Thoughts From The Field

Blog posts by the team

Turkey Nests And Predator Control

Turkey hunters, mushroom hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts have been spending time in the outdoors during this time of year. There are so many beautiful pieces of God’s creation showing their full color right now, and no one should be missing it! One of my favorite things to see in the spring is turkeys, and even better, turkey nests! Finding one of these can be a real treat, and for those who pride themselves as “wildlife managers” we wonder, “How can we help these eggs?”

Turkey nest with eggs

(Left) A healthy turkey nest with several eggs and no sign of predators. (Right) What happens when a nest predator finds the eggs.

As wildlife managers, it’s in our blood to try and improve the overall habitat quality and wildlife population. If you’re like me when you find something as frail as a turkey nest you want to step up your game to ensure these eggs will hatch and reach maturity. Obviously you can’t save all the turkey nests, but you can ensure that some of them will make it past birth.

First we need to understand that predators will harm the eggs, mother hen, and the newborn turkeys. Coyotes and bobcats prey on all of these, and definitely get the most attention as turkey predators, but don’t overlook the small predators like raccoons, opossums, and skunks. These small animals can definitely hurt the turkey population if their numbers are plentiful.

Lesson Learned – When trapping season is open in your area, put out your traps! Don’t stick with one set of traps and try to remove coyotes and bobcats either. Pick up some small traps to balance the predator prey relationship in your area!  We use Duke Dog Proof or Duke Cage traps because they are simple and easy to use.  Trapping turkey nest predators will save turkey lives, and who doesn’t want to enjoy a spring morning with turkeys gobbling?

Daydreaming of long beards and long spurs,


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