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Author Topic: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...  (Read 6027 times)

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Offline chain

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Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« on: March 29, 2011, 09:14:39 AM »
We SEMO folks enjoy our local monthly  outdoors publication, "River Hills Traveler". This hunting-fishing pub keeps us all up with the latest on Missouri's outstanding outdoor opportunities.

But this month[April issue] the headlines are about how hunters may be competing for turkeys with the coyotes. A vetenarian, and long time turkey hunter, laments of the declining population of his turkeys. Many other hunters now share the same thoughts and have accused the wily coyote as the main 'evil force' that has led our turkeys to their demise!

I've spoken before of our turkeys that we have so carefully nurtured, doing all the right things in habitat work. Not all turkey biologists have admitted there is a problem with the turkey flock...maybe not in their backyard, but plenty of others KNOW there is something dreadfully amiss!

For my part, I say we take off the gloves, and get after Mr. & Mrs. Coyote; they are protected during Missouri's turkey season! Many turkey hunters could do a big hit job and may help our turkeys back!

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 12:15:05 PM »
You're right Chain!

Many times when the hunter is calling turkeys in, a coyote will come in first.

Here, the 'yote is a bonus!  ;)
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 12:21:36 PM »
I don't see where the coyotes get many turkeys. Turkeys roost at night in the trees, so are safe. They are quite wary during the day and the coyotes have to exercise some real skill to catch one at that time. We have a large turkey population, roving around now in groups of 12-25 or so at a time, and prolly 4-5 groups of that size within a sq. mile at any one time. Plenty of coyote sign and howling, and very seldome see any signs of a turkey kill (feathers scattered about like the bow kill last year that I didn't find until seeing the feathers 4 days later).

We can shoot coyotes at any time, and have had a couple sneak up to my hen decoy when turkey hunting. But... don't think the coyotes take many turkeys at all.

Maybe in SEMO the do. :)
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Online sandhills

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 02:05:15 PM »
I took these pictures a few hours ago while checking cows and I was going to post them in the "Turkeys gobbling" thread but I'll just put them here instead.  My dad and our neighbors helped get them started back around here probably 25 years ago or so.  They bunch up in the winter and roost at our place then spread back out in the spring and summer to nest.
 



 



beenthere, I see a lot of sign of coyotes getting them around here while I'm tramping around in the trees checking calves and such, but although they're wild turkeys I think they get used to hearing the cattle and such, and probably drop their guard more than they should.  A few years back, when they started to come back to winter they had a guinnea (sorry about the spelling) with them, dad didn't believe me until I found it's remains a few weeks later in the trees.  I have no idea where they picked him up.  Yesterday morning after they left their roost I counted up to 76 before I lost track, the two pictures are different birds about 1/2 mile apart.  I don't hunt turkeys, as you can see it wouldn't be much of a challenge for me but might have to get a permit this spring and throw one on the smoker for Easter.  :)

Offline Norm

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 02:35:40 PM »
I saw the funniest thing this morning while working on Patty's bathroom. We have a strip of alfalfa next to the house where I saw a dead raccoon this morning, later a turkey buzzard showed up to feed on it. Looked out some time later to see two turkeys standing next to the buzzard curiously looking down at what it was eating. I'm guessing they took a look and went woah how can you eat that. Soon they wandered off grazing on the fresh alfalfa shoots.

Coyotes are a major predator of all animals in our area. I'm guessing turkeys are no exception.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 03:55:01 PM »
According to out F&G folks, our main turkey predators are bobcats, and raccoons breaking up the nest and eating the eggs.  I've had several bobcats stalk me while I was set up and calling.  I always have a tree to my back.  I would hate to have one jump me from behind.
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Offline Autocar

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 06:19:01 PM »
I agree with Magicman raccoons  proably do the most damage to our turkeys
Bill

Offline doctorb

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 06:23:03 PM »
Magic-

Are there reported attacks from bobcats on humans?  Most predators don't put themselves in situations where they might lose a battle, unless they are starving.  It's hard for me to figure why a bobcat would attack an adult man!  Educate me!.
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 07:25:50 PM »
Doc, I have been working and hunting the woods in east Texas for 45 years, and have seen very few bobcats, usually chance encounters at a distance.  If they stalk humans, they do so out of curiosity, either slight movement, or sound.  They might go 40 pounds or so, and a human is a big bite for anything but a really desperate bobcat. 

Fur trappers have little difficulty in trapping bobcats, so we have a good number.  But like coyotes, they tend to be shy of humans.  I have had coyotes follow us through the woods while we were working, keeping their distance but still curious.  And both come to predator calls, coyotes on a run, and bobcats on a stalk.
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Offline wesdor

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 09:25:49 PM »
I'm not a turkey hunter myself, but we do have a flock of at least 30 running around the farm.  The fellow who started them here 25 years ago is the only person I allow to hunt.  He sometimes takes one gobbler each spring, but only if it is one of those he has been watching all fall and winter. 

