A Bird in the Hand, Worth 2 in the Bush… Or Something Like That

Show Notes

Happy Hump Day O2 Family!!!  This week we have an episode that is completely internal! As you all know Paul is our resident turkey fanatic, and this week he had the opportunity to do some work with the ODNR and NWTF for turkey research in Ohio.  The episode will cover Paul’s adventure out with a team of researchers that are monitoring flock health across the state of Ohio.  Besides petting turkeys, Paul got the opportunity to see how the research is done, and ask a lot of great questions to the scientist.  This is a very unique look at how wildlife biology is done in the state of Ohio and an episode you will for sure want to listen too.

Around the state we have some news about rainbow trout stocking, turkey lotteries are open, Maple syrup festivals, and caution for wildfire season.

Have a great week and enjoy the O2 if you get out into Ohio’s great Outdoors!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey guys, what's going on? It's Andrew here from Ohio Outdoors Podcast. Today our episode's a little bit different. What we Paul got to experience a really cool activity last week and we will dive deep into that. But when he, I think he did that about last Thursday. So we wanted to record basically right after, just to make sure we got all the details and, Paul and his excitement with turkeys.

We wanted to really take hold of that. This week's episode, the format's a little bit different. What I've got here, real quick, I'm gonna go through some of the news stories from my, around the state within OD and r and then we'll get into the actual episode itself. So just taking a look around, we've got OD and R announcing some trail improvements through grant programs.

This will just help with trails around the state, keeping up the [00:01:00] upkeep and creating new pro new recreational trails, Delaware County Hockey and Athens County, Portage County lots of, money being poured into that. So make sure you get out there and enjoy those. And we've got some information about how Maple.

Makes it from trees to your breakfast table, which is a really crazy process. If you've never looked at it. This is a fun event for the whole family or fun events for the whole family. But we've got the Maple Tapping Festival up there at Hawing Hills State Park. That's March 11th and 12th. From two to four we've got Houston Woods.

They've got their 57th annual Maple Syrup Festival, March 4th and fifth, so that's passed. . Whoops. Let's see. Indian Lake, state Park, 37th Annual Maple Syrup Festival. That is March 18th. And then Malabar Farm State Park March 11th and 12th, they will have their annual Maple syrup festival. So maple syrup, that is a a renewable resource, basically like a blood draw from the trees and [00:02:00] then boiling that down.

Very cool, fun. Something we only get to do certain times of the year, so if you get a chance, get out and take a look at that. We've got the annual. OD and r urging of caution during Ohio's spring wildfire season. So a lot of times in the spring we don't think about it as a wildfire season because we're getting a lot of rain or snow or both or whatever.

But you have to remember, there's a lot of fuel out there from all the dead plants that have been out in Desiccating over the winter as well as a lot of wind. It's and that'll between the fuel and the oxygen, that'll really get you a fire going quickly. So make sure you're being smart out there.

I just tore a fence down cause I really need to burn. But I also don't want to be the culprit who starts the fire, right? Let's see here.

Rainbow Trout released in a lake near you in 2023. So they came out with some information here [00:03:00] about some restocking going on different areas around the state. Central Ohio, Northwest, northeast, southeast, southwest, all over. If you want to get on the website for an odn R'S website, you can find out more information about that where.

These rainbow trout have been released near you. And then I think Paul and I touch on it a little bit, but the make sure you enter the Turkey lotteries that are out there. I think it's about three bucks per lottery that you enter. Paul and I both won those last year, and it was a lot of fun. Gives you access to some property that you might nor not normally have, and get you set up on a bird hopefully.

But anyways, I will now will go into the rest of the episode and have a great week.[00:04:00]

Anywho onto today's talk. Paul, do you, did, you did first off, did you apply for your hunts? I did. Did you apply for yours? All of them? No, I haven't done it yet. I did the only ones I didn't hunt. So March 1st the state opened up. Turkey hunts. The lottery ones. You gotta buy your, I bought my license, bought my Turkey tag, and then I applied for all these hunts.

The ones I didn't do were the mentor ones. And I guess I need to look into that a little bit more and figure out like exactly what a mentored hunt is. And it's because I'm an idiot and I didn't have a mentor growing up on that end, but does that mean I take my son? Does that mean you take me? And you're mentoring me.

That's a good, that's a good question. I really, I, yeah. I don't know. Cause I've never, honestly, I've never applied for 'em either. Yeah. But the I don't know all the other hunts, obviously. I love those. I need to do it. I gotta get my license, I gotta get my hunts. Applied for, cuz it's just the, and they shut it off the end of March, man.

What? March 30th or whatever is the last day. 30th or 31st, something like that. And then, yeah, [00:05:00] and then they awarded, I mean it's just April 1st. It said April 1st of fifth. It said you'll be notified if you won. But last year, like we were talking, it was . You and I got both got notified on April 1st. Like Paul, is this a April Fool's joke?

Yeah. Cause we had joked that we never got pulled for anything in the past and there it was. And then boom. Yeah. Good stuff. Andrew, why we're here. Thanks to our guys at time to go wild.com. Go wild and download Apple, Android. Awesome. We've had, I, so we'll follow up with this story, but I want to there's a picture floating around of me in a wild Turkey on Brad LA's go Wild account right now.

