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#1277842 - 04/06/09 07:40 AM Harvest is up
captain hook
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Harvest is up this year by just over 1,000 birds. Good news, but there is bad news in that good news. The percentage of jakes has jumped 10% during the same time period as last year.

Counties like Greene, Unicoi, and others across the state are seeing 50% jake harvests this season. That is insanely high IMO.

Good news is though the total harvest is up, and if a few jakes survive we will have a great season next year and the following year.
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#1277849 - 04/06/09 07:43 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: captain hook]
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#1278155 - 04/06/09 11:21 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: Cuttin Caller]
megalomaniac
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Harvest is down 33% in my county (Bedford) yet again this year. Population is less than 1/5 of what it was back in the 90's.

Statewide the poor jakes are being tooled. At least they'll provide a buffer for the LB's so hopefully all the mature hens get bred.

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#1278171 - 04/06/09 11:28 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: megalomaniac]
smstone22
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We are seeing high jake harvests as well. We have some areas with alot of birds and also areas that normally have alot of birds have very very few. My Dad is ready to quit for the year, and I have to say that I am too because the area we hunt is way way down. Its just not fun at all anymore to go out and not hear a single bird on a couple thousand acres. My whole counties harvest numbers are stable but jakes are being slaughtered. This will just cause more problems next year.

Edited by steven stone (04/06/09 11:34 AM)
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#1278229 - 04/06/09 11:57 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: smstone22]
deerchaser007
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Looks like cannon county is right on track as far as harvest from last year. The difference ,.. last year the harvest of jakes was 9% this year its 25%!!
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#1278242 - 04/06/09 12:02 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: deerchaser007]
captain hook
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IMO, the high jake harvest shows; one because we had a good hatch last year, and two because a tag is devalued because we have so many.

Maybe if we are going to keep the 4 tags we ought to have a 1 jake reg to sustain good gobbler populations from year to year.

The jake harvest this year is ridiculously high.
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#1278277 - 04/06/09 12:22 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: captain hook]
CopperHead77
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I don't see how anything is remotely accurrate with figures we get as to how many jakes are killed and so on,the bird I checked in Sat wasn't even looked at or asked about! The lady handed me a tape measure and scale and said here you go,I asked her if she needed me to write it all down and she said "nope, here's your next kill tag" didn't ask any questions or anything,and this is not some mom and pop store,this was the main check station for this county.
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#1278329 - 04/06/09 12:49 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: CopperHead77]
REN
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agree with Whitetail, the store i check all mine in at the house never even look at them...hell you could say 24"beard and 42lbs and the lady would type it in that way.

I have not seen an abnormal amount of jakes on the farms i hunt however i know some guys that are seeing ALOT more then normal. Heck one farm a buddy hunts in Bedford county has a group of 22 jakes running together. Man that is alot of jakes!!!!!
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#1278342 - 04/06/09 01:08 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: captain hook]
tnhunter26
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I agree the number of jakes out this year is insane. Not to mention the fact that they are gobbling which is even more insane. But, I feel there is not much fun in shooting a jake they dont have spurs and there is no real beard to speak of so its not that much of a trophy unless your a youth or its your first bird. It would be like if ihave killed several good deer and then I decide to go start shotting spikes and four points on the farm I have killed the good deer on. That wouldnt give the deer a chance to grow up and be a good deer. Its the same with turkeys you will never have a trophy as long as you shot the little ones.
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#1278362 - 04/06/09 01:26 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: tnhunter26]
REN
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 Originally Posted By: tnhunter26
I agree the number of jakes out this year is insane. Not to mention the fact that they are gobbling which is even more insane. But, I feel there is not much fun in shooting a jake they dont have spurs and there is no real beard to speak of so its not that much of a trophy unless your a youth or its your first bird. It would be like if ihave killed several good deer and then I decide to go start shotting spikes and four points on the farm I have killed the good deer on. That wouldnt give the deer a chance to grow up and be a good deer. Its the same with turkeys you will never have a trophy as long as you shot the little ones.



