Wild turkey hen sure sign of Spring

- March 24th, 2011

Morrisonturkey

(Thanks to Mrs Outdoors Guy for snapping this great photo!)

This morning, a fine-looking wild turkey hen strolled through my backyard in all her feathered glory. 

Ahh, God love her, I’ll take it as a sign! 

Ok, let’s recap:  The Sportsman Show has already come and gone, the sap has started to flow, all the snow is gone from the roof of my house and now a wild turkey hen appears in my back yard….hmmm

Is it just me, or has spring really arrived?

You gotta love this time of year. Next all the snow will melt away, winter tires will come off, ice will soften and break-up on the river and lakes, the trilliums and wild garlic will begin sprouting through the forest floor..

Followed closely by trout and turkey season, one mustn’t forget that..

Next to Fall, Spring has got to be the best season..and hey, it took just one lowly hen turkey to remind me of that. 

Outdoorsguy

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63 comments

  1. Rob St Denis says:

    You don’t feed them throughout the winter? Its all part of changing their behaviour to make hunting all the more easier =) Not to mention plenty of amazing pics on the game camera =)

  2. jeff.morrison says:

    Rob, no I have never fed turkeys, and really, even if I had I might not mention it as readers were all over me last winter when they discovered I was feeding deer…

    Just for interest sake, what would one feed gobblers during the winter months?

    Outdoorsguy

  3. LeGrand says:

    Corn. Dogs.

  4. chessy says:

    anything fattening jeff. Turn them into butterballs if you can … i will stop by for a harvest.

  5. Rob St Denis says:

    I use a pvc pipe full of corn … and like concerns with cwd in deer, best to move it around every couple weeks to let their poop drain away. If you really want to get them going … mix it in with some molasses. A 8′ 4″ pipe will hold about 30lbs of corn, and usually lasts me 3-5 days. Conveniently I have access to a ton of corn so it doesn’t cost me a dime.

    Of course remember the 7 day rule for hunting them.

  6. Keebler says:

    I am very excited for turkey hunting this year! I have my headcam ready to roll and I’m planning on shooting one in close to get some fantastic footage instead of a long range 63 yard shot.

    But of course, recording some great footage isn’t what it’s about – it’s the sneaking in early morning and hearing them gobble, then it can go silent or constant gobbling depending on how horny they are. It’s the watching of the big fans flaring up and coming in to decoys. It’s the patience. It’s the need for small movements or completely body control to remain still when you’re heart is jumping through your throat, waiting for that perfect shot. It’s the smiles of your buddies after a successful hunt or it’s the hanging out for breakfast after you’ve already been in the bush for a few hours when most everyone else is sleeping.

    Oh and let’s not forget the boom of the shotguns or the whizzz of an arrow finding it’s target.

    Man, I can NOT wait :)

  7. benthooks says:

    Hey Jeff she must be from the big crew i have in the back of my place ,on Wednesday i counted 31 . I was haveing a coffee with my wife Thursday morning when i got home from work and desided to try my turkey call out the back door you should have herd these birds it sounded like a bunch of old ladies at a bus stop on a Sunday morning . LMFAO. I think this year has been real good to them. a coyote hunter that i know has probably helped by reducing them by 29 and i helped by 5 .

  8. benthooks says:

    Hey holy crap my spelling sure is crap when you don’t sleep eh!!!!!!!

  9. Trapper says:

    We have turkeys on the trap line now……Makes good fisher food.

    We have noticed an increase in them attending at our wolf bait stations.

    Haven’t seen it first hand yet but it would appear that turkey’s eat meat too.

  10. Rob St Denis says:

    They stop by my bait piles too … but then again so do deer ? Need to put a cam out there

  11. jeff.morrison says:

    benthooks, you have taken out 5 coyotes in your area..was that just this winter? Is the other coyote hunter out our way also? If so, thats the best news I have heard in a long time! Maybe thats why I actually saw a deer in the back field yesterday.

    Well, I will be right there with you after this Sunday hopefully, when I take the ON hunting exam…wish me luck!!

    Outdoorsguy

  12. jeff.morrison says:

    Keebler, sounds like your spring is all lined up, cant wait to see some of your footage!

    Outdoorsguy

  13. jeff.morrison says:

    LeGrand, do you mean corn dogs, as in Pogos?? If so, do you need to cook them first..hehe

    Outdoorsguy

  14. jeff.morrison says:

    Rob, I think I’ll look into that before next winter, it sounds like fun!

    Outdoorsguy

  15. jeff.morrison says:

    Trapper, it sounds like these gobblers are learning to adapt big time…might explain their high numbers. But really, you dont think
    they are actually eating the meat or carrion, do you?

    Outdoorsguy

  16. Rob St Denis says:

    stranger things …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQOQdBLHrLk

    But ya … this years turkeys seem to be doing well, had 48 in the field next to the field and they are looking healthy too … the trail is covered with prints

  17. jeff.morrison says:

    For those who didn’t catch my comment this am on an earlier post:

    My Big Day finally came!!