Probably one of my favorite pictures of all. Hilarious. Absolutely. And so in our group text with those guys, we just rolled right past it and five hours later Brad's Hey you guys missed something really funny. Go back. And it was great. So check that out. Get on, go wide. If you're not there, download it and get on it on the internet.

Time to go wild.com. Find oh two podcast. Find Paul [00:06:00] Campbell. We're on there. Good stuff. They got a ton of stuff available. If you need decoys, boom. They got 'em. So after you see the post I put on there the other day of the bug that you wanted to yes. Blame, we were gonna burn down my house and say it was a grease fire and all that insane.

So if you're on there, I posted cause I wasn't sure what it was at the time. You sent a couple of my entymology buddies and found out. What a pseudo scorpion is. And if you don't know what a pseudo scorpion is I suggest that you Google it so that when your wife sends you a picture of some interesting bug in the sink and why is it there and what is it, you have an idea cuz what it seriously looked like was a tick on steroids.

It was this tick that had looking thing that had a massive arms like claw thing, like legit claws. Yeah. And Little bit of research and stuff. It's called a pseudo scorpion. They're harmless to us. They are actually, probably way more common than you really realize if you've never seen one. They are [00:07:00] startling looking.

They're very small lit, literally the size of a tick. But I talked to Dr. Shetler. Okay, so he's an entomologist emeritus, at Ohio State. The bu. The bug doc. The bug doc. And he was telling me that, whatever, they're very common and this and that, but they actually. in their pinchers have some serious venom or poison.

I don't know the official term he used, but so any an or any insect that they come across spider mites and spring tales and stuff like that, man, if they get ahold of those things, they're done. So that's crazy. Way too small for us, but they are one of the most lethal. Bugs out there, oh my gosh.

That thing's te it. That's nightmare of fuel. Wild. So I sent Paul the picture and he says I'll be over soon. We'll make it look like a grease fire and it'll all go away. , dude there's a video rolling around on Twitter a couple years ago and the saying, or the tweet was, if you see this happen, start shooting.

And, we'll work it out. And [00:08:00] it was like this giant, like camel spider or something like that, climbed up the side of this white S u v and went in between the cracks of the lift gate. That's insane that I'm jumping out of my moving vehicle. That thing popped up. So since we're on this, we're on this topic and we'll get that, we'll get to everything else cat salad bag.

So when I was a kid, we. We went to Hawaii as a family and my aunt and uncle had a car, a rental car, and they were out the, like the first night we were there driving to dinner or something and this big spider came crawling out of the, out of, it was in the window, right? And they're all freaking out and everybody's huddled on one side of the road and they get there and I don't, it was before cell phone cameras and stuff, but whatever the deal was, they called the rental company and they said, Hey, there's like a huge spider in this car.

And. We need a replacement. I'm not driving that. They get, they eventually got it back to the hotel rental cars go, okay, no big deal. We'll come get it and we'll replace it for you. They wouldn't get in the car. [00:09:00] They towed the car back because, oh my gosh. How big was the spider? I guess it was, I, this is, I was whatever, like eighth grade.

Yeah. But the a big spider, they figured out it was, I think they called a king spider or something. It was not one to mess around with. The funniest part was like that car back in our lot of our hotel like two days later. So they had rented it back out to somebody else oh my god. Finger that spider crawls out with a gun.

This is my car. Pull over right now. Whatever you say, man, you're the boss. It's crazy. So Midwest Gun works.com, use the code Ohio Outdoors. Five. You can save yourself 5%. Dude, they got everything for the gun tinkerer. They've got, their YouTube videos are spot on if you need help getting, figuring out what kind of rifle you need, what kind of shotgun you need, if you need help with parts selection.

They got their parts finder, they got all the exploded views. They've got their custom gun shop. So if you need gunsmithing work, ammo, optics it. The one [00:10:00] stop shop for the gun enthusiast for the hunter in this country, Midwest gun works.com. You can find them on Instagram, Midwest Gun Works. Check out their YouTube.

I'm telling you, it is a resource and Cameron Tinker is also on Go Wild. Now, that guy's got a ton of talent. You're gonna love everything that that he's got going on. So Midwest gun works.com. If you buy anything on their website, Ohio Outdoors. Five, save yourself 5%. Super helpful and we will get you some content.

I'm still piecing together all. Stuff for the hog hunt. And then I'm gonna have Paul come over and we'll do some videos and stuff. Put that out there. Thank you to our guys over at Half Rack, so it's half-rack.com. Can't say enough good stuff about these people. Paul, I'm pulling the, I'm pulling the item this week and I'm going with the half rack logo.

Tumblr. So we picked this. Yeah, look what I'm using. You didn't even know I was using it. What did you see me drinking out of it? No, I didn't love that thing. It's just a convenient. Tumblr to take your coffee and your drinks around scotch. Easy peasy, man. But it's one of those things that you can use all year [00:11:00] long and yes.

Love it. So are they doing pre-orders for the Meat Lu? I keep seeing ads on Go Wild for that. That thing's bad to the bone, dude. Yeah, we got, we need to find that out. We need to find out. We need good, a couple of those. We need to get a couple of those packed with all kinds of stuff and raffle 'em off. But yeah, that's it, man.

The what else do we have? Oh, first light. First light. First line.com came out. Their new terra stuff. Pretty neat pattern. I know you're not liking the brown. I'm gonna buy a pair of those pants. I like they, they got the D pads in 'em. I got crappy knees. I'm crawling around Turkey hunting. My knees hurt.