this is prob a WHOLE different thread that has been beaten like a drum on here but i agree....that is just my opinion though.
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#1278363 - 04/06/09 01:27 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: tnhunter26]
shopson
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You can not go by the jake harvest. You are at the mercy of the killer reporting it is a juvenile or the checker even asking if it is a juvenile. Anybody that believes Dyer County only has 1 jake checked in out of 116 birds or Lauderdale only has 4 jakes out of 87 birds...well that's where they ought to hunt. All birds become longbirds. Greene has about about 25% jake ratio, not 50%, and I would be willing to bet that is close to average. There is a bumper crop of jakes this year so no doubt there will be a lot of jakes killed but won't show up that way on the report.
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#1278368 - 04/06/09 01:33 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: megalomaniac]
4onaside
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 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac
Harvest is down 33% in my county (Bedford) yet again this year. Population is less than 1/5 of what it was back in the 90's.

Statewide the poor jakes are being tooled. At least they'll provide a buffer for the LB's so hopefully all the mature hens get bred.
Shouldn't make a dimes worth of difference since most of the turkey tech stuff that I have read indicates that most hens have already been breed before the season ever begins.
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#1278369 - 04/06/09 01:33 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: tnhunter26]
buckdead
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i just hope we have another good hatch this year. ive been suprised a the # of birds ive seen this year.
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#1278434 - 04/06/09 02:41 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: 4onaside]
deerchaser007
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 Originally Posted By: 4onaside
 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac
Harvest is down 33% in my county (Bedford) yet again this year. Population is less than 1/5 of what it was back in the 90's.

Statewide the poor jakes are being tooled. At least they'll provide a buffer for the LB's so hopefully all the mature hens get bred.
Shouldn't make a dimes worth of difference since most of the turkey tech stuff that I have read indicates that most hens have already been breed before the season ever begins.


Breeding is nowere near over this year. Some areas still have winter size flocks. When the breeding really gets started,.. you will start noticing hen groups of 2 to 5 hens instead of 10 to 15 hens. Some areas are starting to see this,.. indicating the breeding is in full swing. Also,.. hens will continue breeding for several days and be bred several times after she begins to lay her eggs,.. and not withdrawing until her nest is complete and she begins to incubate.
Only when you notice single hens that are ignoring the gobblers has the breeding stopped in a area. In which,.. if you can find that cut off when the hens are all just about bred,.. you can find gobblers really seeking company and have a great hunt. I still have not reached this point in my area ,.. but we are in the middle of the breeding ,.. and probably right around the end of april things should fire up and you can find lonely gobblers.
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#1278470 - 04/06/09 03:04 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: deerchaser007]
REN
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a biologist buddy of mine always told me this and it seems very true for my areas.

you know it is in swing when you start seeing 1-2 hens in places you normally never see them and almost seems odd they are there.


starting to see that more and more over the past few days. Not FULL swing yet but starting to get there.
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#1278475 - 04/06/09 03:10 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: REN]
deerchaser007
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 Originally Posted By: REN
a biologist buddy of mine always told me this and it seems very true for my areas.

you know it is in swing when you start seeing 1-2 hens in places you normally never see them and almost seems odd they are there.


starting to see that more and more over the past few days. Not FULL swing yet but starting to get there.


That is the time that the nest is almost complete and they are nearing their incubation. They will roost close to their nest ,.. but go to breed far from it , then return by mid day to lay there eggs. AND like your buddy said,.. within that week and right after this is a awesome time to fiind that lonely tom.
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#1278527 - 04/06/09 03:48 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: captain hook]
Panther78
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#1278530 - 04/06/09 03:50 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: deerchaser007]
CopperHead77
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I thought this was kinda interesting, called in 3 LB's Sunday after the opener,now they had prob 10 hens with them and they still came from a long ways just to check me out,I guess the whole flock had been bred?? That was the only conclusion I could come up with,they heard a new hen and came to get her.
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#1278578 - 04/06/09 04:14 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: CopperHead77]
4onaside
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Maybe some are confusing breeding and the toms being interested. Two different deals. The toms are interested in rubber hens! Do you think they have been bred? Or not? lol Sperm is onboard from previous encounters with toms and I understand that it can be carried for some time. Nesting and breeding time frames are two different deals, and maybe that's what is confusing some. I don't believe that a gobbler being in the presence of one or two or 10 or a hundred hens, indicates how many of those hens have been breed, or not. The gobbler doesn't know if the've been bred. He is just interested in a hen, period. No "in heat" deal here fellows. He can't determine breeding status by smell. However, when the numbers of hens start to disappear then nesting is progressing. That's when his interest in your rubber hens or your romance music really picks up.
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#1278588 - 04/06/09 04:22 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: CopperHead77]
deerchaser007
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 Originally Posted By: Whitetail Junkie
I thought this was kinda interesting, called in 3 LB's Sunday after the opener,now they had prob 10 hens with them and they still came from a long ways just to check me out,I guess the whole flock had been bred?? That was the only conclusion I could come up with,they heard a new hen and came to get her.