    I drove into Carp yesterday evening to challenge the Ontario Hunting Exam. By the time I arrived, a classroom of students was already busy writing the test. They had just completed the course, but if you recall, since I have a QC hunting card, I was allowed to challenge the exam – one time only. If I failed, then I too would be taking the course.

    Well, I am proud to say I passed and will now finally be getting my ON hunting card, followed closely by an ON small game license.

    It was a real relief and I was pleased to see the exam was not nearly as difficult as I expected…(I wont tell you what I got, cause I hate to brag..hehe)

    Outdoorsguy

    Thanks Rick btw, I always felt I had it in my too..just wanted to make sure I didn’t fail, because of course I never would have lived that down!

    Next step is to drop the paperwork off at Service Canada outlet..and then ‘poof’ they somehow magically turn my regular Outdoors Card into a Hunting Card..then I’ll be looking for a small game license after that.

    Onwards and upwards!!

    Outdoorsguy

  18. LeGrand says:

    Congrats.

  19. jeff.morrison says:

    Tks LeGrand, I wonder if the QC gov’t will be lobbying to get me back..hehe

    Outdoorsguy

  20. Mark W says:

    Congrats on the pass Jeff, always knew you had it in you. Saw about 40 turkeys last night in the fields along the blackburn bypass and in the next field a couple of deer. It certainly got me excited for the upcoming season.

  21. Iggy says:

    we see wild turkey almost everyday along the Aviation Parkway, can’t be hunted however

  22. benthooks says:

    Hey Jeff congrats on the course. I’ll be the next to go , i had the F.A.C. and let it expire so now it’s off to the course i go . Jeff you should go and take the turkey course and i’ll take you into my back yard for a giant bush chicken.!! and from your place you can almost walk there.

  23. jeff.morrison says:

    Hey benthooks, why wouldn’t you be allowed to ‘challenge the PAL(possession and aquisition license) Exam, like I did a few years ago?
    I’m not sure you actually need to take the course, but you should contact Wenda Cochran about it..she’ll fix you up!

    Outdoorsguy

  24. jeff.morrison says:

    Iggy, have you seen those 4 deer in the field around St Joseph and Bearbrook? Its the strawberry field I think..right near the lights. I see them there
    every morning!

    Outdoorsguy

  25. jeff.morrison says:

    Thanks Mark, I would love to go after gobblers sometime..not sure I’ll have time this year and I still haven’t found a copy of my turkey seminar cert. from many years ago..it might
    not even be valid anymore.

    Outdoorsguy

  26. Rick Poulin says:

    Jeff with your contacts at MNR you should be able to find out your turkey status. I beleive a record should exist on a computer file somewhere.

  27. jeff.morrison says:

    Rick, there was some mention that because I took the turkey seminar 20 years ago, it might be out-dated now? I’ll have to look into it…I know the MNR couldnt find a copy of the ON Hunting Course I took in around 1988..apparently Wenda told me they could have done a physical ‘paper search’ for it..and had better luck.

    Outdoorsguy

  28. Iggy says:

    I know the field your talking about but we go through the intersection at Bearbrook and Montreal Rd onto the parkway and you can’t see the field very well from there but deer are seen along the parkway all the time

  29. jeff.morrison says:

    Iggy what is that, NCC property along the Parkway? They wouldn’t mind hunting on there, would they..hehe

    Speaking of deer, Keebler sent me a vid this am of a deer eating a bird, if you can believe that…I couldn’t believe it either till I watched the video.

    Check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQOQdBLHrLk

    Outdoorsguy

  30. Rob St Denis says:

    Jeff, Congrats on getting your tag … need as many hunters as we can get so we don’t get swept under the rug.

    Checked my cam yesterday to see what the turkeys were doing to my corn, turns out the turkeys haven’t been back there yet this year (still hitting my other site) … but the deer are back:

    http://www.ottawavalleyhomesteaders.com/2011/03/well-at-least-the-deer-are-hitting-the-feed-spot/

  31. jeff.morrison says:

    Rob, I think the deer will really be moving around over the next few days…btw, you need to check that link as it doesn’t work.

    Outdoorsguy

  32. Rick Poulin says:

    Rob’s lLink works for me.

  33. jeff.morrison says:

    Ok Rick, you must be magic it works now!

    Sorry Rob!

    Outdoorsguy

  34. jeff.morrison says:

    Rob, so you’re happy with SpyPoint products?

    The images are very nice indeed!

    Outdoorsguy

  35. chessy says:

    awe trail cameras had mine out since jan. still taking nice photos of coons. deer have all left and no turkeys. still going strong on the first set of batteries. over 5000 pic i dont know what i would do with out my trail camera

  36. jeff.morrison says:

    And what type of Trail Cam is that, Chessy?

    Mine is still going strong too..same batteries as last fall and I’m taking probably 200+ images per week..never thought that was possible.

