed down from my stand about 30yards away.
 

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I definetly think "out of control" Turkey populations and yes many areas of Southern Mighigan have "out of control" Turkey populations do impact the population of other species, deer included.

There is only so much food / habitat / nesting cover . . . to go around. If one species comes in and suddenly takes a larger portion of what is available, it only stands to reason that other species will be negatively impacted.

Anyone who hunted Grouse in Southern Michigan 15+ years ago has seen this "balance of nature" played out in living color.
 

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opening week of gun season they seemed to come out like marching military men. it was real funny. i have some pictures of them too. we have alot of grouse still on the property still too. havnt tried to hunt them yet.
 

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Kaiser Sose, sounds like your hunting in a situation like mine. I'm in the thumb area where having too many turkeys is becoming a theme. About 7 years ago there were none on our property which is 92acers. Now there are 3 large flockes that total 90 some. Many people are reporting these types of numbers. There is so much agriculture in the area that I'm not sure they would be effecting population because of food source. In the winter there is a ton of browse that the deer eat that trukey don't such as sumac.

With all that being said I've seen deer change their travel pattern in order to avoid the turkeys. I was out during the muzzle loading season and had one buck and 3 does following a ridge line between two wood lots. I've seen the deer follow this line a hundred times when traveling to and from these paticular wood lots. A flock of about 60 turkey got beween the deer and their destination the deer then retreated back into the wood lot they had come from instead of coming to the field in which they were still feeding in.

This is the only effect I've seen on deer and I know that deer will sometimes ignore turkey but I think when the flocks are that large they avoid them.
Any one else have an opion on Turkey/deer relationship as per flock size?
 

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IMO. I have no respect for the Turkey (they should be tested for steroid use)
They me be crows !
Anyone know if weasels eat turkey eggs? They may be easier to transplant than Timber rattle snakes.

All kidding aside, I was wondering if anyone has had any trouble with the turkey flocks scratching up the seed you plant? I am just now starting to see flocks large enough to do some damage (in my area) and was wondering if they cause much disturbance of the seed planted by us plotters? Since I am planning my first soybean field ever, this may be a future problem for me (if they do cause damage)
 

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I can say that there are a lot less acorns on the ground in our woods now that the turkey's are over populated.

It is pretty sad that the DNR has completely mismanaged the Turkey population in most areas. Shooting hens and increased limits are overdue in the DeWitt area. But, I will pay my $4 to apply for my Unit ZZ license.
 
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