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Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Turkey Hunting Talk

Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby callemquacktn » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:13 pm

bigasports wrote:Opened the mail today and received this.


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I got mine last week. Filled it out and mailed it off already
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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby callemquacktn » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:15 pm

SKFOOTER wrote:That's just propaganda they're putting out to distract from the true culprit----the chicken manure!

They did a study on the manure the last few yrs and could not find 1 single piece of evidence to connect the 2.
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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby SKFOOTER » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:13 pm

callemquacktn wrote:
SKFOOTER wrote:That's just propaganda they're putting out to distract from the true culprit----the chicken manure!

They did a study on the manure the last few yrs and could not find 1 single piece of evidence to connect the 2.

In that study did they check the mite infested manure from that factory in North Alabama?? I bet not.
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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby callemquacktn » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:05 pm

Around here, the local farmers get their chicken litter from one of the local chicken farmers so I don't know anything about the Alabama litter. I'm not sure what all TWRA tested in their study.
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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby Andy S. » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:12 am

Any update on this study?
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Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby ZachMarkus » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:44 pm

Andy S. wrote:Any update on this study?



They trapped some birds on mine and my neighbors property about this time last year, (Lawrence county)10 hens and 3 jakes. I have been keeping close contact with them and have went with them to track the birds a couple of times. 2 of the hens left the flock, one went 3 miles to the north and was killed by a predator sitting on her nest. Another hen went 4 miles to the east and joined another flock. 1 of the jakes went a couple miles north and is still in that area. Another hen was killed on my neighbors place by a predator. The rest of the hens are still around and doing good and raised a few poults last year. They put trackers on some of the poults, we lost some due to pneumonia and predators but overall we had a good hatch and a pretty good survival rate which we needed. The bird numbers are slowly starting to increase in my area, I think the reason it’s taken them so long to bounce back is there was so much working against them. Predators, floods, nest raiders, pneumonia in the poults..etc... with that being said you won’t convince me that what happened to our birds initially back around 2010 wasn’t something to do with spreading chicken litter. We went from having 200+ birds on my 1200 acres to 10-15 in a couple of years time. I just talked to a guy yesterday that has a lot of properties in Marshall county and he said 2 of his used to be best spots are almost void of turkeys now days and he said the farmer has been spreading chicken litter the last couple of years. I know of way too many instances that things like this has happened for there not to be some kind of correlation, however, I will keep continuing to do everything I can to help them out, I have been hell on the coons, skunks, possums and armadillos the last 4 or 5 years and I’ve killed a few coyotes as well. I don’t see many bobcats but I have a hard time shooting them because I like to watch them. I know the UT guys said that some of the flocks they trapped in Bedford and Giles counties were getting hammered by coyotes and bobcats, said they lost a bunch of birds to them. I’ll post an update next time I talk to them.


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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby turkeyhunter » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:03 pm

Predators have ruined the turkey population in wayne co.. mainly the nest and small turkeys. Turkeys depend on the hatch. And we cant have a good one for all nest raiders. No way to bounce back. When the populations was good you could find nest easily and unharmed. I havent walked up on a nest that wasnt destroyed in years. Last summer after season i discovered a hen with 12 little ones, i was excited! A couple days i saw the same hen with 3 little ones. Something had done caught the others. We also have a hog problem that has hurt nesting. And we have chicken houses every 100 yds. but from my footwork and real evidence I can testify that the hatch barley happens and the ones that do hatch aint making it.
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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby Andy S. » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:07 pm

Zach Markus - great update, thanks for sharing. All of that is very interesting to me.
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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby Rockhound » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:13 pm

Our numbers are slowly increasing as well, warden told me back during fall season that Lawrence county had the highest hen to pour ratio in the state. We will see. I'll argue until they prove me wrong that chicken litter was the main cause. Predators, humans, and a bad hatch all combined does not decimate a turkey population in a years time
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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby bowhunterfanatic » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:22 pm

Rockhound wrote:Our numbers are slowly increasing as well, warden told me back during fall season that Lawrence county had the highest hen to pour ratio in the state. We will see. I'll argue until they prove me wrong that chicken litter was the main cause. Predators, humans, and a bad hatch all combined does not decimate a turkey population in a years time


