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#3236584 - 05/01/13 06:55 PM 2013 Harvest Comparison
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
Loc: Hardeman

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Out of curiosity I checked the online harvest record for my county to see how we've fared so far in comparison to years past...yikes! \:o

For the whole state 27,784 have been checked in thus far. We were right at (or well over) 30,000 birds at this time for the last 3 years. For the season total there were 33,789 checked in 2012, 34,026 in 2011, and record 37,000ish birds in 2010.

There's still some time to hunt but I wonder if we'll even come up with the few thousand birds to break 30,000...much less another 10,000 birds to be anywhere near a record.

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#3236619 - 05/01/13 07:36 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
SEC
6 Point


Registered: 11/01/10
Posts: 608
Loc: TN

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Where can I find this info? Curious about Madison county.
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#3236623 - 05/01/13 07:41 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: SEC]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
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 Originally Posted By: SEC
Where can I find this info? Curious about Madison county.

Right here. Put your date range in, pick a critter, and county.

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#3236674 - 05/01/13 08:15 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
Gravey
16 Point


Registered: 07/20/05
Posts: 18412
Loc: Rutherford / Wilson County Lin...

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For the past two seasons I haven't seen near as many birds and not sure why. That said I wouldn't mind if they scaled the limit back to 3 if not 2.
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#3236688 - 05/01/13 08:33 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Gravey]
Gobblrgttr
4 Point


Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 396
Loc: Lexington, Tn

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I would be glad to see them bring the limit down as well
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#3236694 - 05/01/13 08:37 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Gravey]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
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 Originally Posted By: Gravey
For the past two seasons I haven't seen near as many birds and not sure why.


It may likely have more to do with a couple of years of crappy hatches vs. harvest and can be VERY isolated by region. Another thing to consider is the ratio of gobblers to hens in a typical harvest year. The fall harvest (including hens) here on the west side is miniscule and in the spring 1 tom can take care of a herd of hens. With all the gals running around, if they had successful nests...one good hatch could negate years of poor hatches.

Around here, that's just what we got last year. Dang jakes and jennies everywhere (and hopefully makin'biddies every chance they get). Next year could be off the hook!

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#3236721 - 05/01/13 09:00 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
Rockhound
10 Point


Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 2667
Loc: Lawrence Co. TN

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Some areas of the state have been going through this for years, to the point your lucky if you even hear a gobble in your county. People have laughed at me, called me a whiner, and told me I didn't know what I was talking. And its always people from different parts of the state who haven't experienced it. I hope it gets better and doesn't happen but with declines like that is say it won't be long before a lot of people get a taste of what I've been talking about.
_________________________
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#3236733 - 05/01/13 09:12 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
Loc: Hardeman

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 Originally Posted By: Rockhound
People have laughed at me, called me a whiner, and told me I didn't know what I was talking. And its always people from different parts of the state who haven't experienced it.

True...and not too much else to add to your comments, Rockhound. We simply MUST manage the resource locally and recognize that it can vary a whole lot from place to place.

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#3236740 - 05/01/13 09:15 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
SEC
6 Point


Registered: 11/01/10
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Loc: TN

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Look at all the low lying counties there numbers are very low. I myself pretty much only have west TN bottom land to hunt and after the bad hatch in 2010-2011 we have fewer birds than I have seen in 15 years. With a 4 bird limit we never have any carry over birds in other words for the most part the two year old birds get wiped out every year in my area. With a 2 bird limit I cant help but think we would have a few 3 or 4 year old birds to hunt this year instead all we have is a few super jakes doing all the gobbling,strutting and breeding. What I am saying is how can the low lying counties have the same limits as middle TN.

Edited by SEC (05/01/13 09:19 PM)

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#3236916 - 05/02/13 07:31 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Gobblrgttr]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 18672
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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Turkey populations seem to vary greatly from year to year within very localized areas within any particular county, even when the turkey population for the county is the opposite of how it may appear to those hunting a localized area within a county.

Some of my personal worst years turkey hunting are often some of the best for the particular county hunting. Some of my personal best years turkey hunting are often some of the worst for the particular county hunting.

I've concluded that turkeys move around more over the course of a year than many hunters think. Where more or less turkeys end up during April (and particularly during the 1st two weekends of turkey season), may have more to do with recent weather patterns and food supply/preferences, plus whether spring is running a little early or late, than the actual turkey population for a county.

This year, spring has been late, and gobbler groups have been later than usual in breaking up and scattering across more vast areas of a county. On April 23, 2013, I walked up on a gobbler group of at least 7 birds --- that's something I more typically see in mid to late March.

My point is that when males are still in bachelor groups, they can't be scattered across as much territory, say within a 5 to 10 square-mile area. Take your favorite "spot" to turkey hunt. Wherever that is, if you place yourself in the middle of an area that's 2 miles in every direction, that's 16 square miles of territory (if 4 miles long x 4 miles wide). If there were only 7 longbeards within those 16 square miles, imagine your odds of seeing one if they were all within a single one square instead of being scattered over many. On the other hand, should your favorite "spot" be within that square mile that the entire group of gobblers is still hanging out . . . . . you may be seeing lots of gobblers.

This is just my opinion, so it is what it is.
I think this year's statewide turkey harvest is lower (so far, compared to prior years) mainly because of less turkey hunting. In particular, the intensity of hunters hunting collectively is often guided by their first outing or two for the season. If they are disappointed, they may not go hunting any more until the next year. If they see or hear something that excites them, they may hunt a lot more and a lot harder during the next few weeks after the opening weekend.

