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Old April 11, 2018, 02:45 PM   #1
Prof Young
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Bobcat population and turkey

So in two days of turkey hunting in multiple spots where there have been turkeys over the last few years, the closest I've come is spotting one muddy track. About five miles of walking through the woods looking for sign and one track is all I found. Ran into a good ol boy who services the random scatter oil wells. He spends a lot of time driving the back roads. He says the bobcat population is up and that is why there are no turkeys. Told me he'd seen as many as six bobcats (mom and offspring) at one time.

While I'm sure there is a connection between the turkey population and bob cats could they really take out almost all the turkey?

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Old April 11, 2018, 02:47 PM   #2
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Ever see what a small batch of feral cats can do to the songbirds in your neighborhood? Bobs are a tad tougher, meaner, larger and stronger.
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Old April 11, 2018, 02:58 PM   #3
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Habitat loss has far more to do with the population of any game beast than predator numbers. However, raccoons, skunks and other egg eaters will do far more damage.
"...mom and offspring..." That means one meat eater and a swarm of milk consumers. Depending on the age of the kittens.
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Old April 11, 2018, 06:19 PM   #4
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The fish and game here in NH says that the bobcat population is up I dont think they really have a effect on the turkeys here in NH, there are many many turkeys here in NH..come on up and shoot one..
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Old April 11, 2018, 08:44 PM   #5
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Here in Northwest Texas one of our most trusted varmint calls in late spring and summer is a cluck~n~purr turkey call.The sound represents content and usually feeding birds.Late spring and summer hens have little ones with them which are fairly easy prey for a slippery old bobcat.I've killed many coyotes on that call but bobcats are easily 2-1.
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Old April 12, 2018, 06:08 AM   #6
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I'm certain it does. Coyote have moved into the area where I hunt and turkey numbers are down significantly. For the last 3-4 years my turkey calling has brought in more coyote, fox, and bobcats than turkey.

The large number of predators has also changed the way the remaining turkey behave. They aren't nearly as vocal as in the past. Many that I do see are now simply quietly coming to the call without responding. They've learned that calling is like ringing the dinner bell for the predators.
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Old April 12, 2018, 12:06 PM   #7
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turkeys and predators

I've not seen a bobcat take out a mature turkey, but I know trusted people who have. I have also had coyotes hammer my turkey dekes, and I've run into 'yotes moving on a gobbling bird as I have been doing same.. I've also had a redtail hawk hammer a deke.

But.......habitat management is important......in recent years timber leases have been logging during nesting season.. Likely common for a decade, that cannot help the bird numbers. And the kicker is, it is on state land allegedly managed for wildlife....what a joke.

I'd guess turkeys are most vulnerable in the nest, as eggs, then poults. The decline of fur trapping and coon hunting in my area likely has effected bird numbers as well

But I'm still gonna hunt'em............
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Old April 12, 2018, 07:34 PM   #8
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Ground predators can really be a problem for nesting birds, and I use live traps to control them. Last year, just on our property, I removed 47 coons, 61 opossums (including 6 that were carrying a load of young), 9 skunks, and 9 ditch tigers. I also have our renter cut the hay ground in July, to let the nesting turkeys get things going, and the population has come up significantly.

The depressed fur market has definitely caused the coon population to explode. But for fun and practice, I roll the trap over, and give the varmints a chance to escape. Very few outrun my .40.
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Old April 12, 2018, 08:28 PM   #9
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"While I'm sure there is a connection between the turkey population and bob cats could they really take out almost all the turkey?"
ABSOLUTELY
Over a 2 week period, I witnessed a bobcat kill 7 of 9 gobblers that were living in a small area of my farm . The cat killed a gobbler every day or two until the remaining pair abandoned the area. I backtracked the cat to places where it waited to pounce on the birds as they in turn fed on grasshoppers.
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Old April 14, 2018, 08:43 PM   #10
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Populations of both predators and prey go through cycles periodically. Whenever someone notices the population of prey has crashed, they want to blame predators, but they are not always the problem, it may just be the natural cycle. Or loss of habitat. Or a new development built in the area and feral cats getting the poults. Or a wet spring. Or a hot, dry spring. If the bobcat's preferred prey animals have died back, they will seek other prey, it may or may not mean there will be fewer turkeys.
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Old April 15, 2018, 07:32 AM   #11
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" it may or may not mean there will be fewer turkeys."

When you find the kill sites and the areas where the turkeys were consumed along with the tracks of the consumer, there's no question of the outcome or reason.
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Old April 15, 2018, 09:53 AM   #12
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Any time you have high predator numbers in an area, it means you have high numbers of prey. It's just how it works. Predator birth rates and survival rates depend solely on amount of prey available. So if there is no prey, they die off or move to another area. Animals like cats and canines do not live long eating grass and tree bark. The presence of predators does tho, make prey animals more wary. Turkeys and gobbling are a prime example. Not only does gobbling attract hens and hunters....it also attracts predators. Don't take Toms long to realize that. Predators that don't call back and announce their presence. Predators that use weeks and weeks of gobbling to pattern Toms and wait in advance for them to show up(kinda like the best human turkey hunters do). Toms that live very long in areas where there is a heavy population of predators, learn to gobble on the roost and then shut up once they hit the ground. They do the same thing when pressured heavily by hunters. Ma nature has always been good about balancing predator/prey numbers, it's just humans like it unbalanced to make prey easier for them to hunt. There's more to hunting turkeys than just finding tracks. While tracks are a good sign, in the spring woods they can be hard to find. many is the time I thought there wasn't a turkey in the area because I didn't see any recent sign when scouting. Only to have the woods explode with gobbling and answering yelps, the next morning.

