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Old 04-25-2012, 08:32 AM   #1
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Default Warm conditions and effects????

I think all of us would agree that due to the warmer spring that our turkeys are way ahead of schedule. I have talked to 2 guys that live in southern MO, 1 guy in AR, a guy in TN and LA that have seen hens with poults already. I've been watching a bird in our alfalfa that hasn't strutted for almost 2 weeks. He and the gobbler my boy shot had 18 hens with them the night before youth season, the most I have seen with him the last week and half is 2. Also the first day of turkey season I saw a fawn track in one of my mineral licks and talked to some more guys that have seen the same thing.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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I think all of us would agree that due to the warmer spring that our turkeys are way ahead of schedule. I have talked to 2 guys that live in southern MO, 1 guy in AR, a guy in TN and LA that have seen hens with poults already. I've been watching a bird in our alfalfa that hasn't strutted for almost 2 weeks. He and the gobbler my boy shot had 18 hens with them the night before youth season, the most I have seen with him the last week and half is 2. Also the first day of turkey season I saw a fawn track in one of my mineral licks and talked to some more guys that have seen the same thing.

Again, temperature is not an indicator of nesting, it is the amount of daylight. Just as the rut indicates. There is no reason to be seeing fawns earlier because the rut occurred at the same time it always does, the first few weeks of November. Warm temps aren't going to speed up the gestation period. My wife is pregnant, and it has been warm here, but her due date is still the same. If your seeing poults now, you probably always would see poults at this time.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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I saw a hen with poults several weeks ago in western NC, and I have never seen them this early before.
Maybe the hen just really really wanted it.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:19 PM   #4
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I always felt that the amount of daylight was what triggered the turkeys to start breeding but some of what I have seen and read this year makes me wonder.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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Maybe since it got warm earlier they started breeding. I know if everything's right small birds will raise more than one brood. I know y'all say length of day and that's probably true for the most part, but there's always exceptions. Look for my old thread "Late nest", I found this hen sitting on her eggs in Sept.! Now are you going to tell me she's been there since April because that's when the length of day was just right!? And I know I never see poults during bow season. IMO I can see that they might start a little early. Hell, if we knew everything about them we wouldn't leave the woods scratching our heads most of the time! LOL!!!
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:51 AM   #6
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Again, temperature is not an indicator of nesting, it is the amount of daylight. Just as the rut indicates. There is no reason to be seeing fawns earlier because the rut occurred at the same time it always does, the first few weeks of November. Warm temps aren't going to speed up the gestation period. My wife is pregnant, and it has been warm here, but her due date is still the same. If your seeing poults now, you probably always would see poults at this time.
Dude, I never see poults until the end of May or first weeks of June so either things are early or I need to call Cuddeback and find out why my cameras have only been taking pics of the hens and doe and leaving their offspring out for the last 8 years. Also you wife comes in "estrus" every month and not once a year.
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:47 PM   #7
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Yeah it's put the breeding season way ahead of schedule in MO. Just sad for us hunters here. I bagged a tom this past weekend, he gobbled his head off still. But never saw him strut. Have spoke with alot of folks that saw a TON of jakes around MO. So if the weather is "normal" next spring it should be promising.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:39 PM   #8
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Also you wife comes in "estrus" every month and not once a year.
That is faulty logic. Poultry cycle daily when the daylight hours are right, hence why chickens and turkeys lay one egg a day. It all has to do with hormones levels produced during the night that rid the bird of anestrus (lack of cyclicity) and start it cycling.

My guess is that with the warm temperatures and lack of cloud cover, the daylight hours needed were realized earlier, hence why a slight adjustment in nesting has been noticed.

Thats just my 2cents and my attempt to scientifically explain whats going on out there.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:40 AM   #9
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Birds are gobbling early but not much in the middle of the day or later in the afternoon hours.They seem to be staying just inside the tree line or heavy cover until 6 or so in the evening. The Tom I shot was 50 yards deep in the woods where it was cooler. He gobbled his fool head off till I droped him at 6:45 or so. They do not seem as visible or vocal here in Southern Indiana but the harvest count is normal or maybe above average according to my check in station at Gun World in Corydon IN. As has been said I don't think any one factor can be used to gage what is controlling them this spring dogmatically. They are what they are and do what they do and we simply watch and come to conclusions which may not hold true year to year. Some things are set but not everything it seems to me.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:35 AM   #10
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I know squat about what triggers hen's breeding time. Here's what I saw personally this spring in SE Alabama near the Eufaula area. I jumped a hen who was on nest with 6 eggs ... the date was March 9. I hunted March 17-23, Mar. 29-31 and April 25-28. The temperatures most of those days was well above normal. Conditions were dryer than normal as well ... big time dry. The late April dates were very windy and very hot.

I heard very few gobblers compared to the spring of 2011. Probably 50% of the mornings, I heard no gobblers. My historically "hot" areas were more or less a bust this spring for reasons of which I have no clue. These areas are prime turkey habitat, isolated, near a running creek and plenty of food.

I'd estimate that I saw maybe as few as 50% of the birds total, including hens. I never saw more than 3 hens at a time, and never more than 2 gobbblers displaying at a time to the hens. I'd guess I heard only 8-10 different gobblers all spring and saw maybe only 15-20 different hens. This is while covering tons on ground on 3147 acres !!!

I passed 1 nice gobbler for a personal reason, and a youngster later. I screwed up on one very nice gobbler. I called in and killed two mature gobblers ... which for me is about an average year. But I had to work harder than I recall ever to even get close to a decent bird. And for the first year that I can recall, I saw no Jakes.

As for young fawns ... where I hunt it is usual to have the peak estrus in mid to late January. These are the Alabama native deer. In fact in 30+ years hunting in this general area of Alabama, I have never seen an estrus cycle start before early December. And that early December cycle has been only in areas where northern US deer were used to stock the depleted Alabama populations back in the 1930's. Where I hunt now has populations of both. Come archery day s (Oct. 15 start date) as has been the case these past 11 years, I will no doubt see tiny spotted fawns not more than 2 weeks old, as well as fully weaned yearlings in the 60-75 pound weight.
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