Note that in most areas the juvenile (jake) harvest is typically running between 10 and 25% of the spring turkey harvest. We wouldn't have that high of a carry-over of birds becoming longbeards each year if we were wiping out most of the males each spring.

 Originally Posted By: Gobblrgttr
I would be glad to see them bring the limit down as well

Again, just my personal opinion, but I also wish the spring limit were no more than 3, and would even prefer 2 rather than the current 4. I believe more hunters would enjoy better quality turkey hunting (hear more gobbling, see more longbeards, and more hunters would kill one or two), for some of the same reasons I favor a 2-buck deer limit over an 11-buck deer limit.

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#3236923 - 05/02/13 07:37 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16774
Loc: Allardt, TN

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Need units, been saying it for years.
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#3236945 - 05/02/13 08:24 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
Bone Collector
14 Point


Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 8517
Loc: Murfreesboro, TN

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[/quote] This is just my opinion, so it is what it is.
I think this year's statewide turkey harvest is lower (so far, compared to prior years) mainly because of less turkey hunting. In particular, the intensity of hunters hunting collectively is often guided by their first outing or two for the season. If they are disappointed, they may not go hunting any more until the next year. If they see or hear something that excites them, they may hunt a lot more and a lot harder during the next few weeks after the opening weekend. [quote]

I think that has a lot to do with it too. I can say this that Mid TN continues to kill birds. I looked at the counties that I hunt or could feasibly hunt and they are pretty close to keeping pace with last year, or have already surpassed, or will surpass last years harvest totals.

I also think the late spring, as well as poor hatches have had some effect, but like others said that be corrected with one good hatch.
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#3236956 - 05/02/13 08:36 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
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Regarding limits, I think we hunters aren't always the best managers of the resource. Using GA as an example, years ago the state set the statewide anterless limit at 10 does to allow flexibilty in managing herds locally. There are now areas where you'd be hard-pressed to even cut a track and the state is considering ways of addressing the population decline including shortened season length and modified doe days. Just because the state says one CAN legally kill 10 does doesn't mean one SHOULD.

Another recent example is AR; they've reduced both the length of their turkey season and bag limits several times over the past few years. Every time we pull the trigger we are making a management decision, but sometimes we don't see it that way.

Mr. Parrish: Good point about a hunter's experience early in the season having some impact on whether they continue hunting as the season goes on. I hadn't considered this aspect...in an off year folks probably hang it up earlier in the season.


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#3236961 - 05/02/13 08:41 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
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 Originally Posted By: smstone22
Need units, been saying it for years.

This is done in the fall easily enough by county...wonder if it's ever been considered for spring?

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#3236992 - 05/02/13 09:32 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
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Sorry for this long read, but I think it makes alot of sense. Most of you probably already know this, but read this and think about it.

I have been saying it for a few years now, in southern mid TN, do not know if it is my spots in particular because I am unlucky or if it is everybody, but our turkey population is not what it once was.

Hear in Giles county, south of Pulaski, has been getting worse since 2007. Now I have heard north of Pulaski all the way to Lewisburg and all around Maury county and in the mid-state is getting higher. I also hunt Lincoln county, northeast of Fayetteville quite a lot, and although I think it is good, it isn't what it once was. I have also hunted places in Lawrence and Wayne counties. It isn't what it once was.

I am not whining, but I know for a fact it has gotten worse on the properties that I hunt since the year 2007. Also hunt alot in north central AL right on the line, and it has gone down since 2007 as well.

I blame all of it on consecutuvie poor hatches. Think about it, one poor hatch has a long term effect because a bad hatch means fewer turkeys to hacth the next spring and so on. When we have had several bad hatches, it just gets worse upon getting worse, if you understand what I am saying. A good hatch, can make everything get better, and on top of that get better. It is obvious without much explanation.

I think the question is why are we having these bad hatches? I am not a biologist so I don't research this so I don't know an answer but I have ideas. Has it been wet springs? Has it been varmints such as possums skunks and coons? Has it been the newly migrated in armidillos? Has it been the infestation of illegal feral hogs? Is it increased predator hunting? Increased shooting of coyotes makes the racoon and such population rise, therefore more egg getters.

Obviously, shooting less gobblers a year will help the population, but I think it would be minimal. One gobbler can breed many, many hens.

The best thing I know to do is to shoot less hens during the fall. Hens mortality rate is already almost that of gobblers anyways. Since they nest on the ground, they are of course very prone to getting ate by something. Also, hay cutting and bush hogging kill many. I understand people cutting the hay because they have certain timing in which they must get it done. But it is sad to see somebody bushhogging during April-June.

I don't have the answer to anything. But I think these are some of reasons why it has gone done in my neck of the woods and many of yours as well.

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#3236998 - 05/02/13 09:40 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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I can agree with units, but it would have to be mini units. I think that would be too hard to do, because they flucuate so much. I am very familiar with Giles county hunting, and in the northern half of the county things are great, while the southern half they are poor. I think it is all cyclical, and I believe that one day it may be reversed. It just seems to me that on my concentrated spots have been very unlucky with poor hatches.

I could talk about this for days.

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#3237001 - 05/02/13 09:46 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
muddyboots
12 Point


Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 6837
Loc: savannah, tn., usa

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Been saying this for 5 years.
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#3237003 - 05/02/13 09:47 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: Rockhound
Some areas of the state have been going through this for years, to the point your lucky if you even hear a gobble in your county. People have laughed at me, called me a whiner, and told me I didn't know what I was talking. And its always people from different parts of the state who haven't experienced it. I hope it gets better and doesn't happen but with declines like that is say it won't be long before a lot of people get a taste of what I've been talking about.


