Ask The Biologist

Another Rasputin Myth

Another Rasputin Myth

By Bob Humphrey

It’s time to get rid of all those crazy stories about turkeys driving out deer.

QUESTION: Turkeys are fairly new where I live, but I’ve noticed more every year. A friend says they’ll drive the deer away and eat their food. Is there any truth to this?

ANSWER: I wish we could do away with this misconception once and for all, but like Rasputin it just seems impossible to kill.

While turkeys eat some of the same foods, they do not out-compete deer for food. I repeat: turkeys DO NOT out-compete deer for food. For starters, deer can potentially eat 24 hours of the day, while turkeys are active only during daylight hours.

Some folks claim turkeys eat all the acorns, taking them away from deer. Both species eat acorns, but you must remember that acorns are a luxury food. They are a preferred food source for both turkeys and deer, but both species do just fine without them, which is a good thing since acorn crops can be very fickle.

Some years or areas might produce a bumper crop while others are nearly devoid. Meanwhile, deer and turkeys do equally well in both. And while both species may occasionally be a bit intolerant of one another, I’ve also watched them feeding side-by-side in the same food plot.

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Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd