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I have met the enemy and they are us

OO2

Well-Known Member
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111
In the Uplands
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Hedgelj

Senior Member
Supporting Member
7,288
178
Mohicanish
I stopped killing crows when we got chickens. Wife made us stop because they chase the hawks off. Maybe I need to ramp that up again.
You can also get large darker colored chickens for the same effect.

I know a wildlife biologist from Arkansas and they just finished a five year study on nesting turkeys and crows were hammering the nest. The number one predator on nest by far he said. Bears were #2 in Arkansas then coons but way down the list on numbers compared to crows

I'm not a wildlife biologist and don't play one on TV but in my area we've had crows all over even when the turkey numbers were (much) higher than present. To the point that some mornings I couldn't even hear the gobblers going off once the crows started serenading the area. Now those are toms vs crows attacking the nest....

We have had an influx of turkey buzzards though.....
 
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Advances in farming technology has ruined land management for wildlife purposes, but that ain't never gonna change. :rolleyes: Weather changes like bad winters, heavy rains, etc. have their influences, but I'm sticking to the high predators having a larger impact. We won't know until their numbers are reduced to have any factual basis. :unsure:
How we manage the predators will and can change the survival of small game. I say this based off of a simple count of how many predators we have vs. how many prey animals we have in Ohio.
Coyote, black bear, grey fox, red fox, bobcat, racoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, feral cats, hawks, owls and crows. - 13 categories that don't take into account of black vultures, eagles, wild hogs or cougars.
Questions:
How many prey animals does it take to feed these predators?
How many of the prey animals do we no longer get to hunt, due to the amount of these predators and how much they eat/kill?

Deer, rabbit, squirrel (4 species), turkey, pheasant (nearly gone), grouse (also nearly gone) and quail (again....nearly gone). Waterfowl with geese and ducks....both of which seem to be doing fine. I've talked to a few GWs that have mentioned nesting predators in the marshes and river banks doing some damage. Even so, I've not seen a serious decline in waterfowl populations.
 

OO2

Well-Known Member
2,568
111
In the Uplands
Advances in farming technology has ruined land management for wildlife purposes, but that ain't never gonna change. :rolleyes: Weather changes like bad winters, heavy rains, etc. have their influences, but I'm sticking to the high predators having a larger impact. We won't know until their numbers are reduced to have any factual basis. :unsure:
How we manage the predators will and can change the survival of small game. I say this based off of a simple count of how many predators we have vs. how many prey animals we have in Ohio.
Coyote, black bear, grey fox, red fox, bobcat, racoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, feral cats, hawks, owls and crows. - 13 categories that don't take into account of black vultures, eagles, wild hogs or cougars.
Questions:
How many prey animals does it take to feed these predators?
How many of the prey animals do we no longer get to hunt, due to the amount of these predators and how much they eat/kill?

Deer, rabbit, squirrel (4 species), turkey, pheasant (nearly gone), grouse (also nearly gone) and quail (again....nearly gone). Waterfowl with geese and ducks....both of which seem to be doing fine. I've talked to a few GWs that have mentioned nesting predators in the marshes and river banks doing some damage. Even so, I've not seen a serious decline in waterfowl populations.
You can’t make it 2 miles down a road in Kansas without seeing some kind of predator. They have the habitat we don’t.

There are success stories popping up on social media of places in Ohio that put habitat in the ground and they get pheasant and/or quail back.

There are pockets of some real good pheasant / quail numbers in Ohio. Those areas have just as many if not more predators than all the surrounding counties. The primary difference is there is habitat for the birds to go in those pockets and no habitat in the other counties.

I’d love to see trapping make a comeback. Don’t get me wrong, it’s just unrealistic to expect the majority of outdoorsmen to spend 250+ hours of their time running a trap line all season long.