You and I are on the same page 100%. I been observing it since 2007 things have gotten worse. I see that you hunt Lawrence County, while I hunt in Southern Giles mostly. Not familiar with your area much, but I have heard other Lawrence hunters say that it is worse than the past. I know for sure south Giles is.

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#3237012 - 05/02/13 09:57 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 18672
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
Obviously, shooting less gobblers a year will help the population, but I think it would be minimal. One gobbler can breed many, many hens.

While this is technically correct, it says little about the composition of the flock, individual bird health, stress on young males, etc.

We could kill off every buck deer each deer season, and this would have very little effect on the ongoing number of deer. Deer herd would be a lot more females than males, and most of the males would be young.

Similarly, we could kill every single longbeard each Spring, and the number of turkeys on-going would change little from year to year. But how many Toms would we have over 2 years of age?

I know our statewide turkey flock is not in bad health, and we may have more 3-yr-old and older Toms now than in times past. BUT . . . . . . I believe we are killing off most of the 2-year-old Toms each Spring . . . . . . just as we're killing off most of the buck deer each fall that are above-averaged-antlered 2 1/2's. Just as it's become "easy" for many hunters to pass up yearling bucks, it's become "easy" for many hunters to pass up jakes.

Whether we have more 3-yr-old or older Toms now than in times past is not the issue here: The issue is we could be providing more hunters with higher quality turkey hunting if we had a lower limit during the Spring. And IMO, totally doing away with the fall turkey hunting (yes, I know, many of those turkeys killed in the fall wouldn't live until Spring, but some would).

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#3237025 - 05/02/13 10:07 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: Wes Parrish
 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
Obviously, shooting less gobblers a year will help the population, but I think it would be minimal. One gobbler can breed many, many hens.

While this is technically correct, it says little about the composition of the flock, individual bird health, stress on young males, etc.

We could kill off every buck deer each deer season, and this would have very little effect on the ongoing number of deer. Deer herd would be a lot more females than males, and most of the males would be young.

Similarly, we could kill every single longbeard each Spring, and the number of turkeys on-going would change little from year to year. But how many Toms would we have over 2 years of age?

I know our statewide turkey flock is not in bad health, and we may have more 3-yr-old and older Toms now than in times past. BUT . . . . . . I believe we are killing off most of the 2-year-old Toms each Spring . . . . . . just as we're killing off most of the buck deer each fall that are above-averaged-antlered 2 1/2's. Just as it's become "easy" for many hunters to pass up yearling bucks, it's become "easy" for many hunters to pass up jakes.

Whether we have more 3-yr-old or older Toms now than in times past is not the issue here: The issue is we could be providing more hunters with higher quality turkey hunting if we had a lower limit during the Spring. And IMO, totally doing away with the fall turkey hunting (yes, I know, many of those turkeys killed in the fall wouldn't live until Spring, but some would).


I agree Wes, flock composition would get better. But still, hens I believe suffer higher mortality than gobblers because they nest on the ground. Everything in the world tries to eat the hen, the eggs, and the poults. Bush-hogging the wrong time a year takes its toll on them.

I don't think they should do away with fall turkey hunting, but shooting up to six hens in a county in a day, then going to the next county in the same day and killing three more, then waking up in the morning and killing 6 hens in the county north of you, I mean that is some dang turkey clean up right there. You hear the argument that some die anyways, well some don't die either. I just don't understand it. I couldn't shoot a hen on purpose unless it was a life or death situatuion for me.

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#3237029 - 05/02/13 10:14 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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As land managers, we need to make the habitat more suitable for turkeys, specifically nesting. I know I sound like the people off of mossy oak or nwtf, but it is true. To have good turkey habitat, you need a little bit of every kind of habitat imaginable on your property. Hardwoods for eating acorns in and roosting. Pines/cedars for roosting and nexting. Pine/cedar thickets for nesting. Recular grown up blackberry bush thickets for nesting. Food plots with clovers for spring/summer feeding for adult birds. Short cut food plots or cattle grazed pasture for poults to catch insects in. Cut lanes through thickets so that poults can catch the grass hoppers at an early age. FAll food plots with grains such as millet or corn for turkeys to eat. Chufa should be planted. Sow weat down for a fall crop, turkeys also eat the seeds and the sprouts. Plenty of mast producing, hard and soft. Also, a good property should have a good water source.
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#3237044 - 05/02/13 10:36 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
Loc: Hardeman

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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
As land managers, we need to make the habitat more suitable for turkeys, specifically nesting.

You beat me to it; this is where I'm staking my claim. I've been blessed to have a place I can do all the things you mention above and am confident that over the longterm can make it right for the critters.

In the grand scheme of things a year or 3 is a blip on the radar and I can't control things like the weather dictating a bad hatch here and there. For my part, I'm focusing on things I can control like habitat and predators. I hope the picture that seems to be emerging isn't becoming a trend. For you guys that have watched this slide for years...I know it must be frustrating.

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#3237054 - 05/02/13 10:48 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
As land managers, we need to make the habitat more suitable for turkeys, specifically nesting.

You beat me to it; this is where I'm staking my claim. I've been blessed to have a place I can do all the things you mention above and am confident that over the longterm can make it right for the critters.

