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Where DID they go?

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  • Where DID they go?

    Oklahoma is no stranger to the cold. I've experienced many subzero days, especially in January, February and March.
    I experienced snow with 75 mph winds and 6 foot snow drifts.

    What Oklahoma SELDOM experiences is 8 to 10 continuous nights of subzero lows and 2 weeks of constantly freezing weather.
    The drouth of 2010/2014 was devastating to the local wild turkey population. The year the drouth broke, 2015, was one flood after another.
    Despite that, we had a good hatch and the turkey population boomed.
    Since then, turkey populations have remained good.

    After the "Arctic Freeze" of early March, turkeys have been slim at best.
    This is the time of year you should be seeing flocks of turkeys with a strutting tom in their numbers.
    So far this year, I've seen exactly ONE bird. A tom walking along a ditch.....alone.
    By the time season opens, you should see 2 to 4 toms that will come eagerly to a call.

    I had a conversation with a neighbor. He sees and hears turkeys every spring. He's seen/heard NOTHING!
    H3 did tell me that during the "Deep Freeze", he was out trying to save his calf crop.
    He said it wasn't unusual to find numerous dead birds each day and birds so cold and lethargic you could almost touch them before they flew away.

    Can you think that maybe the turkeys froze out?

  • #2
    In years past we’ve had weeks of sub zero temps at night and not much warmer during the day, I’ve heard stories of birds hanging upside down after dying on the roost but think that’s exaggerated. A week or so shouldn’t have done much damage.

    Pure guess is the cold affected food sources so the birds have switched up to some extent.


    We had more snow on the ground this winter than we’ve had in years, when it first started melting off birds were bunched up low on food but as soon as the hills cleared the birds disappeared again. We’ve been seeing both big bunches and small groups the past several days so I think they’re just starting to spread out.

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    • #3
      I remember reading in a book on turkeys (possibly "Hunting the American Wild Turkey" by Dave Harbour) that in extreme cold, turkeys will sometimes stay on the roost all day to conserve energy, if they know they won't be finding much food anyway. I'm thinking maybe that's even more likely in climes where the birds aren't accustomed to the cold.

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      • #4
        I dunno, but there sure doesn't seem to be much activity and the weather has been really nice.
        Night time lows in the 40's and 50's with day time highs in the 70's and 80's.
        Season opens today, 4-6-21.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
          I dunno, but there sure doesn't seem to be much activity and the weather has been really nice.
          Night time lows in the 40's and 50's with day time highs in the 70's and 80's.
          Season opens today, 4-6-21.
          Ah, I read through your first post too fast, I guess, and thought you said you were having the cold spell right now.

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