Today is February 14th (Valentine’s day), and it is the coldest day this winter – 12 degrees! The days are getting longer, and I am praying for an early spring. I am looking forward to this year’s Spring Turkey Season, which should start on my birthday this year (April 18th) and run till May 3rd. Turkey hunting is one of my favorite things to do – I love to hear the early morning woods wake up with an old turkey gobble and hen yelp. Yesterday I saw a group for 20 to 24 turkeys out in my neighbor’s field – that is a good sign.
I have been trapping raccoons and opossums for the last three years, trying to keep the nest predators in check. As of yesterday, my total is 100 animals trapped. Although a skunk is also a nest predator, I haven’t seen or caught one of them yet (thank goodness).
Keeping the predator to prey numbers in balance is key to helping our turkey population. A hen lays 10-13 eggs (one each day) and sits on them for 28 days, and young pouts can’t fly for approximately 2 weeks. That makes the eggs and young turkeys very vulnerable for 50 to 55 days. That’s a long time for a hen to try and protect her young. Even though we can’t control the weather, we can trap predators to help turkeys’ chances of surviving.
Please drop me a note and share your thoughts. Looking forward to a great turkey season!