Turkey Population Increases After Five Years

7 years 1 month 3 weeks ago Thursday, April 21 2011 Apr 21, 2011 Thursday, April 21, 2011 1:29:00 PM CDT April 21, 2011 in News
By: Christine Karsten

COLUMBIA - Turkey hunting season started this week and new population numbers should please hunters. After five years of a decrease in turkey count, this year shows an increase.

The past decrease may have been the result of cold weather or too much rain. Wet weather causes a decrease in turkey population. When a turkey hen's decides to lay eggs, she will do it in a place that is quiet and seems to be the most safe. Those areas are normally draining areas where rainfall runs off, too. This is a problem because when there is a lot of rain, it washes away the eggs. Another problem happens when the eggs get wet and that moisture lowers the body temperature in the eggs, resulting in death. Finally, if the rain is continuous, the hen stays wet resulting in the growth of bacteria under its feathers. The bacteria's odor can attract predators.

This year however, the growth in turkey populations not only helps with maintaining the turkey population, but it is very good for hunters as well. Missouri is well known for its turkey hunting, and it brings people from around the country just to hunt turkey in Missouri.

When asked whether or not this season's rainfall totals will affect turkey populations next year, the Missouri Department of Conservation said there was no way to tell just yet. 

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