So I'm gonna, I'm gonna get with those guys and give me a pair of those pants headed this way for Turkey season. Yeah. And some fingers crossed. We've got a, we got another one coming, right? We got another partner of the show that's coming soon. So we'll get you more information with that. But come back and can hear back though to us.

Yeah, this is some fun stuff, so you're gonna like that. So anyway, thanks to the supporters of our show. Thanks for listening to. So what do we got now? What you wanna talk about? I know what I don't wanna talk about. I know. I want to hear all about your day. So just to set [00:12:00] the tone. Yesterday, I didn't know what, I thought you were going somewhere for work and then all of a sudden you're like, I'm going, I was, I'm going south.

And then you were off the grid for a while. Yeah, so I was I had an event in Buffalo, New York that I was supposed to attend Thursday night. So Wednesday night, Mark Wiley, Ohio State game bird biologist, upland game bird biologist calls me and says, Hey, it's go time. So I had to cancel my event at New York and the go time.

Last summer, the state chapter of the National Welfare Federation funded a research project to the tune of $50,000 in the state of Ohio. This is a multi-state agency project. So Indiana, or excuse me, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York. There's some work going on in Kentucky. This is a nesting, brood habitat study.

You've heard me talk about this. This is a three year study. So basically what it is the. It's going out with the University of Ohio State University. Dylan is the research graduate that's working on this project. Dr. Gates. [00:13:00] Robert Gates is the lead researcher on the project.

Mark Wiley's a researcher on the project. So they're we're netting turkeys with a rocket net, and we're putting they're putting collars, GPS tracking collars on the hens, and they're studying the data points to see mortality. Nesting how long they're sitting on the nests here in Ohio when they start nesting.

Once the nesting is over, the researchers go back out and they inspect the nest sites to look. They can tell , they can tell survival based off of like how the eggs, like how they hatch. There's a way if a raccoon gets in there, the shells are a certain way. If a snake gets in there, the shells are a certain way.

So there's all these data points that they can collect from these nest sites. And and then they see what type of habitat the turkeys are nesting in in, in, in these areas of the state. And it's all over the state. And so it's. . It's really neat in the regard that we've got a Turkey population, this issue and a, and it's based [00:14:00] on PT survival.

And so pulp survival is, and ne and nest success and poult survival. Those are the two things that they're looking for. And so they're, they're, they the, they're the researchers, the University of the D N R, they're able to go in and see those nest successes. , I've got some N W T F folks that are going to certain spots.

And so my chance to go on this trapping expedition if you will, was yesterday. So it happened quick. They called, said, Hey, do you want to go? Yeah. Yeah. Man, I was able to go and experience my first Turkey trapping event on some public land here in Ohio. Ah, freaking awesome, man. All right, so let's start from the be the beginning.

Yep. How do they know? Go time good weather. They've got cell phone, or not cell. They've got cameras on these bait sites. So there's corn on these bait sites and it's a mix of public and private that borders public land. And so the it different habitat types, that's the whole point.

That's why it's all over the state. Cuz Ohio, our train [00:15:00] is very different. So when they've. every couple of days they'll go out, they'll refresh the bait site and they'll pull cameras, pull the cards, and they'll check. And so when it's go time is when the turkeys have found the bait and they've visited the bait a couple of times and they start to see a pattern.

So there was a pattern on this particular bait site. The turkeys had been there, a couple of days between just, seven 30 and nine 30, whatever the time was. I don't really. And so once they've visited that enough, they, there's a good chance that they're going to come back. And so they've got so one of the conservation workers for the D N R went out, checked the cameras, turkey's been there a couple days in a row.

That's what triggered the weather was good. Let's get after it. And so you have your idea that they're gonna be down there. Yeah. And then, you just drive. and you were down in southeast Ohio, but you just drive down to this vicinity. You guys all meet up and then slowly creep out in the woods.

Is it essentially like hunting or no not at all. And I wasn't sure how it was gonna go. It was my first time out there, [00:16:00] so I get to our bait site and there is, Nine of us on this expedition. So there were seven of us at the staging area, and so we're about a mile and a half from the bait site.

So Mark and Mark Wiley and one of the other conservation workers, they get out there early, earlier, early in the morning. I think it was 4 30, 5 o'clock that they got out to the bait site to avoid Spooking birds off the roost cuz they don't know where they roost, they just know that they're in the area and they're hitting the bait site pretty early, like right off the roost.

One of the first things they're doing every morning. So they get out there really early. So I get there, I help Nathan, one of the one of the DN r employees. I help 'em load up, we load up the boxes and so they've got UTVs with trailers, or excuse me, UTVs, fully loaded with beds. They've got a couple of four wheelers and so we drive.

It was really neat. I got to access parts of the cause I've haunted this property pretty extensively. I get to access parts that I've never been to because I. Miles back into the woods on these trails that are normally closed. You can just, there's [00:17:00] just no vehicle access. So we drive out there and like I said there's seven of us at the staging area, and we're just hanging out.

We're just talking. We're talking about turkeys, we're talking about research, talking about just getting to know each other and boom, oh, that, that rocket net goes off. It's about seven 30. That sucker was loud, Hills Southern Ohio. Mile and a half away. It's literally a bomb.

There's and on these, we'll get into the mechanics of this net, but it is like freaking pipe bombs go off and it was freaking loud. And so there was only, so there's seven of us. There's only spots for six people. On the transporters, on the UTVs and the four wheelers.

And so when those nets go off, those turkeys, they're freaking out, right? I didn't get to see it, but they're trying to get out and they're hurting themselves. So it's, it the researchers and the workers, they've gotta get there very quickly to get the turkeys from underneath the net, get 'em in the boxes.

Did you have any no indication Hey, this is about to happen? No. No, the indication was[00:18:00] because there's the cell phone service was so sporadic, so mark had texted everyone in the line let's go. They have a radio and I think they ended up, they were bark was on, channel five and we were on channel six.

And so they, they couldn't get the radio to work, so he was texting all of us like, it's time to go cuz he, he wasn't if we could hear, it was plain as day, man. When that sucker went off. So all the researchers and the biologists and the conservation worker or the state employees, when that sucker went off, and they've all been there through this drill before, dude, they were like diving over the trailers, to get their helmets and jumping in and it was just like, it was just mass chaos because they want to get there as fast as they can because these shark they can hurt themselves at some.

And so we and the whole plan was I'm gonna start walking the mile and a half in the woods. They've got muddy trails, so I'll be able to see where they're going. So they take off, I start walking through the woods and I got about a mile in and it, it was. If you've been to, you've been to southern Ohio, like it slipped.

So I'm following this [00:19:00] trail and it is just freaking icy because it's so slick from all of the vehicle traffic that, it took me a little longer than normal. And I, some spots I just walked. I just go into the woods. It's easier to walk on leaves into his mud. But, so they finally, they picked me up about a mile into my.

get me back to the bait site. And I'm not gonna lie, when that gun went or when that freaking cannon went off, dude, my heart was pounding. It was game time. I'm walking. There was one point I was literally like running because , I wanted to get there so bad. And so we get there and as I'm driving up and it, there's just this little dude tiniest little clearing in this, in.

And this little field, right? It's maybe an acre and then the rest of it's surrounded by woods. And and I, you can't even see it, from the map. It just looks like vegetation. They chopped it down, they brush cut to, to make it, you use it to the net. Are you on private or public at this point?

This is public property. Yep. Public property on this side. So we get, [00:20:00] I can see the box. . That was my first visual. I can see the boxes. And they're these boxes they're probably. Three and a half feet tall towel and big enough to stick a wild Turkey in. Okay. So you can imagine how big this box is.

And these suckers are moving back and forth. They're falling over as these birds are pissed off, they're scared. And these guys, it is like full motion because they want to get the data that they need, and we'll talk about that. And they wanna get 'em back. They wanna release 'em as quick as they can.

They don't wanna stress these birds out anymore than they have to. So we get there and man, my heart is pounding there, getting all their stuff set up, and I can barely think, dude, at this point. I'm like, oh my God. Like I see one of the hens stick, like half of her head out and my head just explodes.

I'm like, so that was the first experience. Was the boxes. So at that point, moving around, at that point your comrades had gotten the birds and in into the boxes. They weren't in the net anymore. Yeah. They had gotten 'em out of the box, out of the net, into the boxes. [00:21:00] All the turkeys are boxed up.

And so I get there and there's this ma, this net is huge. It's just a massive net. They're feathers everywhere. So because that net hits 'em and they're rolling around the net is one net. Took up a bunch of turkeys. It wasn't like individual. Yes, one shot, one bird, no. One giant net. Dude, this thing's huge dude.

It's probably and I am and I'm just gonna say, I don't know, 50 feet, just almost like a giant circle. Maybe even bigger than that. It's substantial net. What does the gun look like that shoots that thing. So it's like a platform. And just imagine four channels coming off of this.

It's just a box with four metal channels. And then underneath those channels, it, there's a, like a ca, like a just a cabinet that you can stick the net lives in there. And so there's these four pipe bombs. I swear to God that's what they look like. They've got their, they're metal lead.

I'm not sure what they are. And they're probably, I took a picture of 'em. We'll put 'em up on the Instagram. They're probably a foot long. Two [00:22:00] and a half, three inches in diameter. And on the backside of that, there are these giant hooks. And then on the backside of it, there's holes drilled in the caps, the metal caps.

And so the holes face backwards. And this is, I mean it's like freaking dynamite. I is what? The only way. And so they've got a remote control that operates those. those weights on the front. So we'll just call 'em the bo the rockets, we'll call 'em the rockets. And so they hit that. And then those rockets, they just, it just explodes.

And then just the nature of it they slide out of these channels and they go forward and there's there's like a cover on the front of this net. So there's rockets they're attached to the net. They're just, they're just, they're literally just hooked onto this net with like carabiners and it goes flying.

And then, so the net starts to open up. And then on the backside of this net, are these three massive lead weights. And they're, maybe an inch and a half in diameter. And I don't know how much they weigh. It's heavy enough that it slows that down. So the net goes out, it unfurls. And they launch it.

There's the bait [00:23:00] pile's, like right in front of this thing. So they launch it when a majority of the flock is in the middle of the bait pile. So it takes a lot, it took it, it takes a lot of patience and discipline to get the turkeys there. And so Mark said that at one point the turkeys had come in, a couple of 'em were feeding and they're waiting for the other, 20 or so that were there to get there.

And then they all started to walk away and he's just oh my God. Yeah, he's just gonna have to wait it out. But fortunately they all regrouped and came back, but, so that net goes out, the rockets go out, the weights on the back of the net, slow the net down so that it's anchored. And then the rockets hit.

