What's your take on this theory

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by Strutter, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Strutter

    Strutter Cyber-Hunter

    Dec 9, 2001
    The first 10 years I had my farm there were quite a few turkeys on it in the spring. We had some great hunts. Since then, the bush honeysuckle has covered up everything that can't be mowed. Even under the cedar thickets these bushes have grown to where you can't see 20 yards. For the past 5 years, during spring and summer, the birds are not on my farm but they are on the surrounding farms that have cattle to keep the stuff beat down. The birds show up on my place when the honeysuckle loses it leaves and you can see through the woods again. We have shot 1 bird during spring in 5 years on the farm. Anyone else noticed any change in their birds due to these bushes? I cut and spray them but it's hard to get ahead of them on the hillsides. Anyway, that's the only thing that has changed on the place that I know of. Fall and winter there bunches of them and then it turns green and they leave. I can stand on top and watch and hear them next door but they just won't come to visit. Opinions?
  2. Gforcetrivers

    Gforcetrivers 12 pointer

    Sep 23, 2016
    Yes...its all about habitat. Get that stuff under control.
  3. KYH5N1

    KYH5N1 10 pointer

    A turkeys #1 defense mechanism is their eyesight. The situation you have described limits this defense. Once the foliage is on, visibility is reduced and the turkeys move to greener pastures. You may check with the state dnr or forestry service for a plan of control and cost share programs for such measures.
  4. hollandhunter

    hollandhunter 12 pointer

    Feb 11, 2008
    Holland Kentucky
    Yep. Thats just part of it. Try to keep it beat down as much as possible. The hens will like the thick brush come nesting time but for spring hunting it can sure hurt you if its that thick. Try to cut paths in it and keep as much of the under growth as clear as possible. A roosting gobbler aint gonna fly down into a briar patch. An in the spring a gobbler likes to strut his stuff it open areas where he can be seen. If all fails usually after several years really thick woods starts to mature and clear up a little. Hopefully it will get better for you soon.
    Also i hear you about the cows on other farms. Birds i hunt love to hang out near cattle pastors. They will flip the patties to eat and the open areas allows them to do there thing. An they dont pay one bit of attention to the cattle. I have killed birds less then 50 yards from cows.

    Jmo. Good luck.
  5. turk2di

    turk2di Cyber-Hunter

    Feb 25, 2003
    evansville, ind
    There ya go!
  6. reivertom

    reivertom 12 pointer

    Dec 17, 2007
    Greenup Co.
    They won't be where they can't see.........
  7. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

    Aug 23, 2011
    you've received some great advice....
  8. shaman

    shaman 10 pointer

    Let me throw in a couple of anecdotes.

    #1 A dear friend of mine passed away a few years ago. He was in his eighties and been hunting our county for most of that time. He told me that honeysuckle used to be prevalent in our county. There were no turkeys, but lots of quail and grouse. After the honeysuckle died off, the quail and grouse dried up, but the turkeys started appearing.
    #2 When I'm staying in Cincinnati, I live on the north side. I grew up there. When the farms went fallow honeysuckle, locust, and wild rose took over the fields. As the woods matured, these all died out except at the edges. My folks house was built in 1977 and the subdivision was a farm until the 1960's. Only in the past year have I heard turkeys gobbling.

    Bottom line: you're on the right track. The big picture is that your land is going through a phase where it's naturally unattractive to turkeys. You'll have to intervene in order to change it or wait 50 years for the land to change naturally.

    My advice is to open up wide corridors in the brush for the turkeys so they can move onto your place and exploit the interior of your place. I'd also call up your wildlife biologist and have him come out and weigh in on it. He may be able to offer ideas.
  9. HappyHunter

    HappyHunter 10 pointer

    Sep 11, 2003
    Jap honeysuckle has taken over the woods, thickets, and fencerows on the farm I hunt in Shelby. Bird numbers have been way down. Numbers appear to be improving this year. That stuff sure makes it easier to set up close to a gobbler after he hits the ground. I am sure the yotes feel the same way. Been finding kill sites the past few years.
  10. Rough Creek Ron

    Rough Creek Ron Fawn

    Mar 26, 2012
    I have sent hard copies of this to the KY DNR as well as emailed to them. Never any response...
    Ladies & Gentlemen of the KY-DNR, 07/09/2015

    I am writing in regards of spreading the by-products of the chicken business including manure for use of fertilizing farmland.

    The two (2) incidents that I am referring to; one being fact, the other speculation, has taken place in Daviess & McLean Counties. The first was a ten to twelve acre lake in Daviess County that is a dammed up slough in flat farmland. The use of spreading this by-product and a rain shortly thereafter resulted in the killing of 95% of all the fish in this lake. I’m not sure of the procedure in which this fertilizer was applied. Whether it was disc in or merely spread on the surface but I do know the end result.

    The second is in regard to is what was once one of the largest Turkey flocks that I know of in Western KY that existed in McLean County. I have watched this flock of Birds decline by 75% over the past three or four years. I’m aware that normal maladies occur over time and that extreme weather conditions also play a factor in the health and well being of all wildlife. The use of Chicken by-products is being practiced in the fields surrounding the habitat of these Birds and has been for the past several years. The Chicken by-product that is used by this particular farmer is disc in the ground. The fact of whether the practice of using this type of fertilizer is the direct or indirect cause of the gradual decline of this flock of birds is pure speculation.

    I am mainly concerned if there has been any testing or research of the fields and waterways that border farmlands by the KY DNR where this method of fertilization is being practiced? As you well know regardless of whether this farmland is tiled, or has a natural runoff, the leaching of this Chicken by-product or any other type of fertilizer eventually finds it’s way to ditches, creeks, and rivers, where all forms of aquatic and animal life has to deal with it.


    Ron Tipton

    3403 East Surrey Dr

    Owensboro, KY 42301
  11. Rodeo man

    Rodeo man 8 pointer

    Aug 31, 2011
    Out of curiosity, what does one do with a few hundred tons of "chicken by product" if it's not used for soil enhancement? You might also be amused to know deer eat it like it's candy.

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