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Bounties will not work in reducing predator numbers IMO.

Trapping is time consuming and hard work, both of which isn’t popular in today’s culture.
Good call. I wonder how much of bounty you'd need to make an impact? It'd be expensive for sure.
 

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It’s the only way to wider scale control predators IMO. A working person doesn’t have the time- end of story.
not gonna get into an argument over whether it’s right or wrong...
What by-catch item would you be worried about killing with poison?
 

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If every deer lease would pay .50/acre and hire a man to go in and trap it hard in march in a couple years you would start seeing a difference. In most places a good trapper could cover 2 or 3 leases depending on the size. Hell I just finished a 1000 acre job. Once set up I could run it in 45 minutes. I can see doing 10000 acres pretty easy with adjoining leases
 

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If every deer lease would pay .50/acre and hire a man to go in and trap it hard in march in a couple years you would start seeing a difference. In most places a good trapper could cover 2 or 3 leases depending on the size. Hell I just finished a 1000 acre job. Once set up I could run it in 45 minutes. I can see doing 10000 acres pretty easy with adjoining leases
How many traps were you running on 1k acres?
 

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I caught 104 and still have a doz I didn't pull because of high water. .50 is just a guess on the cost. Lots of factors on price with distance being the major factor. May be closer to a $1/acre to get any results
 

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Interesting. I could see where this makes sense, simply from a mathematical standpoint with more carryover. The problem these days is from what area do you rob Peter to pay Paul? Unless I guess from willing private landowners? Are they restocking East TX with Rios or Easterns? Most of East TX is similar in terrain and timber to SW AR.
They are using easterns - dont know where they are getting them
 

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I think it would be very possible to have a hatchery system for turkeys.
I haven't found much on the specifics of early trials, only that they failed.
Everything I read reffered to "pen raised" birds.
I don't know what that means really.
The birds would need to be raised in an enclosure and not an actual pen.
You could build enclosures of 100 acres or so and raise true wild turkeys.
Stock one with trapped wild turkeys and plant natural food along with some supplemental feeding.
You could gather eggs from first clutch, hatch ,brood in pens and release half grown poults into another enclosure with natural food and supplemental feed to grow out.
You would have plenty of hens to brood their second or 3rd clutch on their own in the breeder enclosure as well.
In the fall you could gather the early pen raised poults and the hen raised poults and put them together in a 3rd enclosure planted with natural crops and food sources.
Release into the wild in late spring after turkey season.
I would bet something like that could work well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
I think it would be very possible to have a hatchery system for turkeys.
I haven't found much on the specifics of early trials, only that they failed.
Everything I read reffered to "pen raised" birds.
I don't know what that means really.
The birds would need to be raised in an enclosure and not an actual pen.
You could build enclosures of 100 acres or so and raise true wild turkeys.
Stock one with trapped wild turkeys and plant natural food along with some supplemental feeding.
You could gather eggs from first clutch, hatch ,brood in pens and release half grown poults into another enclosure with natural food and supplemental feed to grow out.
You would have plenty of hens to brood their second or 3rd clutch on their own in the breeder enclosure as well.
In the fall you could gather the early pen raised poults and the hen raised poults and put them together in a 3rd enclosure planted with natural crops and food sources.
Release into the wild in late spring after turkey season.
I would bet something like that could work well.
Exactly...
Thank you Sir.....Like it..Why would it not work..
START on WMA..
 

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Deer are easy to manage compared to turkeys. So many more factors and predators affect turkeys. I am a huge advocate of our predator control permit - but I understand that very few people will take advantage. Many dont have the option to trap. They could pay someone to trap if someone was available. There are studies that show predator removal will increase turkey, quail, and deer production. But it needs to be sustained for some years - but Most management practices require multiple years to produce positive effects. Predator removal does not have to amount to wholesale removal - depending on the property, it might not be as many as you think. But it has to be done timely. It is definately not a silver bullet. On my 300 acres, predator removal for turkeys is probably not effective because none of the neighboring properties do it, and you have to have some turkeys to begin with. Also remember that koons and possums are just a few of the predators that prey on nests and turkeys.

Even if I went out and killed every animal on my property that might eat a turkey egg - it probably wouldnt matter because I dont have any turkeys to begin with. I once read a statement from a waterfowl biologist who said “water doesnt make ducks - ducks make ducks”. This holds true with turkeys to some extent. You have to have turkeys to make more turkeys.

We have had an extremely run of wet springs, which we all know is detrimental to poult production. We know we cant change the weather - but what is really limiting poult production during wet weather? Flooding rains killing the nest and poults? Or wet hens giving off more scent - attracting more predators. Most nesting studies dont indicate heavy rains by themselves adversely impacting nesting. Rain may be an indirect cause of nest loss, but predation is a direct loss. Of course, rain by itself can be detrimental to poult survival.

Habitat is another thing that most of us dont have the ability to positively influence. I believe it takes thousands of acres of at least decent habitat to make a difference. Creating 20 acres of native warm season grass on your three hundred acres is like a predator magnet. It is prime prey habitat and predators will search it out. Creation of small areas of prime habitat amongst hundred acres of mediocre habitat is like a flashing neon sign. Years ago, I used to have some hay ground on a piece of property I owned that always had a hen or two nest in it. The guy cutting the hay would leave a fifty by fifty uncut section when he found a nest. An island of prime habitat in acres of mowed ground. A nest never made it to the next day.

Below is the past koon harvest numbers for Missouri. One could reasonably theorize that the missouri turkey poult numbers fairly well match the koon harvest graph.
316502


one could also reasonably justify that AR poult production somewhat follows AR koon harvest numbers - realizing poult production will lag a few years behind predator removal

316503

316504


But this is more than just predators, or weather, or habitat, or season opening dates - it is some of all of it. I do believe there are areas, as in my area where the turkey population is in what is termed as a predator pit - where the turkey population is so low, turkey production just can not overcome predation, that an increase in turkey numbers is stopped because of overwhelming Predation.

There is no magic bullet. Pretty sure this is not going to be the year we hit that magic 3 poults per hen, either. I will go out on a limb and guess there is not going to be a quick fix on this one.
 
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