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Rumor has it that the wild turkeys caught pneumonia last fall or winter and killed 80%, Seems like a rumor to me??? T or F?

Been hunting turkeys in general areas since opening day and even yesterday. Been to Orofino, Tiwn Springs, Prarie and Banks. Hunted these areas in previous years and always had good success. Not this year though. I am not encountering any turkey sign in these areas with the excpetion of Orofino and even there, it is not abundant like ususal. The toms are not talking at all. I am wondering if they bred early when we had the warmer weather in late March and not talking now, or there really was a loss due to pneumonia or other disease. Are certain areas affected more than other??? Really seems different and unusal this year than in the past several.

My hunting friends say the birds are talking a little in Council and Grangeville, other than that, they are not hearing or locating any birds or sign anywhere.

Would please provide any information that you have regading wild turkeys.

Thank you very much.

Answer

Like many upland game birds, there can be dramatic annual variation in the population size.  The Department is unaware of any disease issues with wild turkeys.  There has been a documented decline in turkeys in the southwest part of the state, but we believe that has been a result of harsh winter conditions in recent years.  Most reports from the Clearwater Region have been positive and turkeys have traditionally done very well in this area.