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#1336335 - 05/21/09 05:03 PM What says TWRA about this...
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16764
Loc: Allardt, TN

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Lets compare apples to apples. Fentress County TN with Wayne County KY. Since Fentress County's turkey harvest is plummetting then shouldnt nearby Wayne County's harvest also be plummetting if the limits of 4 in TN and 2 in KY really dont matter? Its all in the hatch they say. Lets look at some numbers.

This is in male turkeys per square mile. Jakes and LB's both included.

Fentress TN- 2007 2008 2009
0.41 psqmi 0.37 psqmi 0.36 psqmi


Wayne KY- 2007 2008 2009
0.57 psqmi 0.70 psqmi 0.80 psqmi

As you can see, Wayne County KY is harvesting over twice as many turkeys now per square mile than nearby Fentress County TN. Its not the killage per square mile that concerns me though, look at the trend. While Fentress's numbers are in a sharp downward fall, Wayne County KY's numbers are doing nothing but rising sharply. You will also see this same trend if you use nearby McCreary County KY in place of Wayne. So is it all in the hatch or maybe just maybe, that 2 bird limit and short season is doing great things for these hunters while our 4 bird limit and long season is doing nothing but harm here.
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#1336550 - 05/21/09 07:12 PM Re: What says TWRA about this... [Re: smstone22]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
12 Point


Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 6579
Loc: Nashville

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Do you believe hens going "unbred" in your county Steven? I'm trying to understand why you believe populations are declining.
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#1336582 - 05/21/09 07:39 PM Re: What says TWRA about this... [Re: BigGameGuy]
renegade50
16 Point


Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 14240
Loc: tn

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hens going unbred??????
aint no darn toms to breed them probably............
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#1336590 - 05/21/09 07:50 PM Re: What says TWRA about this... [Re: renegade50]
RS
8 Point


Registered: 01/24/02
Posts: 1278
Loc: Smithville, TN

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I took 3 trips to Fentress County this year and brought back two longbeards. I should have killed one on my third trip, but he snuck in on me. Normally all four birds come from Fentress, but I found a few places closer to home this year where the other two came from.

I actually hunt very close to Steven's place. From my experience, there's as many or more birds there now as there have been in several years. All I can say is that I'm seeing birds, sorry if others in the area aren't.

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#1336599 - 05/21/09 07:58 PM Re: What says TWRA about this... [Re: BigGameGuy]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16764
Loc: Allardt, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
Do you believe hens going "unbred" in your county Steven? I'm trying to understand why you believe populations are declining.


At the beginning of the high limits, we had many areas in the county that were just recieving fledgling populations of turkeys.
These fledging populations and established populations(which made up and still make up a small percentage of the county) started being harvested at an alarming rate for the small number of available birds. The couple of gobblers that would make up these fledgling flocks were almost always killed. The problem here lies in the gobblers being wiped out of many areas during the Spring, yes most of the hens get bred but all that does is create jakes for next year. As you may nor may not know, jakes do not have near the reproductive vigor that a 2 year old plus gobbler has so your population continues to fall with having jakes around to do your breeding. Then of course season comes around again, jakes are mostly all thats around for the hunter in many of these areas so thats what gets killed. The cycle continues and reproductive success keeps falling, then you have some years where the hatch is bad, thus turkey populations plummet.

Also as you may or may not know, A vast study done by (Vangilder 1992) shows that Spring harvest of gobblers is additive to natural mortality but wont negatively affect the population unless that harvest is exceeding 30% of the male population available. Im here to tell you now that we are most definitely greatly exceeding 30% of male turkeys available. Also harvesting more than 25% of the adult gobblers each year will shift the age structure to be in favor of juveniles. As Ive already mentioned, juveniles do not have the reproductive success of gobblers so thus another problem. Also, A total harvest rate of 60% harvest of adult males will result in a spring population of only 10% males.

The main point here is that things go way South when your gobbler harvest exceeds 30% of the total males available and I very strongly believe that is happening in my area.
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#1336604 - 05/21/09 08:04 PM Re: What says TWRA about this... [Re: RS]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16764
Loc: Allardt, TN

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 Originally Posted By: RS
I took 3 trips to Fentress County this year and brought back two longbeards. I should have killed one on my third trip, but he snuck in on me. Normally all four birds come from Fentress, but I found a few places closer to home this year where the other two came from.

I actually hunt very close to Steven's place. From my experience, there's as many or more birds there now as there have been in several years. All I can say is that I'm seeing birds, sorry if others in the area aren't.

I killed 2 here also, big deal. There are several places in the county that have great populations, but it is limited to a few square mile areas. I live here and see it every day, hunt all over the county as well. All the places that have great populations right now have several things in common, #1- limited access #2 several have hunters that just kill 2 or so a year. I should know, my best friend owns one of these type places. They have restricted access to 2000 acres and experience great hunting. However for the majority of the county hunting access is not restricted, most people will let locals on their land just for asking. These places get reaped every year with the high limits. Also I dont just hunt my place. Actually only hunted there twice all year because of the lack of turkeys. I turkey hunt in every single area of the county that has birds.


Edited by steven stone (05/21/09 08:18 PM)
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#1336777 - 05/21/09 09:56 PM Re: What says TWRA about this... [Re: smstone22]
captain hook
10 Point


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

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Steven it is not just your area, but more large areas all across this state. I bet if you ran your same numbers randomly across all 4 regions you would find similar results.

There is no question we are in a tail spin, and no one at the state level really wishes to address the issue.
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#1336778 - 05/21/09 09:56 PM Re: What says TWRA about this... [Re: smstone22]
VolDoug
TnDeer Old Timer
10 Point


Registered: 11/05/99
Posts: 3458
Loc: Plateau

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This one is easy. All of the Fentress Countians are now hunting Wayne Cty, KY \:\) !
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#1336806 - 05/21/09 10:41 PM Re: What says TWRA about this... [Re: VolDoug]
ky doublelung
4 Point


Registered: 02/28/07
Posts: 150
Loc: Whitetail Lodge, Nelson County...

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Turkeys have been talking to the deer about the better dirt!
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#1337187 - 05/22/09 07:32 AM Re: What says TWRA about this... [Re: ky doublelung]
captain hook
10 Point


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

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Different countiy results from the last few years

Bell Cty, KY
2009 .59 psqmi
2008 .39 psqmi
2007 .36 psqmi
2006 .33 psqmi


Claiborne Cty, TN
2009 .68 psqmi
2008 .64 psqmi
2007 .65 psqmi
2006 .88 psqmi

I found this fairly interesting, shows a little different results then Steven's example, but does show something seems to have had a dramatic impact post 2006 here in TN. We see a sharp decline following 06 and things have pretty much leveled off since then. Of course, the 4 bird limit went into effect that year, so what does that tell us?

Bell Cty KY hsa been pretty stable until this year which saw a pretty good jump in their numbers. IMO, it was the result of quite few more jakes in their harvest then in years past.

Claiborne Cty flat out kills basically twice the numer of birds that Bell Cty does, but it also has a heck of alot more people per square mile.

Interesting when you break the numbers down county by county.
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