This thing, dude it's it's much longer than 50, so it's 50 feet wide, but it's a couple hundred feet long. and that sucker, those weights just hit down and it's far enough that the turkeys miss it. A couple of 'em got away. And then they're just in there. And I, like I said, I didn't see that part.

I've seen the video. So if you get on, team wing, Those guys they recorded a rocket net trapping just recently, so get on YouTube, check out Team Wing Bone. Those guys have a really neat video about that, but, so yeah, [00:24:00] by the time I got there, turkeys are boxed up. They're getting everything set up.

They're getting all the safety, P E. How many turkeys for us? How many turkeys did they catch in the net? So they caught eight hens and one Jake. Okay. And a couple other got away. There was a couple male birds. They said one of the male birds was like in full strut. And, but this is a hen study, so they don't care about the toms at this point.

Okay. So there were eight, eight turkeys, eight hens. And then the one, Jake and I'm gonna try to remember all of the data points. Did you name. ? No. That's what my kids, the first thing they do, my kids would've died. They have this. Oh, a hundred percent. Actually they did.

They did name one and you don't have to let me think about the name , because she was real cranky, man. She was, I had to put a sock on her. It's like a literal sock with a hole cut in it to calm her down because she was like, she was freaking out. She was. Pack in. She was fired up, man.

And so they're taking like wing length and they're taking weight, they're taking there, there are a couple other data points that I can't remember. [00:25:00] We'll have to have Mark while they come on and talk about it. And so one of, one of the funny moments with my job, I, when I talk to people about wild Turkey research or wild Turkey biology or habitat restoration, I always start the conversation out, and you've heard me say this, I'm not a biologist, I just listen.

To the biologist. I listen to the people that, that, that understand the science behind wild turkeys. And I essentially, I take it and I regurgitate what they say so that idiots like me can understand what these guys that are su and I ask a ton of questions, they drive people nuts. But I wanna gather that information, the science, and I wanna package it up so that non-science people can understand what they're trying to say.

And so there, there are a couple folks there, Elliot and Emma and Dylan, really smart great research. They were talking about a prolapse, coagula, all right I'm mispronouncing that on a Turkey. And they were talking to me about this and so I interrupted. I'm like, guys I'm not a biologist. There's a Quaker, like a butthole, and everyone starts laughing.

Mark Wiley like just hunch his, [00:26:00] he's just oh my God. . He's Paul. It's kinda like a butthole, but it's a little more important. It does everything. And I didn't know that. If you wanna Google Coagula on a wild Turkey, feel free. We're not gonna dive anything. But is it like a butthole

It was like, it was just because there was a little tension. Everyone's really worked up, man. They're moving quick. And it was just that n WTF guy, boy, he's a, he was a doozy. Yeah. So it was, that was the funny moment. So they're taking their data points. And so the hens, they get some bands, they get They get a G p s tracker.

And so the tracker they'll use, obviously to track like we talked about earlier, the locations and everything. How long will those trackers and stuff be on there? Is that something that somebody's fault fall Turkey hunting? They pop ahead and so the hens have to be bearded.

I, there were no bearded hens yesterday. So they, they say that the transmitters in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania's been doing this for a while. They say that they get about two. Out of the transmitters before the voltage [00:27:00] drops on the transmitters enough that they can't get strong signal. I don't know.

So I think, yeah, about two years is and they said they've had some transmitters in Pennsylvania that have gone longer than that. But in a, this is ignorance. The, in Ohio, you, in the fall, if you're hunting, you can shoot a hen, can't you? It doesn't have to be bearded. Yes. Yeah.

So that's why I say yeah in the fall, you can shoot, you can absolutely shoot a hen. So it'll still have all that stuff on it though, right? Yeah. So yeah, it has all that gear, man. They released the turkeys. There's been some research that releasing turkeys in par in groups of three or more benefits to the survival.

There's a higher survival rate because they're they group up, they calm down quicker because they're with their flock mates. And so every time we would get three boxes, we would release 'em. They're like, it's like in college when you get arrested and then you feel better when you go out with your buddies than if you're just put up by yourself.

Exactly. Okay. Yeah. Yep, that's exactly right. You just feel, you feel better, you feel more secure. So they're like, Hey Paul, go out there, put your phone, 30 or 40 yards out and we'll release the turkeys and [00:28:00] you'll get, I wanted to get like a really cool, like flying over. So Elliot, one of the, one of the researchers he had, he has his phone out there on, on the release the other day and all the turkeys flew like right over his phone, you hear?

So I did it. Not one of them flew over the phone. They all started running at it and then split right around it. So you can't see any of 'em. But what you can hear is their leg bands jangling as they run by here. Click is they run by. So that was neat.

It so they're collecting all the data points. One of the crazy things they determine so that they're assessing the health, the overall health of the hens, cuz they don't want to. A GPS tracker on a hen that might not make it the two years because of health or whatever.

So they pull one of the, one of the hens out of the boxes and it's an ordeal, man. It is really, cuz you, they're fighting mad and those damn birds are stronger than what any of us give 'em. Gr I, I didn't realize how strong a wild Turkey was until later in the day. It's a a three person job to [00:29:00] get the, so they open these boxes up and one person gets in there, slides their hand in and puts their hand on the base of the Turkey neck and kind of holds 'em down.

