Ask The Biologist

Jive Turkey

Jive Turkey

By Bob Humphrey

Should you be concerned when turkeys share a food plot with deer?

QUESTION: With the arrival of turkey season, it got me thinking about last fall when turkeys would come into my food plot while I was hunting deer. I didn’t want them there because I was afraid if I blinked at the wrong time, the turkeys would spook and run off all the deer. Do turkeys and deer pay attention to each other? – David B.

ANSWER:The short and obvious answer is yes. Each most certainly is aware of the other’s presence when they happen to cross paths. A better question is: Does it matter?

The short answer is: Not really. Deer and turkeys often share the same fields and food plots. Usually they keep their distance, although sometimes an individual of one species might get aggressive toward or curious about another. I’ve seen turkeys and deer feeding calmly side by side and I’ve seen turkeys chase deer and deer chase turkeys. In general, neither is a bother to the other.

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