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Stop it, you're killing me!


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This is one bird that will come off the T&E list soon as our forests mature, but the anti forestry people mistakenly use the barred owl to demonstrate our need to keep all forests as they are and allow them all to mature to old growth.  Their reasoning is only partly true, and it's the other part that is so problematic for modern forestry to be practiced on state-owned lands.  The barred owl needs a large tree cavity in which to nest.  You will only find larger trees that fit the bill in older forests, so the antis claim the barred owl's only habitat need is a mature, old growth forest.  Not true.  That is simply for their nesting behavior; they hunt in clearings, young forest habitat, and mature forest habitat.  In other words, barred owls like so many other fauna require a diversity of forest habitat types.

I have only gotten out one afternoon so far for early fall bow, a week ago today.  I had a pair of barred owls calling like mad back and forth from about 2:30 - 3 pm until they finally got about hunting for their food.  Sure enough, one of them flew into one of the few trees in my newest clearcut (forestry term is "modified seed tree harvest" because some mature trees are left standing to produce seedlings in the newly cleared forest).  From there, he or she began hunting squirrels, snakes, chipmunks, etc. from that tree in the now two year old clearing and it caught something and was tearing into it while I sat on my stand.  I have seen them hunt this new clearing for two years now and it's great to watch.  But antis will tell you all they really need is old growth forest habitat.  That is false.    

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A great turkey locator call is the barred owl's "who cooks for you" call.  It is very easy to mimic by mouth, and I use it every spring near Sparta Mountain where I turkey hunt because the turkeys are so used to hearing it and gobble while on roost when they do hear it. 

If you want to shut down a barred owl from calling, just use a great horned owl call.  They are mortal enemies and the great horned will easily kill and eat a barred owl.   

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