Any idea what in the chicken litter specifically could be causing the issue? Only reason I ask is because the main farm I hunt has litter spread on it almost every year and has for some time now, and we've seen zero decline in bird numbers. Not yet, anyway.
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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby Rockhound » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:56 pm

Diseases, chicken litter is "supposed" to be aged and through a natural heat treatment before it's spread. I have personally seen 1 barn every year, the owner goes in and cleans out and spreads it on his hay fields, and pastures immediately. This farm used to be home to 10-15 gobblers a spring. Now you may see 1
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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby MickThompson » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:02 pm

The tough thing about proving any of it, is the litter might be fine 99% of the time, but it just takes that 1% on the wrong field that a winter flock uses and 100s can contract a disease in a day or 2. Or it might be something else completely.


Some other counties that have really strong turkey populations also have bunches of chicken houses so if it’s litter, I think it’s more of an isolated event than a chronic situation.


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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby PickettSFHunter » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:11 pm

Not in Southern Middle but we still aren’t recovering in my area. I long for the return of the days where I would see many turkeys each day.


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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby Rockhound » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:16 pm

MickThompson wrote:The tough thing about proving any of it, is the litter might be fine 99% of the time, but it just takes that 1% on the wrong field that a winter flock uses and 100s can contract a disease in a day or 2. Or it might be something else completely.


Some other counties that have really strong turkey populations also have bunches of chicken houses so if it’s litter, I think it’s more of an isolated event than a chronic situation.


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Until it happens again, then it won't be so isolated. I'm convinced 100%that something was spread in wayland springs (Mackey bottoms) as those fields no doubt fed More than half of southern Lawrence counties population in the early 2000's. I personally have seen over 300 birds in that bottom at once. Not counting other flocks that could be seen within a couple miles of there, that no doubt visited as well. What would keep those 500+/- birds from dispersing 5 miles in every direction and infecting every bird they crossed paths with and those secondary birds doing the same.

A majority( 80%) of those 500+/- birds disappeared in 1 (one) year. Another 15% was gone the next year. 12 years later and we are starting to see an uptick in population

I'm gonna say predators, floods, hunters, ect. have had a huge impact in the rebound, but they had 0% impact in what initially happened to our population
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Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby ZachMarkus » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:45 pm

Rockhound wrote:
MickThompson wrote:The tough thing about proving any of it, is the litter might be fine 99% of the time, but it just takes that 1% on the wrong field that a winter flock uses and 100s can contract a disease in a day or 2. Or it might be something else completely.


Some other counties that have really strong turkey populations also have bunches of chicken houses so if it’s litter, I think it’s more of an isolated event than a chronic situation.


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Until it happens again, then it won't be so isolated. I'm convinced 100%that something was spread in wayland springs (Mackey bottoms) as those fields no doubt fed More than half of southern Lawrence counties population in the early 2000's. I personally have seen over 300 birds in that bottom at once. Not counting other flocks that could be seen within a couple miles of there, that no doubt visited as well. What would keep those 500+/- birds from dispersing 5 miles in every direction and infecting every bird they crossed paths with and those secondary birds doing the same.

A majority( 80%) of those 500+/- birds disappeared in 1 (one) year. Another 15% was gone the next year. 12 years later and we are starting to see an uptick in population

I'm gonna say predators, floods, hunters, ect. have had a huge impact in the rebound, but they had 0% impact in what initially happened to our population


Agree 100%, I remember seeing that many birds in those bottoms. Those were the good ol days.


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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby woodsman04 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:51 am

The problem with chicken litter is this. Giles, Lawrence, and Wayne county isn’t the only place in the world with chicken houses.
I would say there is as much or more turkeys in south Alabama and South Georgia than there are here. And there are 10x or more the number of chicken houses. Those are also mostly broiler houses, which have dirt floors, which are way more likely to spread blackhead than the hen farms that you have mainly in this area. Those have concrete floors and are cleaned out yearly.

Also, if litter goes through a heat, it doesn’t spread disease.

It also actually helps the nitrogen if it goes through a heat, so I don’t know why they do it without going through a heat.


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Re: Southern Middle TN Turkey Study

Postby Rockhound » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:00 pm

We have alot of grow houses here, and the one next to our place, spreads litter straight of the barn, litter will go through a heat if it's piled up or spread no matter what just determines how fast. One bad batch spread could cripple a population.
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