He is a real turkey expert and tells me that the female turkey is on the ground for at least 3 weeks, once her eggs begin to hatch.  He has recommended that I take some cheap perfume and sprinkle in about a 50 foot circle around any nest I find.  According to him, turkeys have no sense of smell but coyotes and raccoons do and will stay away.

Just last night I heard a pack of coyotes running and yelping just north of the house - probably about 100 yards, but you know how the sound carries, they could have been further away.
I have several hunters that keep asking me to hunt coyotes and I always say yes, but rarely do they come.  The two coyote hunters that came by in January and February say they won't hunt after March 1 since they don't want to kill the mother of a litter of pups!

I'm with the rest of you - coyotes do a lot of damage, along with raccoons. 

Offline Magicman

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 09:29:45 PM »
doctorb,  I don't think that a bobcat would never intentionally attack a human.  My fear is that they will definitely come to a turkey call and are looking for a meal.  If I am sitting and am well camouflaged and it sees a slight movement and already thinking that there is a turkey, it just might pounce.  Now I have never heard of such a thing happening.  It's just a fear of mine that it might.  Those claws would be carrying some super bad bacteria.  Yes, my Wife and I have both shot bobcats that came in to a hen yelp.
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 09:34:07 PM »
I was attacked by a bob cat in the spring of 1957 in the western U.P. near the Michigan-Wisconsin border. Had my left hand chewed on, teeth went through my hand and tore the nail off my left index finger and my chest was scratched up.

A doctor in Phelps, Wisconsin did some stitching and gave me a shot for pain and possible infection. The story may be on here somewhere in an early thread. I somewhat provoked the attack though with a run in with a large female cat and 3 cubs.
~Ron

Offline Magicman

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 09:36:10 PM »
Another predator that we have, but not necessarily against turkeys, are wild dogs.  They have absolutely no fear of man.  Yes, I have been cornered by several of them at one time.  They will crouch and come in.  Thankfully, I have always had a gun of some sorts.  I really can't post about some of the steps that we have to take regarding wild dogs.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 09:54:44 PM »
We have plenty of both turkeys and coyotes here. Never seen much evidence of coyotes taking mature turkeys. The real impact is on nesting hens and eggs. Coyotes love turkey eggs and turkey chicks. In times past before the yotes moved in, every fence row and briar patch had at least a couple of coveys of bob white quail. No more, for the same reason. The yotes destroy the nests and the young.
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Offline chain

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 10:17:50 PM »
Must tell this true tale of a gray fox. I was calling a gobler one morning and noticed a gray fox creeping up toward the tree I was sitting against. As I would yelp and cluck [mouth caller] the fox came up to about five feet. At that instant I became alarmed and thinking the fox could spring upon me; I sat up on one knee and placed my 12ga. barrel level with the animal. Undaunted, on the fox came and touched the end of the barrel with his nose then, turned and trotted away looking back only once, disappearing in the brush.

This incident ruined my hunt for the day yet, I thought about the little fox as he had done a 'coup' and showed how brave he was, much as the Native Americans would prove their bravery by touching their enemy in battle.

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2011, 10:24:55 PM »
pineywoods, fire ants have done more to decimate the quail population in east Texas than anything else, as well as many ground nesting birds.  One thing that may have kept the turkeys from forming up and getting a population in south east Texas.
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Offline Norm

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2011, 08:49:19 AM »
Yes the coyotes are not a match for mature birds but they are hard on nests and the newly hatched young. Raccoons are another predator for the eggs as I'm sure are our red fox population.

When we do land clearing the brush piles are left for habitat. One of their favorites though is our alfalfa fields.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 09:04:10 AM »
Our farmers really try to watch for turkey nest when cutting the first hay crop.  The hen will usually sit tight and let them get quite close.  Sometimes the nest is broken up, but if she finally leaves in time, they will mow around it.
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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2011, 09:42:18 AM »
We have a lot of trouble with pheasants in our alfalfa, they sit tight, usually too tight.  If they do move you can usually get stopped fast enough but most of the time when they take off it's only a few feet in front of the windrower.  MM brought up bobcats, I know there are a few around here though I've never personally seen one, but regular cats are hard on our turkeys as well.  One hen was walking through the yard with chicks in tow and dad was watching and counting them when a tom cat started grabbing them, the hen never saw him and he never saw dad get the gun, we had one less cat after that.  Don't mess with dad's turkeys.  :D

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Re: Turkey hunters vs. Wily Coyote...
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2011, 09:47:19 AM »
 smiley_thumbsup  That is usually the best answer to a predator problem.   :)
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