Do Turkeys Scare Deer? (You Should Read This)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

No, turkeys do not scare them.

In fact, more often than not, you would see deer and turkeys on the same feed feeding in the forest.

It is not even unusual to see young deer playing with turkeys and trying to have fun.

It also helps their survival skills in the forest.

Deer have a great sense of smell while turkeys have amazing eyesight. That combination can save their lives better.

However, deer can be wary of turkeys. Turkeys move in flocks. Sometimes about 100 or more of them may move together.

This can be frightening to two or three deer’s.

There has been occasions where turkeys were seeing chasing off deer’s.

So mostly, the adult deer’s especially keep their distance when on the same field with turkeys.

They don’t get scared and leave but they don’t stay too close either.

Turkeys also make a lot of noise scratching at leaves, especially when foragimg or roosting.

Some have suggested, the noise might be too much for deer which is one of the reasons they also keep their distance.

Do turkeys affect deer hunting?

do turkeys scare deer

No, turkeys do not affect deer hunting at all.

If you’re out hunting deer and you come across a flock of turkeys, it is not an indication that deer won’t be present or they will be scared away. So don’t fret.

In fact, some times turkeys and deer are seen moving together.

And lots of hunters have shot deer right in the midst of turkeys.

They sometimes move and feed together.

Some hunters even claimed to have used turkey decoys to attract deer.

They have a cordial enough relationship, so turkeys won’t affect your deer hunt.

Do turkeys keep deer away?

Not at all. Turkeys do not keep deer away.

Deer won’t stay away from a forest just because turkeys are there.

They are sometimes seen on the same field feeding together. They understand each other and do well together.

A large flock of turkeys may mean that the deer will get less food in the area, since they are interested in the same food, but it doesn’t mean the deer will totally avoid the area.

Can I hunt deer and turkeys together?

Well, it all depends on the rules of your state.

Does your state permit hunters to hunt deer and turkeys together?

Do you have permits to hunt both?

Sometimes the hunting period for deer and turkeys in your state may coincide.

This means if you have permits to hunt both, you can use your arrow.

However, there are broadhead restrictions for both and proper draw weight to be used.

The arrow and broadhead to be used to hunt both sometimes vary.

The arrow, broadhead and draw weight that meet legal restrictions for turkey hunting may be different from that of the deer. Do your proper research.

Sometimes the hunting period for both coincides with gun season. Same rule applies.

Check your state regulations and ammunition’s restrictions.

Most times, the guns allowed to be used to legally hunt deer is different from that of turkeys.

You can however hunt them at different times of the day with the different guns that meet the legal requirements for each.

Why do deer follow turkeys?

Deer follow turkeys because a kind of partnership works between them. 

Because turkeys have a great eyesight, they can easily detect predators and danger from a far distance.

This makes it easy for them to flee from danger to safety.

When the deer following the turkeys see the turkeys running, they are immediately alerted to the danger lurking and flee to safety too.

The deer have good sense of smell.

When a deer breathes it can detect various smells and sort it out, including human scent.

This is how it senses predators and flee.

This helps the turkeys because they can’t smell much themselves. When a deer smells danger around and runs, the turkeys run for their lives too.

Do deer eat turkey eggs?

Deer are vegans. It means they prefer to feed on leaves, tender shoots, twigs etc.

When the opportunity present itself however, deer eat eggs.

Deer have been caught on camera numerous times, raiding quails and songbirds’ nests.

They raid these nests eating the eggs they find. It is not certain if they eat turkey eggs but I don’t see what’s stopping them.

They like to eat eggs and they eat eggs from other birds.

I’m sure they wouldn’t walk away from a nest of turkey eggs if the opportunity presents itself.

Here is an article I wrote on raising turkeys and keeping them for profit


Turkeys do not scare them contrary to what some believe.

They have seen together many times playing and feeding.

Flapping of their wings during flight may spook deer but it isn’t enough to scare them out of the forest or to another area.

Turkeys and deer benefit from moving together.

Deer have amazing sense of smelling while turkeys have incredible eyesight.

The combination of these talents keep them safer in the forest.

Turkeys do not keep deer away and do not affect deer hunting.

You can even hunt both together as long as you’re within the legal regulations of your state.

Deer eat eggs from other birds so it is possible they eat turkey eggs too.


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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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