In the grand scheme of things a year or 3 is a blip on the radar and I can't control things like the weather dictating a bad hatch here and there. For my part, I'm focusing on things I can control like habitat and predators. I hope the picture that seems to be emerging isn't becoming a trend. For you guys that have watched this slide for years...I know it must be frustrating.


It is frustrating, and it is 100% true about decline in my places. I am glad that you are taking part in being a land manager. I wish more people, including myself, could do a little better.

Also another thing to add, it would help if we all started trappipng the nest getting critters such as skunks, coons, possums, and the awlful armidillos. We need to eradicate every feral hog on the planet. We need to somehow kill every fireant on the continent. Controlling coyotes is a must, but not so much that varmints such as coons and possums rise in population.

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#3237098 - 05/02/13 11:49 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
wwa7
4 Point


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 114
Loc: West Tennessee

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I am lucky enough with my work, I get to hunt a lot. I start my season in North MS, move to TN, then get to hunt AR. I had a great season, but it was more luck than anything. Heres what I have seen the past few years...
West TN- I hunt land in Shelby, Fayette, and McNairy counties. It has all gone down hill since around 2005. The properties I hunt, do not get over hunted. I am a believer in taking a bird off the property and letting it be. The birds just aren't there like they used to.

Mid TN- Giles and Lincoln Counties... The hunting this year was pretty good, but still not near hearing the numbers of birds I usually do. It seemed the best year we had was 2010. Seems numbers still decreasing.

North MS- In General, again a decrease in birds. Farms where 4-5 are usually hanging around, were quiet for the most part.

East AR- On MS River, Zone 17... VERY TOUGH. But I blame that on many years of bad nesting as a result of the MS River flooding.

Overall, I agree on several things. I think we do need more suitable nesting habitat. The Hay cutting, bush hogging, really hurts them. I urge landowners to really set aside areas for nesting. I also agree in the Unit Idea, I would like to see a West Unit, a Middle Unit, and a Eastern Unit. I also believe the 4 bird limit it a little much. I would much rather see it at 3 or even 2 for a couple years. Of course, it is up to the hunter on how many he/she takes, even with a 4 bird limit. But then again, if you have a 2 or 3 bird limit, your still going to have hunters who take way over there limit. I have personally seen this in MS... I have many friends that I stay in contact with during the season and it seems to me the areas with booming populations in extreme Northeast MS, South Central MS, and central KY. My love for the Wild Turkey is not describable with words. I would love to see possibly shorter seasons, and state limits reduced to help protect our flocks.

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#3237103 - 05/02/13 11:52 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
wwa7
4 Point


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 114
Loc: West Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
As land managers, we need to make the habitat more suitable for turkeys, specifically nesting. I know I sound like the people off of mossy oak or nwtf, but it is true. To have good turkey habitat, you need a little bit of every kind of habitat imaginable on your property. Hardwoods for eating acorns in and roosting. Pines/cedars for roosting and nexting. Pine/cedar thickets for nesting. Recular grown up blackberry bush thickets for nesting. Food plots with clovers for spring/summer feeding for adult birds. Short cut food plots or cattle grazed pasture for poults to catch insects in. Cut lanes through thickets so that poults can catch the grass hoppers at an early age. FAll food plots with grains such as millet or corn for turkeys to eat. Chufa should be planted. Sow weat down for a fall crop, turkeys also eat the seeds and the sprouts. Plenty of mast producing, hard and soft. Also, a good property should have a good water source.


\:\) Completely agree...

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#3237113 - 05/02/13 12:07 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: wwa7]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: wwa7
 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
As land managers, we need to make the habitat more suitable for turkeys, specifically nesting. I know I sound like the people off of mossy oak or nwtf, but it is true. To have good turkey habitat, you need a little bit of every kind of habitat imaginable on your property. Hardwoods for eating acorns in and roosting. Pines/cedars for roosting and nexting. Pine/cedar thickets for nesting. Recular grown up blackberry bush thickets for nesting. Food plots with clovers for spring/summer feeding for adult birds. Short cut food plots or cattle grazed pasture for poults to catch insects in. Cut lanes through thickets so that poults can catch the grass hoppers at an early age. FAll food plots with grains such as millet or corn for turkeys to eat. Chufa should be planted. Sow weat down for a fall crop, turkeys also eat the seeds and the sprouts. Plenty of mast producing, hard and soft. Also, a good property should have a good water source.


\:\) Completely agree...


We sound almost like the same person. I do not get to hunt as much as I like, but I do hunt alot in south and central AL, alot in north AL, but mostly in Giles and Lincoldn TN, because this is where I live.
I cannot explain my love for the wild turkey in words just like you. I have noticed that there is a problem, looks to be the whole southeast U.S., with a declining turkey population.

I said earlier that I blame it almost fully on poor hatching. And it could be several reasons. We cannot control weather, but we can control management practices such as creating more suitbale nesting habitit, trying not to cut hay or bushhog during late spring, conrol varmints and hogs.

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#3237114 - 05/02/13 12:09 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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People that hunt the mid-state, specifically Maury county, are very lucky. I just looked at there this years harvest to date and it was over 1,000.

My home county of Giles has declinded over 200 birds since 2006.

I cant say it enough, something is wrong. Do not know if it is out of our control or not.

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#3237473 - 05/02/13 07:47 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
shopson
10 Point


Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 4417
Loc: Greeneville

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After first 8 days this year we were over 5000 birds behind last year but have been slowly gaining ground since then. Last year was unseasonably warm and the birds were broken up good early with gobblers strung out everywhere. This year it was close to the 10th before birds were broken up good. History shows the first 2 weekends are when the largest quantity of birds go down, usually.
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#3237509 - 05/02/13 08:34 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4588
Loc: medon,Tn.

