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#93826 06/25/07 04:06 PM
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we've lived here since 1996. here is between 1500 and 2000 feet in the sierra nevada mountain foothills east of sacramento. when we moved in it was immediately obvious that turkeys loved our ledge, roosted in the digger pines next to the house, and because of the nice valley and water in the ponds, called this place home to raise their youngins.

the largest resident flock we ever had was about 8 or 9 years ago and contained 70 birds. they have dwindled since then, but we've now gone through at least 10 generations. they've become pretty tame around us, we can be sitting there in the evening and they walk RIGHT by us and fly up into the trees every night to roost during the spring and summer. in the fall and winter they migrate to locations on the ridge above us.

here is one of this years hens and her hidden brood of 6 chicks (3 little ones under each wing) just below our driveway (the ranch pond is in the back ground).





these represent some of my wife's "pets" BTW.


GSF are people too!

#93827 06/25/07 06:23 PM
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D.I.E.D.

That is really great.

I've been trying unsuccessfully to protect ours from a crazed neighbor who shoots far more than his fair share. About the time I hear one, I hear a shotgun blast.

We do see them. On Mother's day there was a family of 11 behind the pond. And twice this spring I saw a really big tom down by my barn. I've tried putting corn out on several of their favorite trails, but the deer always seem to get it before they do.

Keep em happy.

Ken G.


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#93828 06/25/07 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by Catmandoo:

 Quote:


I've tried putting corn out on several of their favorite trails, but the deer always seem to get it before they do
Catmandoo,

You've broken my heart with the saga of the catfish. If you decide you need to get rid of the overeating deer, I don't want to read about it!

Sorry, D.I.E.D, now back to the turkeys.

#93829 06/25/07 06:44 PM
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DIED do you plant anything for them to eat? What do you think caused the drop in #s ? Neat birds.
















#93830 06/25/07 08:12 PM
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cat, i asked a neighbor about our wild turkey palatibility, his response was "yer much better off getting a butterball from the grocery store, these locals are greasy, stringy, and gamey". i'm o.k. with that and have never shot one. over the years we've really grown accustomed to just watching and enjoying their presence.

so to answer yer question ewest, i dont think the decrease in numbers is human predation but a combination of environmental factors i dont really understand. we've lost a few key habitat (roosting) trees next to house pad and this may account for the largest drop in "local" population. increases in fox and coyotes in the last couple years another factor. we have about two dozen residents now, which is actually up from the last couple years. we've never specifically planted food plots for them, but they have enjoyed my hydroseed job around the pond.

in the spring we routinely have big fat mating toms doing their dance in the front or side yards, they shuffle around and thump and stomp loud enough you can hear them inside the house. we have a few individuals we recognize from year to year like the "old lady" who had a game leg and survived for 5 years....we havent seen her this year though.


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#93831 06/25/07 09:01 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Yolk Sac:
Originally posted by Catmandoo:

 Quote:


I've tried putting corn out on several of their favorite trails, but the deer always seem to get it before they do
Catmandoo,

You've broken my heart with the saga of the catfish. If you decide you need to get rid of the overeating deer, I don't want to read about it!

Sorry, D.I.E.D, now back to the turkeys.
The deer . . . I always have some in the freezer, but it is very seldom that I am the one who shot it. We have way too many on our property. In the fall, I tell the neighbors to give me a call if they get a small one, and they don't want it. Sometimes we'll see as many as 40 at a time. Yesterday morning, as we were getting ready to head out to church, I looked out the window. A really big one was looking back at me! It took a break from munching my lettuce -- just outside the perimeter of my electric fence.

The place we live in now was owned by "city people" for several years before we bought it. I'm slowly rebuilding habitat for the critters. I took about 90 pine trees off my pond dam (the previous owner proudly told me about how they prevented erosion). Most of the trees have gone to build hideaways at a forest/meadow edge.

There aren't many local and migrating critters that don't pass our way. But, just like the garden and the pond, we do thin them out when they get overcrowded. However, until they become over populated, we try to make them as welcome as possible.