Them toms wanted a hen to breed ,.. and those 10 were not ready.I did the same on opening morning ,.. pulled 4 LB's from another ridge. I got lucky cause they wanted a breeding hen in the middle of the day.
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#1278634 - 04/06/09 04:45 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: 4onaside]
deerchaser007
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 Originally Posted By: 4onaside
Maybe some are confusing breeding and the toms being interested. Two different deals. The toms are interested in rubber hens! Do you think they have been bred? Or not? lol Sperm is onboard from previous encounters with toms and I understand that it can be carried for some time. Nesting and breeding time frames are two different deals, and maybe that's what is confusing some. I don't believe that a gobbler being in the presence of one or two or 10 or a hundred hens, indicates how many of those hens have been breed, or not. The gobbler doesn't know if the've been bred. He is just interested in a hen, period. No "in heat" deal here fellows. He can't determine breeding status by smell. However, when the numbers of hens start to disappear then nesting is progressing. That's when his interest in your rubber hens or your romance music really picks up.


Toms start getting interested way before the hens. Its nothing for toms to start firing up at the beginning of january in the south.
Nesting and breeding is not really different times ,.. they go hand in hand. The hen will lay 1 egg a day til her clutch is complete. While she completes her clutch,.. she will continue to breed and socialize with other hens ,. and toms, but returning to the nest to lay her eggs. She covers the nest while away,.. but once complete and she begins incubating,. is when she withdraws from the other hens and goes to nest,.. only moving off the nest to feed and drink. In short,.. she is establishing the nest while still breeding.
Your right ,.. a tom don't know if a hen has been bred nor how many times. The hen makes the choice , not the tom. BUT,.. the sceince teaches us that bred hens will go into smaller groups as the breeding is in progress. AND,.. i firmly believe they know when to stop persuing any hens after they have been on nest for some weeks. THUS,.. making late season hunting difficult in some years. BUT,.. it would depend on population numbers in a specific area.
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#1278661 - 04/06/09 05:06 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: 4onaside]
captain hook
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 Originally Posted By: 4onaside
Maybe some are confusing breeding and the toms being interested. Two different deals. The toms are interested in rubber hens! Do you think they have been bred? Or not? lol Sperm is onboard from previous encounters with toms and I understand that it can be carried for some time. Nesting and breeding time frames are two different deals, and maybe that's what is confusing some. I don't believe that a gobbler being in the presence of one or two or 10 or a hundred hens, indicates how many of those hens have been breed, or not. The gobbler doesn't know if the've been bred. He is just interested in a hen, period. No "in heat" deal here fellows. He can't determine breeding status by smell. However, when the numbers of hens start to disappear then nesting is progressing. That's when his interest in your rubber hens or your romance music really picks up.


Great post, and very true. Most young of the year hens will not be fertile until later in the season, which on years following a bumper hatch like this year, evident by the jake numbers, could prolong breeding for much longer then on low hatch years.

Hens that have gobblers now, may have been bred, or maybe not, or may not be bred at all this year.