    Outdoorsguy

  37. Rob St Denis says:

    Ya the cameras been good, been out there in the field for almost 2 yrs now. Have the 12V battery to go with it and that lasts 4-6 months depending on how many pics it takes. I have the sensitivity dialed back a lot because the jays go after the corn a lot so I could end up with close to 1000 pics a week that way.

    I leave it out all year, just move it from place to place depending on what’s open. Then check it no earlier than every week and random times/days so there is no pattern. The later pics in that series were taken as the wife was out to grab the card out of it (we have 2 cards, just bring a new one out and pull the old) so they are getting plenty active and easy going if they don’t get scared off by the drone of the atv until the last minute.

  38. chessy says:

    Jeff it is a bushnell bone collector… it takes 8 aa batteries i picked up the lithium batteries in the usa for half of what they are here and they do last twice as long as normal batteries

  39. jeff.morrison says:

    Yes Chessy, the Bushnell Trophy Cam XLT/bone collector is one damn fine trail camera, and I don’t even use lithium batteries; just the regular alkaline and they last forever.

    Rob, how long would the SpyPoint last without connecting it to a big 12V? You know the XLT’s will go 4-6 months and even longer on AA batteries…I honestly never thought it was possible.

    And to think only 3 years ago my trailcam required 6 friggin D batteries..and I had to change them about 3 weeks!

    Outdoorsguy

  40. jeff.morrison says:

    Man, I was just reading up on the new Trophy XLT’s..the battery life is now rated to 1 year!! Also noticed the new Black LED model takes 12 AA batteries instead of 8.

    Outdoorsguy

  41. jeff.morrison says:

    OK, has anyone looked into that new program at Buckscore.com? A Lite version comes free with any purchase of a Trophy cam.

    I suppose the accuracy of this software remains to be seen, but I am loving the theory…it actually takes a trailcam buck image and by running through some on-screen measurement techniques, gives you an estimated score of the buck in your photo.

    Rick, if this thing actually works, it is one heck of a break through and something I’m sure you and many of us would be interested in.

    Anyone tried it yet??

    http://www.buckscore.com/

    Outdoorsguy

  42. Trapper says:

    QUOTE: ” you dont think they are actually eating the meat or carrion, do you? Outdoorsguy”

    Don’t know for sure but It certainly looks that way. Maybe not the internal parts but the meat. After all they do eat grubs don’t they.

  43. jeff.morrison says:

    Well Trapper, more shocking than that is the deer-bird video, have you seen that one yet??

    I’ll be interested in your thoughts on that one.

    Outdoorsguy

  44. Rob St Denis says:

    When I was using the C cell batteries (6 of em) it would last about 6 weeks or so … 1000-1500 pics … a bit longer in the summer … and thats no name batteries … never tried it with good ones

    spypoint sells a small LiON battery, but I figured I’d just go all the way and get a 12V battery so I can leave it for a long time without worrying about the charge. The only limiting factor now is the size of the card, I use an 8GB card and could fill it many times over inside the charge of the battery, but then who wants to go through thousands of pics of leaves and grass moving (although I have a little script here that turns pics into movies so it might be neat). For whatever reason gel cells seem to only keep a charge around 6 months when its cold out.

  45. jeff.morrison says:

    Rob, for you to fill that card so quickly, Im guessing with your trail cam you can’t choose, or lower, your file size/resolution? Obviously file size has a huge bearing on the number of images a card can potentially store..

    I always keep my image quality set fairly low if the cam is going to stay put for awhile..and would set the resolution higher if its images I plan on publishing.

    This may be a dumb question, but is it fullsize 12 volt deep cycle battery you use? Do you store it at the foot of the tree? Or maybe its one of the smaller lawn tractor batteries?

    Outdoorsguy

  46. Rob St Denis says:

    It’s a little sealed cell battery, 5AH or something … not a car battery =)

    I leave it set high (7mbit, never know when there is a good shot), night shots are about 700KB, and 1800KB during the day, so about 5-7000 shots on the card (if I crank the sensitivity that’s a week or 2, but usually I can leave it a couple months) … haven’t tried the camera on low res.

    The battery comes in a plastic case with a strap, and I hang it off the tree to keep it and the cable away from hungry squirrels (they ate my last cable)

  47. Rick Poulin says:

    Deer eating birds or meat is not unusual. When I worked for the museum I had a problem with a deer eating birds out of my mist nets.

    Deer have also been known to eat fish when there is a die off and the beaches fill up with alewives.

  48. Trapper says:

    @ Jeff, I haven’t seen the video but I’m assuming it shows deer eating meat of some sort. That doesn’t surprise me. An of course this would be yet another example of me breaking my rule that I don’t eat animals that eat meat…….Pigs are the other.

  49. mcdan says:

    Chickens too trapper! i’ve seen them attack, kill and eat mice in the chicken coop and of course grubs and worms when out.

  50. chessy says:

    you guys need to google “meat glue” and you will think twice where you by your meat . you could be buying scrap meat for top dollar tenderloin

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