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I hunt west as well as middle Tn. We have a dairy farm leased in Dickson county, and usually have tons of birds. We have seen fewer birds in Dickson county this yr. than the last ten. Locals say they are not seeing any anywhere, and the check station we go to in Dickson says they are way down on birds tagged. Same way here in Madison county. Something seems to be going on, not sure what. TWRA does a great job, but I have always felt our limit was to high, as well as our season to long. Look at Missouri, they have a two bird limit, three wk. season, and stop at 1 pm daily, and have a higher harvest then we do, and a larger population of birds. Three would be plenty, or even two for me.

Edited by tickweed (05/02/13 08:37 PM)
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#3237908 - 05/03/13 09:34 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: tickweed]
Lawrence
8 Point


Registered: 10/03/07
Posts: 1903
Loc: MT. Juliet Tennessee

happy Online
IMO
2 things
season is too long
and
4 bird limit needs to go
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#3237939 - 05/03/13 09:48 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Lawrence]
muddyboots
12 Point


Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 6837
Loc: savannah, tn., usa

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Where were all u guys 5 years ago when I was complaining. Ha Ha. I think the limit should be 2. Hunting for everyone would be better.
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#3237945 - 05/03/13 09:53 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: muddyboots]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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I have been complaining for the five years you have muddyboots. I still believe a lower harvest limit would not have a great effect. It is all about habitit management, and hen mortality. We cannot control weather, but we can improve habitat and keep hen killing minimal during fall and don't bushog until August.

Good hatches is the key.

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#3238040 - 05/03/13 11:29 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 797
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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Limit should be lowered for sure, I know too many people that will hunt a farm to death in early season and kill 5-8 toms off it. The next year, they may kill the same or slightly less...third year they complain about not having any good hunting....no sense in trying to explain logic to them. You got a family of three or four that turky hunts and they all want to limit out...thats a lot of birds!

Years when birds split up early seem to be better for my areas, but late season (May) tends to be the worse hunting during those years for obvious reasons. Im fortunate to have a decent flock on our farm during early season, we limit the harvest to 1 or 2 toms out of prob 10, what happens to them when they break up is out of my control. I do this because we are not selfish for one, and two we are optimistic some will survive and make their way back.
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#3238061 - 05/03/13 11:54 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: AT Hiker]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 15158
Loc: Franklin TN

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Sounds like limits aren't the problem if too many people are hunting the same farm. Maybe the hunters and landowners need to set their own limits. Even with a 2 bird limit you could have 5 guys potentially kill 10 birds off a 100 acre farm for example. I know of one farm in chapel hill that doesn't have many hunters and has tons of acres and is covered in birds. I killed 4 turkeys (tagged out) this year and last spring. Three last spring were public and all four this year were public. I'm not the best hunter, we just have good turkey hunting here. I also killed 6 birds on public last fall. That's on land shared with a lot of other hunters. In counties with low turkey populations maybe the limit should be lowered, like the deer hunting units, but where the population of turkey is booming, I like the generous 4 bird limit and it ain't hurting the hunting here.
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#3238067 - 05/03/13 12:02 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
Scud
Spike


Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 81
Loc: Tennessee

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I didn't see anyone mention that the numbers may be down due to the new check in procedures.

Also, I don't think that lowering the limit would make much of a difference. According to the TWRA website, as of today only 2,261 hunters have killed more than 2 birds. The total turkey population of the state is estimated to be around 300,000, so by lowering the limit to 2 birds, we would have saved the lives of less than 1% of the population.

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#3238083 - 05/03/13 12:28 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: catman529]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
Loc: Hardeman

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 Originally Posted By: catman529
Maybe the hunters and landowners need to set their own limits.

Nailed it (I assume you meant within the law of course). Honestly, I'm not necessarily opposed to the limits or season length so much as I am in favor of we hunters accepting our role in managing the resource. My greatest concern as that we keep bangin'away simply because "The State says I can kill 4" and all the while the population slowly slides downhill. Some regions can't sustain a 4-bird limit while others could probably sustain twice that.

There certainly appears to be places where the population has declined be it due to poor hatches, predators, disease, dramatic changes in habitat, or other factors. The real eye-opener for me when I reviewed the data over time (vs just a year or 2) and over a broader region is that it doesn't appear isolated. I don't know what constitutes a "trend" and when we should be alarmed but it certainly got my attention.

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#3238089 - 05/03/13 12:35 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Scud]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: Scud
I didn't see anyone mention that the numbers may be down due to the new check in procedures.

Also, I don't think that lowering the limit would make much of a difference. According to the TWRA website, as of today only 2,261 hunters have killed more than 2 birds. The total turkey population of the state is estimated to be around 300,000, so by lowering the limit to 2 birds, we would have saved the lives of less than 1% of the population.


Ive been saying this all along. Decreasing the bag limit will only have minimal effect, hardly even noticable
Its all about hatches and habitat.

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#3238108 - 05/03/13 12:59 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
Spurhunter
8 Point


Registered: 06/09/08
Posts: 1771
Loc: West TN

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#1 WE NEED UNITS! Maury County can stand 4 bird limits. West TN cannot. It's foolhardy to manage a state as diverse in habitat as TN like it's one farm.