One thing is for sure, you can call them both ways, but it dang sure is easier to kill a lonely bird versus one with friends.
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#1278751 - 04/06/09 06:23 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: deerchaser007]
CopperHead77
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Registered: 08/20/07
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 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
 Originally Posted By: 4onaside
Maybe some are confusing breeding and the toms being interested. Two different deals. The toms are interested in rubber hens! Do you think they have been bred? Or not? lol Sperm is onboard from previous encounters with toms and I understand that it can be carried for some time. Nesting and breeding time frames are two different deals, and maybe that's what is confusing some. I don't believe that a gobbler being in the presence of one or two or 10 or a hundred hens, indicates how many of those hens have been breed, or not. The gobbler doesn't know if the've been bred. He is just interested in a hen, period. No "in heat" deal here fellows. He can't determine breeding status by smell. However, when the numbers of hens start to disappear then nesting is progressing. That's when his interest in your rubber hens or your romance music really picks up.


Toms start getting interested way before the hens. Its nothing for toms to start firing up at the beginning of january in the south.
Nesting and breeding is not really different times ,.. they go hand in hand. The hen will lay 1 egg a day til her clutch is complete. While she completes her clutch,.. she will continue to breed and socialize with other hens ,. and toms, but returning to the nest to lay her eggs. She covers the nest while away,.. but once complete and she begins incubating,. is when she withdraws from the other hens and goes to nest,.. only moving off the nest to feed and drink. In short,.. she is establishing the nest while still breeding.
Your right ,.. a tom don't know if a hen has been bred nor how many times. The hen makes the choice , not the tom. BUT,.. the sceince teaches us that bred hens will go into smaller groups as the breeding is in progress. AND,.. i firmly believe they know when to stop persuing any hens after they have been on nest for some weeks. THUS,.. making late season hunting difficult in some years. BUT,.. it would depend on population numbers in a specific area.


Good points fellas,been hunting these things for 18 yrs and still learning!
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#1278789 - 04/06/09 06:38 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: REN]
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 Originally Posted By: REN
agree with Whitetail, the store i check all mine in at the house never even look at them...hell you could say 24"beard and 42lbs and the lady would type it in that way.


Ha, I bet you are tagging them in at the Bethpage Market on 31?

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#1278827 - 04/06/09 06:53 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: Top Pin]
deerchaser007
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Registered: 12/17/02
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Hey captain or anyone else, can you find any data from 2004? The last year i remember a late winter flock break like this was in 2004. I was wanting to compare harvest data from 2004 to this year and see if the jake harvest matched up. Just wondering if the henned up mature gobblers in years like this would lead to a higher jake harvest since they are less likely to be courting for hens.

Maybe TWRA didn't ask those questions then,.. i don't remember that far back myself!!
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#1279052 - 04/06/09 08:18 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: 4onaside]
megalomaniac
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 Originally Posted By: 4onaside
 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac
Harvest is down 33% in my county (Bedford) yet again this year. Population is less than 1/5 of what it was back in the 90's.

Statewide the poor jakes are being tooled. At least they'll provide a buffer for the LB's so hopefully all the mature hens get bred.
Shouldn't make a dimes worth of difference since most of the turkey tech stuff that I have read indicates that most hens have already been breed before the season ever begins.


I wish you were right, but unfortunatley you couldn't be any more wrong.

The season IS SUPPOSED to start after hens have been bred. This year, with the extremely early opening, breeding had not yet initiated on any of my farms. Typically, (on my farms) actual mating occurs during the first week of April with nest initiation the second week. Remove the male segment of the population before breeding occurs.... and well, the result is obvious.

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#1279097 - 04/06/09 08:29 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: captain hook]
buckhorn40
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#1279215 - 04/06/09 09:11 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: megalomaniac]
4onaside
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Registered: 02/07/06
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Loc: Jackson,Tn

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 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac
 Originally Posted By: 4onaside
 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac
Harvest is down 33% in my county (Bedford) yet again this year. Population is less than 1/5 of what it was back in the 90's.

Statewide the poor jakes are being tooled. At least they'll provide a buffer for the LB's so hopefully all the mature hens get bred.
Shouldn't make a dimes worth of difference since most of the turkey tech stuff that I have read indicates that most hens have already been breed before the season ever begins.


I wish you were right, but unfortunatley you couldn't be any more wrong.