And then they open it and they slide another hand in there. And then you pull 'em up and you support 'em. You take one arm, you cover their wings, and then you grab their feet. You got gloves on and. You do, we have gloves. So they use leather gloves for the gobbler because of the spurs.

So you grab their feet and you don't wanna put like side pressure on their feet, so you want their feet together. And then you take your other arm, wrap it either over their head or under their head. And so this guy pulls this Turkey out. There's like a 30 inch freaking tape worm hanging out of the cowa.

Slash butthole of this hen Turkey. And so they just yank this thing out. And dude, I got a stomach, man. I'm just like, I'm like, oh my God, did you just do that? And then he just wraps it around his finger and flicks it. I'm like, I'm gonna pass out. Like I, I'm, I didn't want anyone to know that I was being a total baby about it.

So I just walk over. I'm just like, I'm gonna throw up. I'm gonna throw up on one of these turkeys. Oh [00:30:00] my. And so I like calm myself down. And I won't say who, but one of the, one of the workers had old tapeworm here and she gets all worked up and we got her banded. I got to band her, which was pretty new.

That was the first trick I got to band. I got to band tapeworm. And he drops her. She starts flopping and kicking and beating him with his wing and she flies off. And so it wasn't a huge loss because they got the measurements that they needed for the overall health. But they didn't get the co they weren't even gonna put a tracker on her because you got tapeworms like that.

You, you got some issues, girl. So is that bird's not healthy then? It's some animals can live with different worms, but yeah, that, I'm not sure. I'm not a biologist. I called it coagula butthole, so I'm not sure what the health of that Turkey like overall.

But it was a substantial tape worm. So I think at that point I think that they had determined like, we're not gonna put a, put the collar on here. So it wasn't a huge loss that that she got away. It was funny, man. So when we released the turkeys, Dylan the researcher from Ohio State took his little tracker, little GPS tracker [00:31:00] and they were still really close, like they ran off, but they were still like close in the vicinity moving around.

So it was pretty neat how to see, when you spook turkeys, cuz that's as traumatic of a, of an experience as a Turkey can have. What we did to them yesterday. And they were still relatively close. It's they don't have like, How many yards. They just have the strength of the signal that's coming in and it was still a pretty good one.

But, so it was neat, man. I got to band a couple of turkeys and which is pretty, they're just like giant duck bands, there's giant piece of metal. They go on the legs and that was really cool. I got to put the sock on one that was real neat. In the future, ideal, they're ideally then they'll track 'em.

When will they go back in to try to take the next set of measure? So they, so are you mean is it points? Yeah. Will they go back in six months? Is it next year? Dylan is going back next week. Oh. To see Where're at so they're going pretty quick. The g p s signal it sends a G P S location.

every five minutes, [00:32:00] and it sends an acceleration data point, which I didn't, I wanna get clear. I don't know what it means. Every, I think every two minutes. And so it's constantly sending data and they've got they, Ohio State, Robert and Dylan, Dr. Gates and Dylan. They've got they've got a program that, that, that maps those Cherokees.

And so it was really neat. He was able to show me where. , like some of the turkeys they tracked or they put collars on three turkeys a couple weeks ago. So where they were, and it was neat. So they released them and then they had data points of when they flocked back up. And it was really cool seeing that.

And he said you could hear 'em out there, Kiki and squawking. So it's neat to see how the How the birds react from that kind of stress. But will they go back and try to get data points from those next week and Rocket launch 'em again next week? Or is it No, they won't, they will not rocket launch 'em that site.

Will, I think they're gonna let the sites come down. They've got some other sites across the state that they're working so that they have a good A good number. So the data points are comparing to other birds in the state. It's not [00:33:00] necessarily like you're not tracking that this one was, a 30 inch wing.

This year, next year it's got a 32 inch wing and so on. They won't tra i, they won't trap those hens again. Okay. They, they might do it. They had one that was on the trail camera. Yesterday from the pictures that had the backpack and the bands on it.

So they, I don't, they're not gonna go out and on purpose track it. They'll go out like if she dies

and they can see when they die. Oh. You're there, Andrew? Yep. You got me? Yep. All right. There we go. Yeah they'll just, they're just collecting the data and then once they nest, then they'll go back in after sh after the incubation period. And look at the eggs where, how many eggs she had, how many eggs they think survived the habitat that they were at.

I think they just wanted a baseline for how [00:34:00] old those hens. How old were they and their health level to see they, so it's funny they're either it's just mature or immature. That's how they take the data and it's there's primary wing feathers. I'm gonna hold this little plaque up.

And this is just for you playing radio. So just imagine Turkey feathers. So you see these bottom bars here? Yep. So on a hen that's immature, there's no white on. , it's all brown from those three down. And so a mature tom or mature hen and a mature Tom will have the barring on the, on those feathers.

So the one you're showing that was the one you're showing me is mature? Yes. Yeah. Cuz it's got the, it's got the, it's got the three lines there. So they were just looking for mature, immature , the wing length, the weight, just to see the overall health. And so the weight like varied, but it was all within, a pound of each other.

So I think of the, and I'm trying to remember how many, I think we had one immature hen, [00:35:00] maybe more. I don't recall from that flock. And so I don't know if that's troubling in the sense that there was only one immature. It could be different. That's a question that, that I should have asked yesterday.