#2 The top turkey biologists in the world did not get that way by being fools! They are not wrong: Hens should not be killed, EVER! Especially 6 in a day!

I have no problem with a 4 bird limit or the long season IF it's done by units or counties. This hunter management stuff is bull. There are guys all over this state bloodthirsty enough to shoot off the limb, kill hens, etc. You think they are going to quit hunting after 2 birds just because the farm doesn't need any more killed? Heck no!
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#3238110 - 05/03/13 01:03 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
Spurhunter
8 Point


Registered: 06/09/08
Posts: 1771
Loc: West TN

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
 Originally Posted By: catman529
Maybe the hunters and landowners need to set their own limits.

Nailed it


Nope. If you own the farm and only family hunts it, maybe. In a club,lease, or public land (how most of us hunt) no one is going to quit hunting while others are still hunting. Helll, most clubs can't agree on guest rules. Much less voluntarily lowering the limit.
_________________________
Member-National Wild Turkey Federation
Member-Colonel Tom Kelly's Tenth Legion
Member-National Rifle Association

And, I was "spurhunter" YEARS before the imposters showed up.


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#3238149 - 05/03/13 02:04 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Spurhunter]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
Loc: Hardeman

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 Originally Posted By: Spurhunter
If you own the farm and only family hunts it, maybe.

Since I own my own place...this is the context in which I was speaking. Dad, brother, and I can make a mutual decision and stick with it. Clubs, leases, and public land are a whole different discussion.

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#3238151 - 05/03/13 02:07 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Spurhunter]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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I agree that units would be nice, but I think it would be impossible to do units because where I am from, turkeys shift their ranges with the seasons. Everybody should know that.

On my farm in Giles county, they are no where to be found during the fall, but then by mid march we start seeing gobbler bunches and hens. Then during mid summer, we just see hens with their poults, and gobblers are gone. By September, the hens and poults have moved off to who knows where. Void of turkeys pretty much from september-end of february.

The people doing the research on how to split up the units would have to measure and observe very closely. Each area can be drastically difficult. Northern Giles County is some of the best hunting in the world, while the southern portion is going down yearly. It wouldn't be very feasible to make units because of the drastic differences within the same counties, the migration of birds, and with the research it would take to create these units.

I will stand by this statement, lowering the bag limit will of course save a few gobblers, but it will have a minimal effect on the overall grand scheme of things. 1 gobbler can breed as many hens as he finds, and will do so. That is why at the first of the year they weight 21-22 lbs on average then weigh 17-19lbs by the end of the year.

It is all about habitat management, nesting areas specifically!

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#3238153 - 05/03/13 02:08 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
 Originally Posted By: Spurhunter
If you own the farm and only family hunts it, maybe.

Since I own my own place...this is the context in which I was speaking. Dad, brother, and I can make a mutual decision and stick with it. Clubs, leases, and public land are a whole different discussion.



It also of course depends on how big it is, and if, or how much, pressure on the neighbors.

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#3238649 - 05/04/13 03:59 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: wwa7]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16774
Loc: Allardt, TN

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There is a good study that shows some serious detrimental effects to turkey populations when you dont leave something like 30% of adult gobblers in the population. You cant just whack all the 2 yr olds or better and expect to have much the next year.And I do think that happens in more places than I would like to think.
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#3239117 - 05/04/13 09:19 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
SEC
6 Point


Registered: 11/01/10
Posts: 608
Loc: TN

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 Originally Posted By: smstone22
There is a good study that shows some serious detrimental effects to turkey populations when you dont leave something like 30% of adult gobblers in the population. You cant just whack all the 2 yr olds or better and expect to have much the next year.And I do think that happens in more places than I would like to think.
I can promise you that is what happens around here. A couple of bad hatches and now all we are hearing are crickets chirping.

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#3239185 - 05/05/13 05:37 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Scud]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1514
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: Scud
I didn't see anyone mention that the numbers may be down due to the new check in procedures.

I do know places like Lawrence County has some serious issues with their turkey population, but this has been ongoing for year. I wouldn't think that it would have a big effect when comparing with last years harvest numbers. I do think that with the new check-in procedures, a lot of turkeys arent being checked in. I'm willing to bet the deer harvest numbers will drop this year also.
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#3239215 - 05/05/13 07:00 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Lawrence]
jar
4 Point


Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 298
Loc: tn, rutherford county

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Why is it we TN guys think we deserve such generous limits and length of our hunting season. I know TWRA has their reasons for being so generous with our Turkey and Deer but I wish they were more conservative. As far as landowners realizing they set lower limits for their property it only takes one landowner to affect a large chunk of land in a negative way. My neighbor down the road killed 7 toms last year between him and his kids this year 2 and not hearing much.
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#3239388 - 05/05/13 11:23 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
Loc: Hardeman

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Question for those that are hearing and seeing fewer birds: Has the landscape changed much in/around the areas you hunt over the last 6 years or so? Has there been much large scale timber logging, large tracts being subdivided, home building activity, tillable ground converted to CRP, or other significant changes in land-use? Anyone in an area with lots of poultry houses where litter/manure is now being spread as fertilizer (and it wasn't in the past)?
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#3239389 - 05/05/13 11:24 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: jar]
Lawrence
8 Point


Registered: 10/03/07
Posts: 1903
Loc: MT. Juliet Tennessee

happy Online
 Originally Posted By: jar
Why is it we TN guys think we deserve such generous limits and length of our hunting season. I know TWRA has their reasons for being so generous with our Turkey and Deer but I wish they were more conservative. As far as landowners realizing they set lower limits for their property it only takes one landowner to affect a large chunk of land in a negative way. My neighbor down the road killed 7 toms last year between him and his kids this year 2 and not hearing much.


