Just how bad is the predator population in your area? Are they threatening your turkey population? How do you know? At what point do you just accept that Mother Nature is going to do what Mother Nature does? Some hunters, whether it is Whitetail or Turkey, believe in hunting predators to improve their hunting grounds. Here are some things to consider.
Predators come in a wide form. Let’s remember, you are a predator. Obviously, you can control your own actions and you know what you are going to do and what you are not going to do. Mother Nature can be cruel, it is a fact of life. The number one predator, when it comes to Whitetail and Turkey populations, we always think of are coyotes. How many times have you heard or seen a hunter calling to a Turkey and BOOM – coyote appears out of the brush. Obviously, that coyote is not looking for a hot date. That coyote is looking to fill their hunger pains! There are, though, more predators than coyotes and the illusive bobcats. Let’s check those out too.
One major way a turkey population is dwindled is simply done by nest poachers. That is right, nest poachers. Just like a coyote will snatch up a baby fawn, a nest poacher will devour an entire nest of Turkey eggs. This is easily done because the nest poachers prowl of the night, while the hen is roosted high into the trees. Most of your nest poachers are going to be raccoons and opossums, along with the brutal smelling skunk. Crows are also known to clean out a turkey nest. This group provides the biggest problem for Turkey Populations. It is suspected that 40-60% of Turkey nests are failures and these numbers are highly all due to the raccoons, opossums, crows and skunks. With every success coyote harvest of a hatched Turkey, you are adding insult to injury. A hatched Turkey has already beaten odds that were not in its favor.
Remember to obey all game laws in your area. However, while obeying those laws, practice predator control. If you do not raccoon or opossum hunt, find someone who does. Have them control the population on your property. It will improve your Turkey population. Get out there and Coyote hunt, as well. These predators do some damage on Whitetail and Turkey populations. Coyote hunting is an important part to controlling the numbers on your hunting grounds.