I didn't think of it until just now, but ideally you'd 50 50, right? Yeah. You'd think or you'd actually, I think you'd, if you're trying to get the population to grow, you'd want more immature, right? So it's like the mom had three. Yeah. Yeah, that's right. Yes. 60, 40 or whatever. That's a great, that's, yeah, that's a great point.

So we'll get Mark on and we'll get nitty gritty with those. Yeah. So the fun stuff for me, and I, they offered to let me hold the hands and I wanted no part of that because I didn't wanna let one go. I wanted, I'm there to observe. I'm there to assist. So the Jake, they, no one cares about the Jake.

and they're gonna take the, they take body measurements just to see overall health. He doesn't get a, he doesn't get a tracker. And then they just set him free. Did they band him? And they did? Yeah. I got to band him. It was pretty cool. So it's in, [00:36:00] in the picture we'll put up on the Instagram, you can see there's like a big green band, aluminum band on his so that was really neat.

And then I got to hold him and I asked Mark, cuz Mark was holding him. That one cuz Mark man. He's what a good guy. He was just, he wanted the younger generation, some of these guys, it was their first research project, and it's not necessarily they've been working on this since early in February, but, he wanted the younger generation to get a lot of experience.

And so at one point he was like, you guys hop in. I'll just take y you yell out the data and he's writing it. So he got to he got to pick up the Jake, which was really neat. And then him and I did a transfer and he told me how to hold him and. Where to grab him and everything. And dude, I was like a kid in Christmas, man.

I was so excited to hold him. My, if you're listening to the show you know how I feel about the Wild Turkey and Wild Turkey Hunters. Dude, I was ready to run through a freaking brick wall yesterday, dude. I was so freaking jacked up, man. I was so excited that, I worked for the organization that was, that helped fund this project and, to be a representative of all the [00:37:00] members and people that, it was just awesome, man.

It was a really cool experience for me. Leaned over just jokingly. I was like, I love you. I love you so much. . At this butthole guy, he's he's whispering sweet. Nothings to this bird. Yeah, so it was so cool, man. And then I got to lean, I got to let him go and he takes off.

He didn't fly, he ran. All of the hens would run and just take off and fly. And so we kinda let 'em off in the, in, in the same area. They were running out. They had some space and they were wet cuz it ran like crazy. So they don't fly as well when they're wet. So they're like little B 52 s man, they gotta , they take off real slow and then they drop, they take off and.

but he just was like pop, Putin, and just took off and gave him a little wave. So that was it, man. That was my research project. I was freaking amped up, man. All right, so amped up and we'll get Mark. Like I said, we'll get Mark on, we'll talk more about the. The state of the Turkey in Ohio.

Yeah. But from your, what you gathered yesterday, what, yeah, what did [00:38:00] Mark say? How does he feel about the population, the health of the birds they were looking at, all that kind of stuff. Yeah. So here's what I can tell you about the Turkey populations in Ohio, and once again, not a biologist.

This is just from people like Mark. So Poult survival was good. Mark was happy with the. Success in the pulse survival last year. So when we talk about turkeys on the landscape there's going to be more of them just because we had the reduction in bag limits last year. We took 11,000 turkeys last year.

We had a good hatch the last two years in a row. So we've got a lot. Things to be optimistic about as Turkey hunters in the state of Ohio, there's a lot of people that are dialed in on what we need to do and bag limits and and habitat work burning timber work, not just on public land, but private property because people have seen the, people.

Hunters, private land hunters, private landowners, excuse me, in this state and in the country, they felt the [00:39:00] decline of turkeys too. So more people are interested in managing for wild turkeys. So if private landowners are doing it, the state's doing it, I think there's a lot of things to be happy about.

So there, there are more turkeys in the landscape just because of the nesting successes. Last year, PT survivals were high and the bag limit reduction. I saw a lot of Jakes in the landscape last. So that's a good thing. I think in two or three years, I think that, we're never gonna be back to what it was in 1998.

Why? So if you're listen to this and you're why? So this is great. Great conversation I had. So there's what's and I'm regurgitating what someone told me this is, so there's carry capacity, right? So the N W T F, the state agencies all of these people, they worked really hard to get turkeys established and get populations really high.

And so we see that big just imagine like that bell curve, right? So the carry capacity is super high. There's a ton of target. Probably too many turkeys. And then so what they've seen over reestablishment efforts from turkeys and different species, that you'll get a big boom in population and then you'll see it level out to where it's it's more of an [00:40:00] appropriate population on the landscape.

All right, now I don't know what that number is. In terms of like actual number of how many turkeys, our population can sustain and like we talked about with Mark Wiley last year, Hey, I'd love to see turkeys out in Ogles County. There's nowhere to, for them to live. There's no habitat.

So we're, that population can't support a big. Turkey population. So I think that you're never gonna see those numbers just because one more people were hunting. Two, we've got a lot of habitat issues and maybe we do, maybe we see high Turkey numbers. But from what I've been told, just the population boom after a an intense restocking efforts.

You start to see some leveling off of those populations with the caring capacity. So who knows, maybe we will if we get four or five, six good springs and good hatches with good weather. and we've got one Turkey bag limits, dude, 20, 25, 20 26. Who knows, man, there could be freaking turkeys gobbling everywhere.

Yeah, it's it's an interesting topic. I really, I want to talk to Mark about this [00:41:00] because you look and, you and I are in central Ohio and the development going on and the warehouse is going up and every time you turn around there's another patch of woods going down or fence rows being taken out.

