Talkin’ Turkey: Behaviors During Breeding

Today, I have a couple of important things to tell you about breeding and how they affect a turkey hunter.

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While the hens are feverishly building nests, laying eggs and breeding, the toms are sharpening their spurs, preening and strutting.

Remember, toms call the hens to them for breeding.  Therefore, be cautious about which calls you use … and when.

A New Strategy for Late in Turkey Season!

Here’s a strategy for the closing weeks of  turkey hunting season.   By that time, most of the hens have mated and are setting.

The guys are hoping for more sex and they are searching for the remaining hens ready to breed.   This is a great time to use your caller, imitating a shy hen.

At the beginning of the mating season, toms are noisy — insisting hens come to them.  By the end of the season, they are not so picky.

This might be a great time to use decoys.  You are looking for ways to distract the males from the fact you are there.

How Long are the Hens Fertile?

Once hens have bred, they stay fertile up to 8 weeks.   So what?

Let’s say a hen has bred in the early weeks of March, incubated and hatched her poults — and lost them due to predators or difficult weather.

During that 8 week window, hens can lay a new clutch of eggs and have another brood of poults by early June!

Of course, when the fun is over and new poults start hatching, the gobblers head for the hills!  They want no part of diapers and baby training.

At that point, the males get together and travel in flocks, leaving the hens and youngsters behind.

How Old is that Gobbler?

Jakes Have Longer Tail Feathers in the Center of the Main Fan; All the Tail Feathers of a Mature Tom are the Same Length.

A quick tip here:   Are you aware that young jakes have longer primary feathers in the center of their fan-shaped tails?

In fact that is a way to tell a mature tom from a young jake!

Nature is Amazing!

Biologists estimate that 1/2 of the young poults die because of  predators and bad weather or habitat.

Predators can kill entire nests of eggs and yet the hen can have a second clutch of eggs without re-breeding.

Nature is fascinating!

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This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Published in: on April 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm  Comments Off on Talkin’ Turkey: Behaviors During Breeding  
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