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Thread: Wild Turkey's effect on Grouse populations.....

  1. #1
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    Default Wild Turkey's effect on Grouse populations.....

    Dad been chasing grouse since the late 60's. No secret the numbers are down and staying that way. He is convinced that the increase in Turkey populations has a direct correlation with the decrease in Grouse populations. I know habitat is the primary concern with ANY game species. What is your guys thoughts on this?
    Some people are like slinkies...they're really good for nothin, but they still bring a smile to ur face when you push em down a filght of stairs...

  2. #2
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    Everything affects everything. I don't know about some of the rumors that Turkeys destroy grouse nests and bust their eggs and what not. But I do know if you bring in another species or another species takes off or goes above carrying capacity, it does affect other wildlife and flora either directly or indirectly. Now whether they are affecting the food grouse eat or the habitat in which they live is something I think is imperative to know, but something our Fish and Wildlife Services deems unnecessary knowledge. Thats another argument. My opinion Turkeys are very very good at clearing out areas of ground forage and falling tree mast. I cant tell you how many areas I have hunted over the years and then go in one day and the turkeys have devastated the area. My opinion.

  3. #3
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    Im in the same boat im not sure about turkeys hurting nesting or killing chicks etc. But im very sure they like the same type habitat and share it alot. Turkey go thru an area of grouse habitat and you can definitely tell they have been there in a bad way. I have personally seen it move grouse out of areas that was holding birds before they desimated it. I don't know if it caused harm to the grouse or not because most times for reasons unknown to me I can't find the grouse in that area anymore. I think with the limited habitat that grouse have, when a flock of turkeys start working the same area the grouse lose in one way or another.
    If they fly together they die together....

    There are two types of hunting. ordinary hunting ,and ruffed grouse hunting...... Aldo Leopold


    The Dude abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals..... Sam Elliott

  4. #4
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    Turkeys like older habitats than grouse do, if you can stand in one place and spread your arms without hitting a tree, you are in habitat too old to support good numbers of grouse.

    No doubt there are more turkeys and less grouse than there was 25 years ago. If we had a strong pulpwood market and cleared the forest every 30 years we'd have grouse. Our hardwood rotations (80-100 years) and tendency to do politically correct timber harvests ( instead of clearcuts) is why we don't have good grouse numbers.

    Grouse are a species that is heavily predated, 80% do not survive a year, without vast acreages of quality habitat we'll never see what we consider good numbers. It's a species that's simply going to hold on in KY.
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  5. #5
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    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/201...rouse-decline/


    http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/fo.../t-334034.html






    http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/ore...ffed_or_b.html



    Some interesting reads, some points I agree, some I don't.All I do know is where I find turkeys, or fresh turkey sign...........I find no grouse.

  6. #6
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    Someone needs to tell the turkeys that keep the 10-12 year old clearcut I hunt that there not in there habitat and they need to get out then.
    If they fly together they die together....

    There are two types of hunting. ordinary hunting ,and ruffed grouse hunting...... Aldo Leopold


    The Dude abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals..... Sam Elliott

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ribsplitter View Post
    Someone needs to tell the turkeys that keep the 10-12 year old clearcut I hunt that there not in there habitat and they need to get out then.
    Same here!

  8. #8
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    We do this topic from time to time here...nothing ever seems to change, does it?

    We all know what grouse habitat looks like. i'm covered up with habitat, logging of all kinds going on around me. I tried to walk through a 4-5 year old clearcut on Monday and had to admit defeat. Maybe in a year or two the blackberries will get some shade and I will try again...

    I'm constantly trying new areas. I don't hammer on the same half-dozen covers year after year; I know what it looks like when the cover is growing out. If I'm not fighting blackberries and saplings and grapevines, I know to look elsewhere.

    There's more to it than habitat. Maybe it's turkeys, maybe not. I know the turkeys around here don't seem to discriminate between successional and old growth. They rake it all up.

    But with that said, I'm not seeing very many turkeys this season, either. In past seasons I'd see 40 or 50 in a day of grouse hunting, both from the vehicle and in the woods, but this year, I've seen maybe a couple dozen all year and they were all in one spot. I've seen plenty of ground raking that's occurred, but I didnt' see the birds themselves.
    'But I would rather have it bent and dull and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well-oiled in the closet, but unused.
    E. Hemingway


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  9. #9
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    I haven't seen alot this year either trust me. But I've seen just as much scratching as any other year. Maybe there all staying in heavier cover because that's really the only areas I've seen tore up alot. It seems like if im hunting thru the woods and get to the spot where any one of us would say there just has to be a bird in this that's when I find windrows of scratching and no birds.
    If they fly together they die together....

    There are two types of hunting. ordinary hunting ,and ruffed grouse hunting...... Aldo Leopold


    The Dude abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals..... Sam Elliott

  10. #10
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    I agree....I don't think that the turkeys have read the script on where they are and are not supposed to be. I think with the leaves down they feel safe enough in thick cover to feed in there. Saw too much scratching in places that I thought turkeys would not use. Seems to be later in the year after the food sources in open timber have been exhausted when I see the most turkey sign in thickets. However, if their is a direct correlation, I don't think it has to do with food competition. Fern tips, beech buds, holly berries.....I can't remember all of the different stuff we have found in the craw of a grouse over the years. I really don't think you can starve a grouse. Explosions in coon populations, coyote populations, and bobcat populations must have negative effects. That being said, those predators don't seem to be harming the turkey populations. Not to sound like Al Gore, but do you think warmer winters would have anything to do with it? We are already on the southern fringe of the grouse's range. I have saw some places while turkey hunting in Alabama that looked like great habitat for grouse (food, cover,ect..) but none are there. Places to our north have high populations of both grouse and turkey. BTW in Pennsylvania we got up 16 birds in a 1 1/4 days of hunting....no turkey sign where we were whatsoever....so who knows.
    Some people are like slinkies...they're really good for nothin, but they still bring a smile to ur face when you push em down a filght of stairs...

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