So I totally get the habitat side of things. , but like I, there's always this graph I remember from grade school of an ecosystem, and I think the example is, say a fox and a mouse, and like when the mo mouse population is low, the fox population's probably high because they've been eating the mouse.

But then yeah, when there's not enough mice to eat, the fox population goes down, but then the mice start to go back up and it's this, like these bell curves that kind of go back and forth. Depending on that. So I guess is the goal to have that plateau and, say it's a hundred thousand birds in Ohio?

Or is it something that, mother Nature itself is just gonna dictate this up and down and that kind of thing? I'm gonna, I'm gonna answer the question from what I think guys like Mark Wiley would say and Michael Chamberlain and Ryan Boyer that. The [00:42:00] populations that, that agencies and organizations are shooting for are good populations?

Stable. Stable would be the word that Mark Mike, I would imagine Mark Wiley would say, we want a stable population of turkeys in the state. That's what he wants. And what's that number? I don't think anyone, I don't I don't, I sure as hell don't know. But a stable population, whatever that is.

And as hunters we may say I want, I want five, 500,000 Turkey. I want Fri Turkey goblin, everywhere I go, I want it to be easy to Turkey on all these things. The population that the state can support might be, and these arbitrary numbers guys might be 125,000. , and that's a good popul, that's a stable population.

It's just like our, it's like our deer herd. We see those little ticks, when the populations go up and, the deer collisions happen. Cars and, the overall, the antler beam diameter drops because there's too many deer and.

So the lesser the better the overall health of the herd is, right? So I think as biologists, that's what they have to manage for stable health, f and good health of populations. As [00:43:00] hunters, we're greedy bastards. And we want . I'm with you man. I wanna walk out to, a public land spot in frigging northeast Ohio and hit hidden now hooter and 15.

Gobble. That's what I have a want, but Right. It's not realistic and it's quite honestly probably not gonna happen again. Tough question I gotta ask you. Yeah. I'm ethically you were out yesterday. Observing birds in a certain location. Yeah. I know you, you're not gonna be like on day one, I know where we need to go to find these birds cuz there was a bait pile and there's all that kind of stuff.

But how do you, how does that get managed as far as, I mean there's not, we were talking about the other day, there's birds everywhere, right? There could be. Yeah. And there might be either today, it might not be the tomorrow, but obvious. So I, I can assure you, I will never step foot on that area hunting again.

Not gonna do it. Mark was just like, you can't hunt the birds that you banned. Like it's just a, it's just a, I don't know if it's like an unwritten rule within, the con because this is all new to me, but yeah don't hunt the birds that you band and, he talked about, yeah, he loves to, to grouse hunt and [00:44:00] he won't.

Grouse in areas of the state that he knows there are good populations that, that he's observed grouse, for work or research or whatever. He won't do it. And that's because he's a good man and he's ethical and, I'll operate the, I'll operate the same way. So I'll never step foot on that property unless it's or on that I'm on I'm for sure gonna hunt that, that zone.

But it's a massive, tens of thousands of acres. I won't hunt that. I won't hunt that area. Yeah, and this year, obviously yesterday you were going after the hens, but I think, I've been down there before for a couple years. We've been down there in that general region. So it's, does it almost make it a little bit bittersweet?

You're like, oh this spot that I might've been, no. Cause I've been I've hunted that particular area. Of this w m a. But I've, I've been hundreds of miles away from it, and who knows, man maybe, in two years I'll see a big old long beard with some jewelry walking by, and I'll be like, Hey man, I remember you, remember when I whispered to you and I Yeah.

And petted you, and just walk right on by. Man, don't, shoot. I don't want, I don't want [00:45:00] that bad. Hey, Paul, shoot you on me, man. Hey, Paul. What's, how you been man? It's been a while. Yeah. It just comes up like you, son of a bitch, like you're . They all know I'm coming that Yeah. Band on my leg, hear me jangle on my walk.

But no man I, yeah, just outta respect for the process, out of respect for the animal. I won't hunt that area at all. Yeah. Very good. Dude, that sounds like a, Sweet opportunity and we got some, it was a blast. Pictures and videos. We'll get those put up and Yeah.

Yeah, man. Yeah, it's I took a ton of videos. There's, the pictures and the videos that I'll put up are just me. I want the state to, I'm gonna send them all of the information. You'll see you're gonna see an article in Turkey Call Magazine from the N w WTF about it.

So if you're not a member of the N W T F and you don't get that magazine, Visit nwtf.org. Become a member. It's $35 guys. It's $35. You're gonna get a passport gift card, you get a Turkey call magazine a couple times a year. You gonna help support wildlife conservation of the wild Turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

So that's the sales pitch nwtf.org. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing that story [00:46:00] and we getting people geared up for Turkey season. Yeah. Can't wait. Oh, speeding. Turkey season. Plug it, do it for me. I don't wanna do it on my own. Turkey season.com. Boom. Done. It's up, buddy. Oh yeah. This is sweet.

This is Paul's little side project to just get things going, articles and podcasts and just all kinds of stuff. It's pretty cool. Yeah, check it out. If you are a Turkey hunter or want to become a Turkey hunter, check out Turkey season.com. You're gonna like it. There's a lot of really neat stuff in there, a lot of people helping me out on this.

So yeah, you guys are, enjoy it. Three season. Thanks buddy. Thanks, Matt.