The season IS SUPPOSED to start after hens have been bred. This year, with the extremely early opening, breeding had not yet initiated on any of my farms. Typically, (on my farms) actual mating occurs during the first week of April with nest initiation the second week. Remove the male segment of the population before breeding occurs.... and well, the result is obvious.
I "couldn't be any more wrong", as seen by you. But not as seen by others, witness this thread. lol
There are those much more educated in turkey biology than I, that maintain that most of the hens have been bred before the season starts, not that breeding activity is not full blown during the season, but that sperm as already been deposited in most hens. Gobblers like males of most species are ready to go at any time. The fact that he has already dated most of the ladies previously, doesn't prohibit him from second dates. Or third, or what have you.
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#1279380 - 04/06/09 10:16 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: 4onaside]
captain hook
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Registered: 11/20/07
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Loc: Knoxville

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 Originally Posted By: 4onaside
 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac
 Originally Posted By: 4onaside
 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac
Harvest is down 33% in my county (Bedford) yet again this year. Population is less than 1/5 of what it was back in the 90's.

Statewide the poor jakes are being tooled. At least they'll provide a buffer for the LB's so hopefully all the mature hens get bred.
Shouldn't make a dimes worth of difference since most of the turkey tech stuff that I have read indicates that most hens have already been breed before the season ever begins.


You are correct, even in the highest elevation here, the birds were strutting gobbling and breeding during late february. I saw it, personally.

Most hens have already been bred before the season opens, end of story.

ALso, the season opened one day earlier then last year, and yes it was a cool march, but the turkeys base their breeding on length of days and amount of sunlight, not temps.

Now the only thing which can derail everything is a late freeze which will kill any eggs which are not being set, that resets the clock again. It could happen slightly this week, but still should be a little early.

I wish you were right, but unfortunatley you couldn't be any more wrong.

The season IS SUPPOSED to start after hens have been bred. This year, with the extremely early opening, breeding had not yet initiated on any of my farms. Typically, (on my farms) actual mating occurs during the first week of April with nest initiation the second week. Remove the male segment of the population before breeding occurs.... and well, the result is obvious.
I "couldn't be any more wrong", as seen by you. But not as seen by others, witness this thread. lol
There are those much more educated in turkey biology than I, that maintain that most of the hens have been bred before the season starts, not that breeding activity is not full blown during the season, but that sperm as already been deposited in most hens. Gobblers like males of most species are ready to go at any time. The fact that he has already dated most of the ladies previously, doesn't prohibit him from second dates. Or third, or what have you.
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#1279581 - 04/07/09 07:12 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: megalomaniac]
Hillbilly Hunter
Killbilly
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 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac
Harvest is down 33% in my county (Bedford) yet again this year. Population is less than 1/5 of what it was back in the 90's.

Statewide the poor jakes are being tooled. At least they'll provide a buffer for the LB's so hopefully all the mature hens get bred.



I am feeling your pain. It has been tough going so far. Last years hatch was better than the last several though. I have called up 13 jakes total within 20 yards.
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#1279907 - 04/07/09 09:36 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: Hillbilly Hunter]
deerchaser007
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Registered: 12/17/02
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4onaside,.. maybe i'm alittle confused about what i have read in my books and you can help me out.
I was under the impression that only the hens that had been bred were broken down into smaller hen groups of 2 to 5 birds. BUT,.. hens that were still in flocks of say 10 to 15 were not bred,.. but in waiting. Is this correct or not??

The reason i ask is mid week last week i was seeing the break up occuring,.. seen 3 seperate groups of hens that were runing in groups of 2 and 4 birds in each group. Also was seeing single mature hens that were by themselves on roost. BUT,.. was also seeing a big group of 16 hens still together on roost and during the day.This was on one of my hunting spots and i have not seen this only 1 other year ,.. which was 2004. Most of the years by the start of season the big flocks were allready broken into smaller hen groups and breeding had occurred(mid to late march),.. and i'm like mega,. it seems in some areas its a few weeks later this year than the past few.
I've only been reading and researching for a few years now on turkey biology,.. so always willing to listen to those that can teach me more. Can you elaborate more on the sperm? I understand its different than a deer,.. were a doe can be bred by more than 1 buck while in heat, but its a shorter cycle than birds. I thought turkey were more like chickens,.. being bred multiple times with mutiple sperm so she can complete her clutch over a 6 to 12 day cycle,. or until the clutch is complete.Is that not correct? I'm just confused on your statement that sperm has been set in most by the start of season,.. and i just didn't see that this year by what i have read up on. Opening weekend,.. i seen zero hen groups or single hens,.. were i had in the past 3 years.
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Guard your tongue in youth,.. and in age you may mature a thought that will be of service to your people!!
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#1280129 - 04/07/09 11:43 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: deerchaser007]
4onaside
12 Point


Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 5070
Loc: Jackson,Tn

Offline
 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
4onaside,.. maybe i'm alittle confused about what i have read in my books and you can help me out.
I was under the impression that only the hens that had been bred were broken down into smaller hen groups of 2 to 5 birds. BUT,.. hens that were still in flocks of say 10 to 15 were not bred,.. but in waiting. Is this correct or not??

The reason i ask is mid week last week i was seeing the break up occuring,.. seen 3 seperate groups of hens that were runing in groups of 2 and 4 birds in each group. Also was seeing single mature hens that were by themselves on roost. BUT,.. was also seeing a big group of 16 hens still together on roost and during the day.This was on one of my hunting spots and i have not seen this only 1 other year ,.. which was 2004. Most of the years by the start of season the big flocks were allready broken into smaller hen groups and breeding had occurred(mid to late march),.. and i'm like mega,. it seems in some areas its a few weeks later this year than the past few.
I've only been reading and researching for a few years now on turkey biology,.. so always willing to listen to those that can teach me more. Can you elaborate more on the sperm? I understand its different than a deer,.. were a doe can be bred by more than 1 buck while in heat, but its a shorter cycle than birds. I thought turkey were more like chickens,.. being bred multiple times with mutiple sperm so she can complete her clutch over a 6 to 12 day cycle,. or until the clutch is complete.Is that not correct? I'm just confused on your statement that sperm has been set in most by the start of season,.. and i just didn't see that this year by what i have read up on. Opening weekend,.. i seen zero hen groups or single hens,.. were i had in the past 3 years.
Those are great points, which I am really not qualified to answer. All that I was reporting was stuff that I have read from multiple sources(turkey biologists) that have made the point that most hens are probably already bred by the time the season starts. I would think that certainly the season opening dates would enter into that from year to year, and also variations between different years(which is what you are reporting). I have never mentioned this to any biologist,and I have never heard it before, but I was watching a turkey farmer being interviewed on, I believe, CBS Sunday morning, who said that it was not even necessary for a hen to be bred at all, in order for it to produce fertile eggs!! This is mind blowing to me. However, the guy was dead serious, and if anyone should be an authority on that point, it should be him, in the business of raising thousands of turkeys each year. If this is true, why wouldn't the same condition exist in wild birds as with tame ones(same bird)? Obviously, any bird can lay eggs, but I was always under the impression that there had to be sperm present in order for the eggs to be fertile. Has anyone ever heard of this?
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#1280139 - 04/07/09 11:49 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: 4onaside]
captain hook
10 Point


Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 4340
Loc: Knoxville

Offline
Never heard that before.
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#1280180 - 04/07/09 12:17 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: captain hook]
REN
Good ol' Boys "Team Grizzly"
12 Point


Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 5039
Loc: Wilson County, TN

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wow never heard that before either and I am not real sure how a turkey can be an asexual animal or posse hermaphrodite traits.....


will have to look into that I guess.
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#1280294 - 04/07/09 01:41 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: REN]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5027
Loc: Mississippi

Offline
It's really quite simple...

Winter flocks of gobblers and hens/jakes (which were separate during the winter) begin to 'bunch up' in early spring. This is the time when you'll often see 4 or 5 longbeards with 25 or 30 hens and jakes. The gobblers are just about ready to breed at this point, but the hens are still a ways out. The gobblers compete for dominance, then you'll see a single gobbler (sometimes two if they are evenly matched) with his harem of hens who have chosen him to be the one. Once breeding starts, the hens will be rebred (usually daily) during nesting and egg laying if the gobbler remains present. If the gobbler is removed after initial breeding, sperm can remain viable to continue to fertilize a portion of the remaining clutch or sometimes all of the remaining clutch.

