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Cooter

Are turkeys 'tough'?

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I think about these birds each and every winter, especially with weather like this. Talk about survivors! How long would you last up in a tree in this weather? They do it night after night, for what, 13 some hours at a time? With windchill, with no hair on their necks or heads or legs. It never ceases to amaze me. With weather like this, each spring I have utmost respect for each and every turkey just for surviving these brutal conditions.

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Good post.....I think we all think the same thing...how the heck do these things make it in weather like this?

Two years ago, some MN Wild Turkey Biologists from the DNR gave a talk at a turkey summit of sorts in Bloomington. From the best data and science they could gather, temps would have to reach somewhere around -180F before just the temperature would kill the birds. Snow, pressure, lack of good food sources, etc. all come into play and can degrade their physical health, making cold temperatures problematic. However, it was generally agreed upon that snow-depth above almost all else was the largest contributing factor to winter wild turkey mortality.

Mark Seeley just mentioned that this is the coldest weather we've had statewide since 1996, a notable winter that was very tough on turkeys in my area. The difference is that this winter, even with all the recent nasty cold weather, we have less than 8" of snow on the ground here. I'm optimistic that if snow levels stay relatively low, we'll have another great year despite the cold weather.

Joel

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