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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Grouse & Turkeys

Just my opinion and I'm not claiming to be an expert.

I don’t think WNV is the whole story.

The last grouse that I saw in the wooded areas that I regularly ran my dogs in N.E. Ohio was before 1996. WNV supposedly showed up in New York around 2000. I have worked my dogs in that area fairly regularly since the mid 80’s and always saw grouse or signs of grouse.

That last grouse that I saw in that area was about in the mid 90’s. It was a hen with chicks. I first noticed her as she did a fake broken wing routine to try and lead me and my dogs away from her and as I took another step it looked like the brown leaves on the ground were coming alive. There were about a dozen grouse chicks that were all grouped tightly together and began to move when I almost stepped on them. They were about the size of half of my thumb and a would be a perfect meal for the recently introduced invading army of vacuum cleaners of the woods in that area, turkeys.

I expect turkeys are pretty good at surviving and spreading WNV along with other diseases and ticks. I wonder if ticks are likely to spread WNV too. Turkeys very likely eat a lot of the same things grouse eat along with eating and disturbing grouse nests and chicks.

When I started seeing turkeys in Ohio I saw a significant and steady decline in grouse numbers. That goes for every place that I used to grouse hunt in Ohio. That seemed to be in spite of some areas having a good amount of grouse habitat.

I think it might be a good idea for the grouse biologist in PA. to select a region in northern PA., someplace like Elk County, etc.., and allow hunters to be able reduce the turkey population in that region and see how that affects the grouse.

I know there’d be a lot of push back form the Wild Turkey Federation and some turkey hunters but it’s not like the turkeys would go extinct.

California recently did a thorough wild pheasant study in that state and were surprised to find that the presence of turkeys had some negative effects on some pheasant populations. I expect that may be even more profound with grouse.

See; Long‐term and widespread changes in agricultural practices influence ring‐necked pheasant abundance in California
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5395463/

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Interestingly, our results indicated a negative relationship between pheasant and wild turkey, another non‐native game bird species to California. This could be an indication that the two species respond differently to the reported land use changes, or could indicate a form of interspecific competition. To our knowledge, competition between these species has not been reported previously and warrants well‐designed experimental study.

Last edited by cmrosko; 02-19-2018 at 11:07 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 09:10 AM
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Turkey and grouse live well together, always have always will, both are native to Pa. While they will eat the same food turkey do not disturb grouse nests or eat grouse chicks. If that were the problem they'd be doing the same to woodcock.

Plenty of scouting and good habitat makes for a great hunt.

Jeff
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Like the California pheasant study suggests, I think the impact of turkeys warrants a well designed study.

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Quote:
Interestingly, our results indicated a negative relationship between pheasant and wild turkey, another non‐native game bird species to California. This could be an indication that the two species respond differently to the reported land use changes, or could indicate a form of interspecific competition. To our knowledge, competition between these species has not been reported previously and warrants well‐designed experimental study.

An observation from Wisconsin;
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While turkey hunting last year in May in Kewaunee Co...I saw a hen grouse walking through with newly hatched chicks...must have been 8 or 9 of them. 2 jake turkeys appeared and chased them and stomped on 4 of the chicks while the hen and others scurried away..they then pecked at and ate the 4 grouse chicks. Anyone else ever witness this? Is this why I don't even hear any grouse drumming in spring when I used to hear 10's of birds in the 60's, 70's. 80's and early 90's????

https://www.lake-link.com/forums/Upl...ys-KILL-grouse

Last edited by cmrosko; 02-19-2018 at 11:10 AM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 11:55 AM
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STOP!!! LMAO almost peed in my pants.

Plenty of scouting and good habitat makes for a great hunt.

Jeff
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 03:07 PM
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Usually where I find grouse I donít see many turkeys. But it is an interesting thought they waste more money on studies dumber then this why not see lol. Are turkey populations on the down hill I canít imagine being the extra gobbler tag but I donít hunt them much so I wouldnít know.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 11:56 PM
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I must say I have seen turkeys seeking and eating field mice and voles when sitting out for chucks. So it is not that far fetched but just because turkeys may eat a few here and there do es anyone really think this is a wide spread problem. I seen footage of a deer catching and eating a bird. I also seen a deer eating eggs in a birds nest. I don't think deer are the reason for the decline in our song birds. Not even a little bit..
I also know gobblers will seek out a hens nest and scramble the eggs to extend the breeding season. By that standard turkeys should be limiting turkeys. Waugh!

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 02:06 AM
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my dad and I have a place in northern potter county ,we see both grouse and turkeys around our cap .maybe not in great numbers ,but we see just the same
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 12:15 PM
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Plenty of grouse and turkey in 3C that are getting along just fine.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 01:01 PM
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I once heard a guy say there were less rabbits now than 40-50 years ago because turkeys eat all the little ones. He also probably believed the PGC stocked coyotes........
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