I agree 100 percent
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#3239392 - 05/05/13 11:26 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
Loc: Hardeman

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 Originally Posted By: smstone22
There is a good study that shows some serious detrimental effects to turkey populations when you dont leave something like 30% of adult gobblers in the population.

I'd be very interested in reading; do you know where I might find this study?

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#3239438 - 05/05/13 12:10 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16774
Loc: Allardt, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
 Originally Posted By: smstone22
There is a good study that shows some serious detrimental effects to turkey populations when you dont leave something like 30% of adult gobblers in the population.

I'd be very interested in reading; do you know where I might find this study?


I used to have it saved but dont any more, I think out of Missouri. Ill hunt for it when I get some time.
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#3239450 - 05/05/13 12:23 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
Lawrence
8 Point


Registered: 10/03/07
Posts: 1903
Loc: MT. Juliet Tennessee

happy Online
One thing I've never understood is tn continues to set spring quotas at 4 no matter how the previous hatch turns out.
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#3239475 - 05/05/13 12:48 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1514
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
Anyone in an area with lots of poultry houses where litter/manure is now being spread as fertilizer (and it wasn't in the past)?

I'd heard from second hand sources that TWRA was investigating the effects of the chicken manure being spread on the fields in Lawrence County. I think they were looking into it causing liver damage. My FIL would spread it on his farm and several others in Lawrence County. It sure made for some fun coyote hunting. They would run around slurping up chicken bones like a vacuum cleaner. It wasn't uncommon to see a dozen of them on a morning's hunt. He has quit using chicken litter in the past couple years.
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#3239506 - 05/05/13 01:29 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Buzzard Breath]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16774
Loc: Allardt, TN

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Here you are Boll Weevil. LOADS of info here, you have to be really interested in it to read it all. It is when harvest exceeds 30% of the male population in Spring, I said it backwards initially I think. At a 60% spring harvest of males, they estimate no adult males will survive a Spring season in 8 of 40 years. This is due to the very high natural mortality rate of turkeys. If every turkey hunter was serious abotu conserving the population, they would clamoring for some form of reduced hunting. I like the 4 bird limit obviously but would love to see it put into units so some areas werent so hard hit. Heck it wouldnt really bother me if they just simply reduced it statewide because I know they like simple, but I would at least like the option of doing some travel to get the 4.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/3830761?seq=26
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#3239554 - 05/05/13 02:41 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
muddyboots
12 Point


Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 6837
Loc: savannah, tn., usa

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The hunting declined exactly as limits were increased. Coincidence or not???? I think not!
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Let em go and let em grow!
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#3239558 - 05/05/13 02:46 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: muddyboots]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 18672
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: muddyboots
The hunting declined exactly as limits were increased.

Who would have thunk it.

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#3240163 - 05/06/13 08:23 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
Question for those that are hearing and seeing fewer birds: Has the landscape changed much in/around the areas you hunt over the last 6 years or so? Has there been much large scale timber logging, large tracts being subdivided, home building activity, tillable ground converted to CRP, or other significant changes in land-use? Anyone in an area with lots of poultry houses where litter/manure is now being spread as fertilizer (and it wasn't in the past)?


No they haven't in my spots. I hunt very low populated areas, and in the 90s early 2000s you saw turkeys in fields and pastures everyday.

I don't know if it is chicken litter, I have heard it is bad for turkeys, could possibly be the problem. I know with fertilizer prices very high, and chicken litter still cheap, could be what happened.
I still think more than anything else there has just been several consecutive bad hatches in these areas.

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#3240185 - 05/06/13 08:38 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: smstone22
Here you are Boll Weevil. LOADS of info here, you have to be really interested in it to read it all. It is when harvest exceeds 30% of the male population in Spring, I said it backwards initially I think. At a 60% spring harvest of males, they estimate no adult males will survive a Spring season in 8 of 40 years. This is due to the very high natural mortality rate of turkeys. If every turkey hunter was serious abotu conserving the population, they would clamoring for some form of reduced hunting. I like the 4 bird limit obviously but would love to see it put into units so some areas werent so hard hit. Heck it wouldnt really bother me if they just simply reduced it statewide because I know they like simple, but I would at least like the option of doing some travel to get the 4.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/3830761?seq=26


I just read the abstract and really liked it. It looks like we need to lower harvest limits in the southern-midstate ( Lincon, Giles, Lawrence, Wayne) And I believe for the most part this should south of Highway 64.
If the TWRA does decide to go to units, I think this should be one. Limit of 3 maybe 2 gobblers. And combine fall and spring into one season, or just do away with the fall season all together.
I do not agree with all the hen killing we have in some of these areas, and I think it should be abandonded statewide.

The units also may need to be updated, or changed, anually.

I am for anything that will increase the quality of turkey hunting. I want it to be like it once was.

Another point is feeding corn to wildlife. I do not do so, because I don't think it helps for one thing, but there was a thread on the serious deer forum last week about some "deer corn" that was recalled due to toxic chemicals. I wonder if that has had anyhting to do with it, since game feeders and gettting pictures on game cameras have become such a cool thing to do the past about 10 years.
Maybe feeding corn should be outlawed completely?

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#3240332 - 05/06/13 11:50 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
Loc: Hardeman

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Thanks very much for sending the link.