Around here, unsuccessful deer hunters tend to blame the wolves for their lack of success. Again, no deer, no wolves, while lots of wolf tracks means lots of prey, i.e., lots of deer.
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Old April 15, 2018, 04:29 PM   #13
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There was a reason the old timers hunted the bigger predators out of most agricultural areas. Now, the bunny cops, tree huggers, and back to nature freaks have re-introduced many of those predators BACK INTO THE SAME AREAS.
North MO had deer for 10 years before coyotes showed up. Within just a few years, those yoties were eating sheep and calves instead of deer. We had turkeys for 40 years before bobcats showed up 5-6 years ago. How long before the kitties find smaller livestock is easier to catch than turkeys, squirrels, and rabbits?
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Old April 16, 2018, 07:56 AM   #14
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I doubt that there was ever any "re-introduction" of coyotes. They've expanded nationwide all on their own.
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Old April 16, 2018, 08:24 AM   #15
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I think the owls and hawks do more damage to the turkey poults and I Shoot-Shovel-Shut up them when I can.
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Old April 16, 2018, 08:44 AM   #16
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"I doubt that there was ever any "re-introduction" of coyotes. They've expanded nationwide all on their own"

My reference wasn't aimed at the local problems but nationwide. That said, bears, cougars, and wolves were exterminated from the state of MO many, many years ago but all have been seen in the state within the last few years(and in some cases, killed in the process of predating livestock). State laws protecting large predators encourage their re-establishment at a lower cost vs re-introduction so is there any REAL difference.
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Old April 16, 2018, 07:17 PM   #17
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Coyotes filled a void in Maine that was created in part by the extermination of cougars and wolves. A turkey almost flew right into my windshield this morning, I regularly dodge them on my commute. We’ve got plenty of bobcats too. If I saw a bobcat shoot a turkey I’d just clap slowly and offer to buy it more ammo.

Last edited by Mainah; April 16, 2018 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Watching the news and pulling my hair out while posting.
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Old April 17, 2018, 08:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by eastbank View Post
I think the owls and hawks do more damage to the turkey poults and I Shoot-Shovel-Shut up them when I can.
There really is no place in any legitimate online hunting forum for the promotion of Federal crimes. Poacher ethics means they rarely, if ever stop at only one crime. Braggin' about committing said Federal Wildlife laws on a public forum is just plain....

Just sayin'......

Last edited by buck460XVR; April 17, 2018 at 08:10 AM.
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Old April 17, 2018, 08:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobuck View Post
State laws protecting large predators encourage their re-establishment at a lower cost vs re-introduction so is there any REAL difference.
Whether re-introduced or naturally re-established, as long as they are or were native to the area at one time....no. Just as legally controlling numbers of large predators is wise, so is the protection of them when deemed it is needed.
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Old April 17, 2018, 04:35 PM   #20
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"so is the protection of them when deemed it is needed."

Deemed by whom? As I mentioned, those large predators were exterminated in most cases because they were "DEEMED" a threat to agriculture by those most affected (agriculturalists).
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Old April 17, 2018, 04:54 PM   #21
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I think the owls and hawks do more damage to the turkey poults and I Shoot-Shovel-Shut up them when I can.
Shootin' birds of prey around these parts generally cost ya $500 if you get caught doing it.

My ignorant BIL shot one once just because. When I discussed the penalties with him, the carcass mysteriously disappeared by the next day.
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Old April 17, 2018, 08:29 PM   #22
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Our ancestors wiped out several species of large predators in much of the East. But now we’ve got coyotes, Lyme Disease, hogs, and at least in Florida pythons and monitor lizards. I don’t think we have an overall great record of risk management.

But at least in Southern Maine we do have plenty of animals that eat turkeys. And too many turkeys. I get covered in ticks hunting them, so I gave up.
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Old April 19, 2018, 06:39 AM   #23
eastbank
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after they eat all the easy game and come flying in for your little fido or kitty cat. I,ll bet your shotgun will stay handy. around here traveling the interstate highway you can see 5-7 for about every mile and you wonder where the rabbits-ringnecks- turkey poults go, there is no escape from them.
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Old April 19, 2018, 07:19 AM   #24
Mobuck
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"Shootin' birds of prey around these parts generally cost ya $500 if you get caught doing it."

It's a Federal crime and could cost the shooter way more than $500
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Old April 20, 2018, 09:54 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by eastbank View Post
after they eat all the easy game and come flying in for your little fido or kitty cat. I,ll bet your shotgun will stay handy. around here traveling the interstate highway you can see 5-7 for about every mile and you wonder where the rabbits-ringnecks- turkey poults go, there is no escape from them.
No....My dog is too big to be taken alive by any North American raptor. The minute you let your Kitty-Cat run loose it's feral.....and open to depredation, even from two legged predators. So, I take it, with your mindset, that Eagles are fair game too, since they can take larger game and must consume more to live? Think of all the fish they take too, besides Fido and Fluffy. While we're at it, since loons eat a pound and a half a fish every day, we fishermen should target them too! Then there's always the Cormorants and the Herons.

As I said before....there's no place on any legitimate hunting forum for the promotion and bragging of poaching/violating game laws.

Poachers always tend to attempt to validate why they poach. Still makes them a poacher and a violator. They tend to exploit wildlife and steal it from the rest of us. I myself have no time, or respect for them, even tho many of them are pretty proficient at what they do.
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