I’ll get off my soap box now
 
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Wiley E Coyote

Active Member
Predators are only a small part of it in my mind. They are apart of nature and have to eat also A cold rain the last few weeks of May and into June kills all the new born. Some areas get hit some don't. Some areas get hit two or three years in a row and that's when you really see a decline in your turkey numbers. If you don't have many birds you can bet your ass that's what's happened! It's that simple.
 
Predators are only a small part of it in my mind. They are apart of nature and have to eat also
No they don't have to eat. F*** 'em! ☠️ Get them off the planet and let the prey animals have a chance. (y)
Having said that.... There's no way to prove my point, until that happens and it ain't gonna happen. :rolleyes: So, I'll live with the speculation of weather elements (which is more plausible), ground management, chemicals, etc. like everyone else. :cautious:
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
39,813
248
Ohio
I'm ignorant here but maybe you guys can enlighten me. In my area there are lots of farms and the ground is flat. The farmers often remove fence rows or entire sections of woods to add a fraction of an acre of tillable ground. In spite of this, we are seeing an increase in turkeys. We have only had a turkey season for a short time. Under 10 years. I've seen pictures and read stories of flocks of hundreds of turkeys in the south. Not to throw MRex under the bus as I know he isn't active here, but. . .I've seen pics of his online with gobs of turkeys. Now they are in big decline in some of these previously turkey heavy areas. How is it out crappy turkey habitat has a growing herd and other portions are on the decline? It seems like our turkey population never would have taken off given the habitat. Is it pure chance? I honestly don't get it.
 

"J"

Git Off My Lawn
Supporting Member
57,203
274
North Carolina
Those black vultures are assholes! They’ll roost on roofs and pull off shingles. They’ll roost on a car and pull off the wiper blades. My neighbor found that out.
I hear if you shoot them in the ass they get the message…..
 

Wiley E Coyote

Active Member
I'm ignorant here but maybe you guys can enlighten me. In my area there are lots of farms and the ground is flat. The farmers often remove fence rows or entire sections of woods to add a fraction of an acre of tillable ground. In spite of this, we are seeing an increase in turkeys. We have only had a turkey season for a short time. Under 10 years. I've seen pictures and read stories of flocks of hundreds of turkeys in the south. Not to throw MRex under the bus as I know he isn't active here, but. . .I've seen pics of his online with gobs of turkeys. Now they are in big decline in some of these previously turkey heavy areas. How is it out crappy turkey habitat has a growing herd and other portions are on the decline? It seems like our turkey population never would have taken off given the habitat. Is it pure chance? I honestly don't get it.
Turkeys can do very well in farm country. They don't need much. Some of the heaviest birds I've killed have come from farm land! Not walking up and down hills stuffing themselves with clover and gain scratched up from fields. Heavyweights 🦃
 
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Sgt Fury

Sgt. Spellchecker
When hunting earlier this season, a hen came out to the field about the same time every morning….a crow would swoop down on it when it reached a certain spot in the field. Another crow would land nearby. The hen would duck and stick tight to the ground for a second then puff up to look bigger. This happened several days in a row and I was trying to think what was going on….the hen Turkey was full grown and there was no way the crow could defeat it. Then it dawned on me….the crow learned to do this in the spring time….hoping the hen had poults. If there were poults and they didn’t stay under the hen and made a break for it, I’m sure the crows would’ve grabbed them. Those bastards not only eat the eggs but also kill the young poults until they get too big.
 

Reagan

Member
76
37
Milford, OH
Anyone who wants more turkeys should trap. I have found destroyed nest for the last 5-6 years straight. How many are destroyed that I don’t find? Most of the time it’s just broken eggs but sometimes there is a pile of feathers left.

Dog proof traps right before nesting season and kill every coon, possum and skunk you can find. Fur will never be worth enough to cover the time it takes to put it up. So I use them as fruit tree fertilizer.

I think we might be seeing an increase in turkey numbers but I’m not 100% sure of that. I’ll keep trapping and killing as much as I can.