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#1 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 09:56 AM

Would the presence of a bear in the area cause the turkeys to shut up or possibly vacate the area.
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#2 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 10:27 AM

I think a black bear with its ability to smell would be a real problem for nesting birds and even the young before they can fly so my guess is yes.

Edited by Rowdy Yates, 14 May 2008 - 11:03 AM.

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#3 Leo

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 02:32 PM

I honestly don't know.

I do know that it happens almost every year to me that the birds go through a "mute" phase. Perhaps it's just simply that. As long as I can still find fresh sign (scratchings, strut marks, droppings) it doesn't bother me like it used to. You can still call in closed beaked birds, just don't expect answering gobbles. Put your trust in your ability to identify fresh sign and "camp" on it.
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#4 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 05:24 PM

OK now here is the Rest of the Story. Yesterday morning Eric and I went to a spot where I had heard 5 or 6 birds sounding off last week. We got one bird to respond but did not get to see him. He gobbled and came close just not close enough to see or get a shot. We worked him for several hours. I told Eric I should put two throat losenges on a stump and a note saying take two and call me in the morning.
This morning we went back and set up a bit differently and did not hear a peep, gobble, or yelp. We then took a walk to see what sign was about. Plenty of turkey scratchings and fresh too as there was dirt still on top of the leaves. We then saw rocks that were overturned and bear scat in a number of locations. As we went further we found many many rocks overturned some bigger than I would want to pick up. In a few places nearly all the rocks and logs were moved or overturned sure sign a bear was recently in the area. We walked for nearly 1/2 mile on logging trails and saw rocks overturned wherever we went. This prompted several discussions of whether that shut up the turkeys and discussions of other sightings of bear. We climbed the mt and walked a logging road near the top and more bear sign. As we walked we heard three or four very loud agressive Woofs from only 30 yds away. We looked up and saw a large female bear 250 - 300 lbs and a yearling cub. The mama took off hauling her big posterior up to the top of the mt. The yearling was likely about 120 or so lbs went up a nearby tree only about 35 - 40 yds from us. In true Larry $ fashion we unslung our 12 ga's and hunkered down. Now we had a not real happy mama at about 50 yds straight up the mt and her young at about 35 or 40 yds to our right. Mama was not going away. We did not move more than our heads to keep check on mama and her offspring. The cub finally after what seemed an eternity climbed down and joined mama and they slowly made their way along the top of the mt in a direction we had come from. This somewhat hair raising encounter was the topic of discussion the rest of the morning which prompted the original question.

Edited by PA RIDGE RUNNER, 14 May 2008 - 05:30 PM.

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#5 Leo

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 06:33 PM

I didn't doubt you had a bear in the area. I just don't know if it would cause the birds to shut up and leave.

Here coyotes will make them shut up and sometimes even keep them out of the fields. But the birds don't seem to leave. They are just quieter and stick to their woods haunts.

But sometimes they're just quieter and stick to the woods places for no apparent reason whatsoever. Don't let it discourage you, you can still get a bird those days.

Edited by Leo, 14 May 2008 - 06:41 PM.

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#6 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 07:01 PM

Yep the area is known for coyotes and yesterday evening I watched at about 3/4 mile from my yard a deer fox encounter in the field just below where we hunted both days. What a sight through my spotting scope. We do not see as much evidence of coyotes but are sure they are still there. What baffles me is just last week 5 or 6 gobblers sounded off for better than 1/2 hr and yesterday only one and today none at all.
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#7 Jeremiah

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 07:07 PM

Wow, "cool" encounter. :help:

Well, I learned "never to say never" long ago. But, I do know this much... When I used to hunt in West Hickory, PA (near Oil City) I once had a black bear come running right down a trail toward me while spring gobbler hunting. When he saw me he veered off, but, still he was in the area and apparently not very shy either. That area, in general, used to be pretty loaded with bear. It never seemed to hurt the turkey hunting as we had birds gobbling and coming in that day and just about every time we went.

Again, I wouldn't want to say anything for sure. But, I personally worry more about coyote and red fox messing up a turkey hunt than bear.

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#8 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 03:27 AM

After a few hours and the nerves calmed down a little a bit, more rational thought came into play. I have encountered either bear or bear sign many places where I have turkey hunted. Yesterday we were confused by the very fast change of turkey attitude. It was easy to conclude that the bears caused the silence as their sign was so prelevant and over such a wide area. Then when we walked up on that fat old mama and cub we let the encounter take over from rational reasoning. Experiences like going from the hunter to the hunted in a heartbeat or at least going from offense to defense sort of clouded reasoning. Usually it takes a gobbler sounding off to get the blood really flowing but an encounter with an unhappy momma bear has much the same effect. You guys are likely right, the tight lipped morning was most likely due to other causes. Hunting pressure in this particular area is very light so that was ruled out. It most likely is either something we may never know or that old tom was so hoarse from all the gobbling the day before he just could not make a noise.
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#9 Monk

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 06:31 AM

Wow, to encounter bear like that is cool! As turkeys are concern, I had them gobbling non-stop Tuesday. I happen to be on the wrong ridge. Having a prior comittment and had to leave early. I back out and planned to hit that ridge the next day. Wednesday nothing! They just clammed right up??? As Leo commented, I heard coyotes are hunting turkeys hard this time of year. I've had a few raccoons come to the calling, probably looking for eggs? As of bears I never experienced or heard anything on them, but awesome! I think it is something you could resolve this fall. :D
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#10 Spirithawk

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 09:54 AM

Now Paul, don't you go getting et' by no bear ok? Pretty cool encounter now that you're safe. :D Turkeys here would gobble like crazy one day and then shut up completely for 3 or 4 days before gobbleing again, and then sparingly. They never did gobble real good this year but cool temps, high winds, and rain almost every single day made for a pretty poor Turkey Season. Other than the 17 pounder all I got for my trouble was another case of pneumonia which hit me hard yesterday. I'm staying in bed and dreaming about fishing! :D

#11 Coalman

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:15 AM

Cool stories PA. We have seen one black bear turkey hunting this spring. I have to go with Leo on this one. Birds are just coming out of the mute stage here. 15 days left to hunt.

The morning I shot my Maine bird I had a coyote barking at me just out of sight. Well that started the farm dogs howling. Well those turkey gobbled at everything. Especially the coyote.
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#12 swampdogg

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 10:42 PM

PA how longs your season been going i've never had the bear problem but after a couple of weeks of gettting chased a turkey could tell you what call you use who makes it the name of all the kids of the person who put it together his birthday and what his favorite food is i had one in 5th season a couple of yrs. back any time i broke 100 yards he'd shut up i got so close i could hear him drumming when i called he ran off like ol'scratch himself was after him they may just get call shy towards the end of the season
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#13 paturbo

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:17 PM

Paul the birds here are quiet as well, with some days better then others. I call this time of season I hear ya but I don't see ya so see ya!

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