I am fortunate to be able to observe most of the birds I'm hunting (not hunting woods birds whom I never see until they are in gun range). After logging 1000's of hours observing them, I can state with certainty that breeding has not yet begun to occur on my farms during March. I've witnessed hundreds of hens being bred over the years, not one earler than April 3 or 4.

What I saw opening weekend was gobblers following the hens around, often masturbating, but no hens were yet receptive. And no, breeding did not occur a week or two prior. There isn't a 'second rut' like in the deer population.

The 'turkey biologist' info you've read is put forth as an average for the entire state, with a few biological hours logged in many, many areas and averaged. Not 1000's of hours logged in a concentrated area.

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#1280434 - 04/07/09 02:56 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: megalomaniac]
Huntaholic
8 Point


Registered: 10/22/00
Posts: 2087
Loc: Baxter, TN. U.S.A.

Offline
As I understand it, ONE breeding is sufficient to fertilize a whole clutch of eggs Jeremy. The only time she would NEED to be re-bred is if that first clutch gets destroyed.

Edited by Huntaholic (04/07/09 03:06 PM)
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#1280459 - 04/07/09 03:05 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: Huntaholic]
Hillbilly Hunter
Killbilly
16 Point


Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 17665
Loc: Branchville

Offline
One breeding should fertilize 3 or 4 eggs. She will average 5 eggs a week.
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#1280536 - 04/07/09 03:55 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: Hillbilly Hunter]
deerchaser007
10 Point


Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 4243
Loc: Bradyville, TN USA

Offline
Very interesting guys,.. and thanks to all for sharing there information. Its been fun this year since i was on lay off that it gave me much more time in the woods before season and the first couple weeks of season to really try to understand turkey behavior and why they do what they do. I usually don't get to see stuff like that and don't get the hours in that i would like,. but the more i can learn,. the more it makes me a better hunter.

Lots of different responses on the breeding part and fertilizing part ,.. i'm not here to say anyone is wrong or right,. you are all very knowledgable guys and i have a great deal of respect for that ,.. i have no clue except for what i have read, and think this would make for a great discussion. Thanks guys!!

Sorry if i misdirected your thread captain!!
_________________________
QDMA member...Cannon co.
Guard your tongue in youth,.. and in age you may mature a thought that will be of service to your people!!
(Minquass)

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#1280544 - 04/07/09 04:10 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: deerchaser007]
4onaside
12 Point


Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 5070
Loc: Jackson,Tn

Offline
 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
Very interesting guys,.. and thanks to all for sharing there information. Its been fun this year since i was on lay off that it gave me much more time in the woods before season and the first couple weeks of season to really try to understand turkey behavior and why they do what they do. I usually don't get to see stuff like that and don't get the hours in that i would like,. but the more i can learn,. the more it makes me a better hunter.

Lots of different responses on the breeding part and fertilizing part ,.. i'm not here to say anyone is wrong or right,. you are all very knowledgable guys and i have a great deal of respect for that ,.. i have no clue except for what i have read, and think this would make for a great discussion. Thanks guys!!

Sorry if i misdirected your thread captain!!
I doubt if captain objects. It's kinda fun to swap ideas.
_________________________
Lord, keep your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth


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#1280612 - 04/07/09 04:52 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: 4onaside]
captain hook
10 Point


Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 4340
Loc: Knoxville

Offline
 Originally Posted By: 4onaside
 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
Very interesting guys,.. and thanks to all for sharing there information. Its been fun this year since i was on lay off that it gave me much more time in the woods before season and the first couple weeks of season to really try to understand turkey behavior and why they do what they do. I usually don't get to see stuff like that and don't get the hours in that i would like,. but the more i can learn,. the more it makes me a better hunter.

Lots of different responses on the breeding part and fertilizing part ,.. i'm not here to say anyone is wrong or right,. you are all very knowledgable guys and i have a great deal of respect for that ,.. i have no clue except for what i have read, and think this would make for a great discussion. Thanks guys!!

Sorry if i misdirected your thread captain!!
I doubt if captain objects. It's kinda fun to swap ideas.


I could care less, harvest is up, I have 1 tag left, but I do wish about half the jake harvest would return to the woods, oh well.

I like turkeys, and like hearing views on their biology and so forth, I Know a little, but can always learn more.
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