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Thread: Turkeys

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Default Turkeys

    Just wondering if fish and game has ever tried transplanting wild turkeys in Alaska, being thanksgiving and all tomorrow I was thinking it would be cool to be able to go out and get a turkey.

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    We get them moving up here all the time. OOOPs wrong breed of turkey.

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    Member skagdog's Avatar
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    A while back i read something about a turkey farm down in SE alaska that let a bunch loose. I don't know if there's still a rafter or two down there but adfg refers to them, and other outsiders, as non native species; google that and see what pops up. I have many fond memories skippin' school every now and again to turkey hunt in Alabama.
    Thank you, God, for making so many wonderful creatures. Thank you, not only for that, but also for making them out of meat!

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    Member Jeff Shannon's Avatar
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    I saw a tom come strolling through the woods outside of Seldovia a couple years ago. Looked like an Eastern with the more chocolate brown tail tip feathers. Would have been perfectly legal to light him up, but I figured the 300 mag might make recovering more than just a couple feathers difficult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    Just wondering if fish and game has ever tried transplanting wild turkeys in Alaska, being thanksgiving and all tomorrow I was thinking it would be cool to be able to go out and get a turkey.
    I was raised hunting Eastern Turkeys. I loved hunting them birds! They are smart as all get out, have awesome eye sight etc. We used to break up a flock in the fall and call them back in.. In the spring there is nothing like a big ol' Tom sounding off in a clearing 30 yards in front of you.. It makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up and glad to be alive in the woods..

    I can tell you the Eastern birds would never cut it up here. Our population, in the area I hunted, fluctuated pretty wildly just based on the spring weather. Wet weather is not a good thing for hatching eggs and raising the little ones. The feed primarily on acorns, seeds, berries etc.. so they would never make it through the winter up here even if they did find an alternate source.

    Anyway, thanks for bringing up the memories. I am heading back to our Cabin in northern PA to hunt whitetails all next week with my father so maybe I'll post up a pick of a nice Eastern Whitetail.

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    I have it on good authority there are some feral turkeys between anchorage and the knik river, not sayin' where.

    ADFG calls non-native game birds feral and it's open season, no limit. I'm sure there is a reason for it.

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    Seems as though Wild Turkeys could possibly make it through the winter if they had a winter food source of Barberry, Multi Floral Rose, Hawthorne trees and Crab Apples trees for winter feed. Mainly around the NE USA area of New England the Dairy Farm is the salvation as well as Bird Feeders for our turkeys to survive the winter. Snow depth around here average's about 120"+ from Dec to March. Spring seeps are other good winter feeding sights for turkeys.

    From what i have seen in alaska it looks like prime turkey area around places in Palmer, AK with some of the farm fields there. It woiuld be great to see turkeys in Alaska someday as has been said just to hear the thunder in the spring woods of a gobbling tom will get your heart pounding coming to your calls especially when he is out of sight and you can hear him gettting close to you and then finally see him all fanned out displaying.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    I've hunted Turkey in Texas and Kentucky and it was a blast. I've often thought myself in the past years that they could survive well in the Valley with the mild winters. If they can do well in the Dakotas and Maine, they could do well up hear in the farm lands. A little supplemental feeding or some crops left in the farmer fields and they should do fine. Growing up in Maine the winters were harsher there then in the Valley. JM2C

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    I've hunted Turkey in Texas and Kentucky and it was a blast. I've often thought myself in the past years that they could survive well in the Valley with the mild winters. If they can do well in the Dakotas and Maine, they could do well up hear in the farm lands. A little supplemental feeding or some crops left in the farmer fields and they should do fine. Growing up in Maine the winters were harsher there then in the Valley. JM2C
    maybe we should put some in Delta to keep the bison company......they could follow behind and pick up the crops trampled by the buffs....
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    maybe we should put some in Delta to keep the bison company......they could follow behind and pick up the crops trampled by the buffs....
    I think delta might be a little too harsh for them. I've live there for 2 years. Its worse than the slope. I think the Valley would be a great experiment.

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    Member summitx's Avatar
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    thought there was some running around cooper landing and maybe Homer, I know Homer had some pheasants that escaped from somebody

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    Careful what you wish for. We've got a bazillion turkeys around here. They sure make a mess in the lawn.
    The wife has a bb gun setting by the door to run'em off.
    I don't know of anyone around here that really hunts them. Most of us just go out and shoot one.
    We can shoot something like 5 a year.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  13. #13
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    I think delta might be a little too harsh for them. I've live there for 2 years. Its worse than the slope. I think the Valley would be a great experiment.
    ah they would prolly run through the wrong yard... get hooked on crack and spend the rest of their lives chasing cars around the fairgrounds... ..

    but in all seriousness... someone would have to put a stop to land sales... the farm land has diminished by at least 70% since the 80's
    Palmer and Wasilla really are becoming bedroom communities of anchorage...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    ah they would prolly run through the wrong yard... get hooked on crack and spend the rest of their lives chasing cars around the fairgrounds... ..

    but in all seriousness... someone would have to put a stop to land sales... the farm land has diminished by at least 70% since the 80's
    Palmer and Wasilla really are becoming bedroom communities of anchorage...
    I will admit, I am not well versed on the legality of this, but there is a farmer out at Pt. Mac that does the pheasant hunts, you buy the birds, he lets them go and you hunt. With all the farms having a hard time, would a release of birds, let them populate, and charge them an access fee to their lands to hunt turkey be legal. They could supplement the feed with feed plots etc.... There would still be sport in it as Turkey hunting is not as easy as most people would assume. There is lots of land at Ft. Mac and the Butte that could easily support this.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    I will admit, I am not well versed on the legality of this, but there is a farmer out at Pt. Mac that does the pheasant hunts, you buy the birds, he lets them go and you hunt. With all the farms having a hard time, would a release of birds, let them populate, and charge them an access fee to their lands to hunt turkey be legal. They could supplement the feed with feed plots etc.... There would still be sport in it as Turkey hunting is not as easy as most people would assume. There is lots of land at Ft. Mac and the Butte that could easily support this.
    so lets look at this in a realistic view... in order of what a person really want..

