Spring Nesting And Wet WeatherMay 22nd, 2015 by Adam Keith
Now that turkey season has wrapped up here in Missouri, it’s time to get back to management projects! As we work to improve the habitat, the next generation of critters is being born and trying to survive and for some it can be very difficult.
We’ve had a very interesting spring so far. April came in dry, went out with a couple rainstorms, then May came in dumping rain. We’ve had a lot of rain, with even more rain coming this weekend. For turkey nests and poults this is troubling. There has been a lot of research studying the connection between hatch success rates with precipitation amounts. The higher amounts of rain we receive in May, the lower hatch rate and ultimately a lower population of turkeys.
The “wet hen theory” suggests that hen turkeys with wet feathers sitting on their nest release a higher amount of scent than a hen with dry feathers. Releasing more scent makes them more susceptible to predators, and even if they survive the predator encounter, there is a good chance the eggs won’t survive.
While planting my Eagle Seed soybeans, I’m happy to see the coming rainfalls, but as a turkey hunter I get a little uneasy knowing the potential harm for the turkeys.
Daydreaming of long beards and long spurs,