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I had to run into town this evening for a few things. On the way back I was only 2 tenths of a mile from home when I saw a hen turkey on the road with only 1 poult. The wet, cold spring has had a bad affect obviously.
 

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Unless it was caused by predators
 

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Around our area the hens usually start out with a bunch, then the hawks take the poults one at a time. A hen can watch over one chick pretty well and a lot of times ends up with one or two. A hen here that I have seen lately in the driveway had 8 when I first saw her, the last I saw her the other day she was down to five. I regularly see a coopers hawk watching the driveway, when we drive in and out. The hawks do the one chick at a time killing, the same on domestic fowl.
 

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fall gobbler said:
Wet, cold spring? Around here it's been a perfect spring for poult survival, warm and dry, and we needed it.
Here it has been a good spring for poults, too. I got this picture on May 27. They look to be no more than 2 or maybe 3 days old. She was already down to four, and the weather had been perfect.



Steve.
 

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Some hens lose all of their poults and some will successfully get a dozen or more through to the fall hunting season. It has always been that way. Throught the thirty five years of my career, while I was keeping track of and reporting every turkey I saw through June, Juky and August I saw hens with no poults to hens with over dozen poults. That is just how nature works.

The worst years were always the ones with cold, wet weather from late May through July though. So far this year has been a good one for poult production in this area. Still way too early to determine how it compares to other years in total poult numbers though.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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Hasn't been wet or very cold in the eastern portion of the state. Very little rain since April and only that one stretch of cool weather in May. It's been about as good a turkey hatching season as one could ever ask for out here.
 

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R. S. B. said:
Some hens lose all of their poults and some will successfully get a dozen or more through to the fall hunting season. It has always been that way. Throught the thirty five years of my career, while I was keeping track of and reporting every turkey I saw through June, Juky and August I saw hens with no poults to hens with over dozen poults. That is just how nature works.

The worst years were always the ones with cold, wet weather from late May through July though. So far this year has been a good one for poult production in this area. Still way too early to determine how it compares to other years in total poult numbers though.

Dick Bodenhorn
I really like when you chime in with your experiences and I hope you continue to do so.
 

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My initial thought was the same as most of you. We had an absolutely gorgeous Spring for once.

Somebody just said to me the other day that we went right from Winter to Summer again this year.
What???? This Spring was fantastic weather.
I think people just say that because they hear other people say it.
 

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Did some checking last weekend and found 2 hens in separate locations wo polts. Was a bit surprised because I usually see them in this area.

I did also see 6 gobblers together sounding off like crazy.
 

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In northwestern PA I think it has been about as perfect of a spring for poult production as you can have in Pennsylvania...last week I saw 2 hens with an unbelievable number of poults...my guess was about 25 and they were almost chukar size and flying well...I also saw another hen with 5 small ones. This week I saw several hens with poults...some had as few as about 5 but one hen had at least a dozen and they were small in size...I agree with what Mr Bodenhorn said about brood size and that each year some will pull off good clutches and some only a few poults...it just depends on which side of the bell curve the average clutch will be...from my anecdotal evidence I think this has been a great year compared to last year.

I also saw 2 grouse broods this week...one hen had at least six and another only had a few but there could have been more but I did not want to disturb them to find out...the one brood the poults were tiny but I was amazed how well they could fly
 

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I talked with the PGC Elk County Food and Cover Crew Foreman yesterday. He and his crew members are out doing field work on the various Elk County game lands every day. He told me he has been seeing a lot more turkey and grouse poults this year than he had seen the past few years. He believes this is a good year based on what he has seen so far.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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I actually seen a hen today with around 7-8 poults. Did my best to get stopped in road for Nikon shot but they was to quick for me. Surprised how well the poults could fly.
 

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R. S. B. said:
I talked with the PGC Elk County Food and Cover Crew Foreman yesterday. He and his crew members are out doing field work on the various Elk County game lands every day. He told me he has been seeing a lot more turkey and grouse poults this year than he had seen the past few years. He believes this is a good year based on what he has seen so far.

Dick Bodenhorn
Do you think it is just a "good year" for turkey propagation?
Reason I ask - some critters have highs & lows regarding population #'s..

e.g. - around my house - this year there are rabbits & chipmunks galore, as opposed to the previous year when they weren't..
 

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The fields and undercover grew rapidly in my opinion.Hay cutting is going strong and will hope to see more poults...as will those hawks
 

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R. S. B. said:
Some hens lose all of their poults and some will successfully get a dozen or more through to the fall hunting season. It has always been that way. Throught the thirty five years of my career, while I was keeping track of and reporting every turkey I saw through June, Juky and August I saw hens with no poults to hens with over dozen poults. That is just how nature works.

The worst years were always the ones with cold, wet weather from late May through July though. So far this year has been a good one for poult production in this area. Still way too early to determine how it compares to other years in total poult numbers though.

Dick Bodenhorn
Consistent with what R.S.B. said, I found a nest of 13 eggs after season in Chautauqua County, NY. Seven had hatched, and 6 didn't. With mortality high in turkeys, it's easy to see how the hen, covering 13 eggs, might have only two or three chicks with her by mid-June.

Steve.
 

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During the end of gobbler season I saw the same hen in the same area each time so I suspected she had a nest near by. Saw 2 other hens together on and off by themselves. Today driving around the dirt roads of Michaux Forest had a hen cross the road in front of us without any poults.
 

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It amazes me that any hatch and survive. Try to raise chickens today...everything under the sun wants to raid your nests or kill your chickens. *****, possums, coyotes,cats, fishers, skunks, dogs, hawks, owls. The list is endless. I never considered bears to be a threat to turkeys, until a couple years ago. I found a turkey nest on the edge of my yard on a brushy gasline. Went down to the garage and got a trail cam, figured I might get soe pics of turkey poults. When I checked back in a couple weeks, I could find no sign of the nest. When I checked the cam, I had pics of the hen returning to the nest an hour after I bumped her. Next pic was of this bear. Got a dozen pics of it over the course of two hours. ( time stamp is off)
 
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