    1... my understanding is that bird farms must account for every bird released... or face a fine..

    so if thats what is desired.. then the cost of hunting a turkey would be the equivalent of any fenced hunt... pick your bird and go get is...

    2. grow a population that would sustain.. hunting by permit only and hold up to poaching... and ultimately grow a population that would sustain general hunting in the largest population base and over used area of the state...

    in order to grow that population to a sustainable harvest level.. it will require many different things...
    1 there is not enough farm land left in the valley to grown them...
    2 even if there was.. like the delta bison.. would you have the farmers support ? or would the farmers ask to have them fenced and/or removed due to nuisance damage..
    3 would the rest of the landowners tolerate the turkeys and everything that comes with them?
    4 Alaska does not grow natural food sources for the turkeys to survive in the winter... are you asking to introduce other non-native .. possible invasive species into AK?

    a good experiment it may be.. but your asking to toss them into a few hundrethousand peoples lives... sure some will be for it.. some against..

    pt mac can only grow so many... who gets to hunt them... if you want farmed ones... go buy some and raise them..
    shoot i can buy adults off www.eggbid.com most anytime i want... 6x10 dog kennel and you have turkey farm for 4 -6 birds a year
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turk Hunter View Post
    Seems as though Wild Turkeys could possibly make it through the winter if they had a winter food source of Barberry, Multi Floral Rose, Hawthorne trees and Crab Apples trees for winter feed. Mainly around the NE USA area of New England the Dairy Farm is the salvation as well as Bird Feeders for our turkeys to survive the winter. Snow depth around here average's about 120"+ from Dec to March. Spring seeps are other good winter feeding sights for turkeys.

    From what i have seen in alaska it looks like prime turkey area around places in Palmer, AK with some of the farm fields there. It woiuld be great to see turkeys in Alaska someday as has been said just to hear the thunder in the spring woods of a gobbling tom will get your heart pounding coming to your calls especially when he is out of sight and you can hear him gettting close to you and then finally see him all fanned out displaying.
    I grew up in Maine and missed out on turkey hunting. About two years before i move to Alaska, you started seeing a small flock ( 3 - 6 birds ) around the Freeport area in the fields alongside I95. Now my brother has 50 to 60 birds in the field behind his house on any given day all summer long. But come hunting season they're long gone. He tells me that they are a big nuisance all over the state now.

  17. #17
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    so lets look at this in a realistic view... in order of what a person really want..

    1... my understanding is that bird farms must account for every bird released... or face a fine..

    so if thats what is desired.. then the cost of hunting a turkey would be the equivalent of any fenced hunt... pick your bird and go get is...

    2. grow a population that would sustain.. hunting by permit only and hold up to poaching... and ultimately grow a population that would sustain general hunting in the largest population base and over used area of the state...

    in order to grow that population to a sustainable harvest level.. it will require many different things...
    1 there is not enough farm land left in the valley to grown them...
    2 even if there was.. like the delta bison.. would you have the farmers support ? or would the farmers ask to have them fenced and/or removed due to nuisance damage..
    3 would the rest of the landowners tolerate the turkeys and everything that comes with them?
    4 Alaska does not grow natural food sources for the turkeys to survive in the winter... are you asking to introduce other non-native .. possible invasive species into AK?

    a good experiment it may be.. but your asking to toss them into a few hundrethousand peoples lives... sure some will be for it.. some against..

    pt mac can only grow so many... who gets to hunt them... if you want farmed ones... go buy some and raise them..
    shoot i can buy adults off www.eggbid.com most anytime i want... 6x10 dog kennel and you have turkey farm for 4 -6 birds a year

    Vince,

    You just took all the fun out if it! Like I said, I'm far from being a legal expert. As far as raising them, you can buy one at the market cheaper. Its the thrill of hunting them I miss.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott_rn View Post
    I have it on good authority there are some feral turkeys between anchorage and the knik river, not sayin' where.

    ADFG calls non-native game birds feral and it's open season, no limit. I'm sure there is a reason for it.
    Yep, and it's not much of a secret where they're at if you know the folks that live in the area. I haven't heard of anyone taking one, but I've given thought to taking my bow out there and giving it a whirl. I've also seen turkeys in Girdwood (never heard of any others there, though), and at the Cooper Landing end of Skilak Lake Road (rumors of birds being sighted there numerous times abound).

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    It has been a while since I have heard anything about the cooper landing birds. I pretty much figured they went the way of Nessy.

    If I was going to push for anything it sure wouldn't be non native birds. I would be much more interested in elk or some other big game, possibly mule deer or transplanting black tails in the Knik river drainage. Since the kenai mountains can't seem to support moose anymore perhaps a herd of elk would bring something to the table (literally). I wonder how long it would take for customary and traditional use status to get passed on that one....

    There is always that question of what "should" we do vs what "could" we do. I have also heard some arguments that the earth is getting warmer and that the natural flora/fauna is changing because of it. I have been told that tundra is being claimed by alders where they never were in the past and moose populations are moving into this new habitat. If that is the case then perhaps we would just be accelerating natural progression by moving deer and elk further north. <grin>

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    i think if you really miss turkey, or elk, or whitetails and wish you could hunt them....


    MOVE!!!
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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