Turkeys (and maybe 12-inch bluegill) are probably the only critters we wish we had more of.

D.I.E.D -- I'll gladly swap you two dozen deer, a timid and fat papa bear, a half-dozen fox squirrels, a red fox, a gray fox, and two coyotes for a well adjusted family of wild turkeys.

Thanks again for the posting.


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#93832 06/26/07 08:07 AM
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I think that turkeys really respond to hunting pressure. One of my neighbors and his buddies shot 5 or 6 turkeys the year before last. They were all Gobblers so we didn't figure it would be a problem. However, this Spring almost none moved onto us to roost. I can't prove that they got smart and avoided us but it seems so. BTW, they live most of the year on a big ranch across the road from our place and seem to migrate elsewhere and then return.

In my life, I've taken a lot more than my share of turkeys but have quit hunting them. I get just as much pleasure out of calling them and counting coup.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
#93833 06/26/07 08:19 AM
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I haven't seen or heard a turkey near our place since we moved out here almost 3 years ago. The quail are scarce too. The officials say it is caused by the "urbanization" of the countryside....or lack of natural habitat.
That is not the case at our family farm in North Central Kansas where we have a "herd of Turkeys" on our place that number in the 300's. By the way, the limit is still 1 turkey per season, I believe. We didn't have in any Turkeys 20 years ago.


20 acres of trees & 3/4 acre pond.

"Home of the future Texas state HSB record for Private ponds"
#93834 06/26/07 09:15 AM
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Yep, it is one per season but I'm not one to tell anyone what to do on his own land.

I saw one quail last fall and got excited. Ten years ago they were pretty thick and we haven't had a lot of urbanization. However, an 8 year drought was, I believe, pretty tough on them.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
#93835 06/26/07 02:35 PM
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I remember seeing a bunch (flock, heard, pod, school, pack, clan, gaggle???) of turkeys on the far side of your pond when I was there Dave. We don't get many turkeys at my place. I think I've seen one or two turkeys on the property in total. We do have a resident fox that lives somewhere near the pond, perhaps that is why.

With all the open land around you I'm surprised you see any at all. Seems like they would have plenty of human free zones to live in around your place.


JHAP
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#93836 06/26/07 03:29 PM
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i guess they just feel safe around me, what can i say? \:\)

i think its a flock....actually i think they really do relate human structure as being more "predator free" zones....as long as they've learned the humans are harmless.

DD1, our place always had the perfect habitat for upland game (quail) having timber and brush adjacent to large open spaces. for the first 6 or 7 years we lived here i was always amazed we didnt have resident nesting quail.....now we do....for about the last 3 or 4 years we have a year round covey maybe a dozen birds calling it home..the CA quail is another fun bird to have around.


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#93837 06/26/07 06:21 PM
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DIED,

That is a real treat; Im sure plucking one or two for Thanksgiving wouldnt hurt. : )


- Smoke 'em if you got 'em

[Linked Image from i4.photobucket.com]

#93838 08/12/07 11:37 AM
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#93839 08/13/07 11:45 AM
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Nice photo GW, however I noticed that your brush pile is getting a little out of hand. \:D


JHAP
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"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)
#93840 08/13/07 12:35 PM
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Thanks for pointing that out jeffhasapond...

Most of that is from 4 - 85 year old Pecans that were cut to make room for Cindy's house. We've been adding some to it but can't burn it until after the Pecans get harvested from that nearby tree. It's super dense wood and should make a pretty little fire. \:\)



#93841 08/13/07 02:36 PM
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I've killed my share and probably others share of wild turkeys. I've eaten a lot of them.

About 10 years ago, I ate some Butterball and started comparing it to the wild ones. I still like calling them in the Spring but no longer shoot them. I enjoy counting coup on them and yelling gotcha.

My 8 year old grandson wants to get one next Spring. He has killed a buck and a hog and figures a turkey is next. For any of you that are teaching a kid, the Remington 222 is awesome.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
#93842 08/15/07 10:12 AM
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