Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pity The Majestic Turkey For This Winter He Will Suffer

So its mid-December in Vermont and already the snowpack is building. Every inch of frozen water that falls from the sky will test the ability of Vermont's wild turkey population to survive. Looking down the barrel of three months winter severity index, I've seen many in farmers fields. They brave the snow and exposure to pick at the undigested kernels that come out in the cow manure thats spread underneath.

They will have a long winter of digging ahead, whether in the forests for nuts, or fields for corn. Every inch that falls is an inch farther for a turkey from its source of food. The snow also makes them more suceptible to predators. They can't run well in deep snow, and need the running room to take off. Flight whether to a nearby roost or just to a new location, is how they escape.

So it looks like a long winter ahead for the turkeys. Hopefully a few find some feeders put out by kind folks. Beware the few that often find themselves wandering into roadways. This will be a winter that requires as many turkeys to survive as possible, in order to rebuild the population. Many will die in the snow.


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