In the past, I had always felt ok removing about "a 1/3rd of what I heard" as a general rule. If during my spring scouting/listening I heard 8 or 9 gobblers leading up the season I felt ok setting a target of 3 for that property. That rule has at least kept me in the birds year after year regardless of hatch success.

Based upon my research, average recruitment has fallen to only about 2 poults per hen. If they are 50% jakes, I need at least 4 hens to raise a clutch successfully and replace what I killed every year. Throw in a bobcat, yote, neighboring property harvest, disease, or other mortality factors and it's esy to see why it doesn't always make sense for me to kill 4 on my place each and every year. It's just not sustainable.

Fortunately last year's bumper crop of poults is really going to help, but there are some other things I'm doing from a habitat managet perspective to hopefully benefit recruitment and survival. I'll try and find that research I reviewed recently and post a link here.

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#3240338 - 05/06/13 12:03 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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Fortunately last year's bumper crop of poults is really going to help, but there are some other things I'm doing from a habitat managet perspective to hopefully benefit recruitment and survival. [/quote]

If you dont mind, how do you know that it was a good hatch year? The answer maybe obvious, "I see alot of poults." The reason why I ask is because I very rarely see poults. I always think that a few hens next on my property, and even though I never see them doesn't mean they aren't there. I am not one to go walking through the fields and woods during the summer time. But just driving down the road in general, I do not see any. I live in one of the parts that is having the severe decline, and I wonder if that has anything to do with me never seeing any poults, becuase there are none to see? I don't run game cameras enough to see how many I have either.

I don't really base my hatches on how many I see, I just see what kinda weather we had during the hatching time, late May-Mid June is when I think most hatch in my areas. Even though I have still only saw few poults, I estimated last spring to have a good hatch because it was dry during the late spring and early summer.
I am no biologist, I may be totally wrong.

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#3240342 - 05/06/13 12:07 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16774
Loc: Allardt, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
Thanks very much for sending the link.

In the past, I had always felt ok removing about "a 1/3rd of what I heard" as a general rule. If during my spring scouting/listening I heard 8 or 9 gobblers leading up the season I felt ok setting a target of 3 for that property. That rule has at least kept me in the birds year after year regardless of hatch success.

Fortunately last year's bumper crop of poults is really going to help, but there are some other things I'm doing from a habitat managet perspective to hopefully benefit recruitment and survival.



Good deal, thats pretty well what I do for my property as well. When I just had 1-2 gobblers there in the Spring, I didnt take any. When it started getting over 3, I started taking 1 a year for a couple of years. The population just kept growing, and this year I had about 8 gobblers and several jakes running around pretty regular. I took 2 of those. And Im in a county with a low harvest, I see people on here complaining alot about Lawrence Co., heck my county is like a 100 birds behind them! lol But you can build a good population, just with proper management.
_________________________
-QDM=Better Deer, Better Deer Hunting
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#3240348 - 05/06/13 12:18 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
Loc: Hardeman

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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
If you dont mind, how do you know that it was a good hatch year?

Actual sightings, camera survey, and when I can get my hands on it...research data to compare against. I saw more little poults (a few weeks old) last year than I ever have. Cameras all summer/fall showed survival was really great. I saw (and passed on) 27 jakes this spring so now know that the cycle to maturity is almost complete. I also can't help but feel my effort to improve habitat and manage harvest is helping that process.

Here's some of the brood surveys research to which I was referring. Look at the trend line on the bottom of page 2. Now maybe some of that is simply an indicator of a flock that is reaching the state's carrying capacity...which is a very natural progression. But year after year after year + other mortality factors; it's no surprise where we end up unless some part of the equation is altered.

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#3240359 - 05/06/13 12:37 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
If you dont mind, how do you know that it was a good hatch year?

Actual sightings, camera survey, and when I can get my hands on it...research data to compare against. I saw more little poults (a few weeks old) last year than I ever have. Cameras all summer/fall showed survival was really great. I saw (and passed on) 27 jakes this spring so now know that the cycle to maturity is almost complete. I also can't help but feel my effort to improve habitat and manage harvest is helping that process.

Here's one of the articles I was referring to on through 2012. brood surveys Look at the trend line on the bottom of page 2. Now maybe some of that is simply an indicator of a flock that is reaching the state's carrying capacity...which is a very natural progression. But year after year after year + other mortality factors; it's no surprise where we end up unless some part of the equation is altered.


Yes I have read that report actually, very interesting, but also alot of information to take in.
I haven't seen the first jake in Giles County Tennessee all season. I do not remember the last small poult I have seen, or fall flock of a few big hens with their several smaller ones.

Now, about the information on page 2. I know that carrying capacity is a real factor, but just look at all the southern mid state from the 90s through mid 2000s. Look how high the numbers where then. Surely the carrying capacity should be somewhere close to what the population actually once was?

I can think of a few other things on why there "could" only be 2 poults per hen.
1. We used to not have wild hogs around here.
2. We used to not have armidillos around here.
3. We used to not have fireants.
4. The months of April/May, have been wetter than past history, with the main exception of 2012.
5. Possums, skunks, and racooons, maybe having a major impact. People no longer trap much, therefore these animals populate. Also, with the increased popularity of predator hunting may have more of a negative effect on turkeys than positive. I believe that shooting coyotes causes these racoons and such populations to increase. Coyotes/bobcats are of little threat to adult birds, except for nesting hens. The animals you gotta watch out for are the nest eaters.
6. Feeding corn for wildlife. A week ago on the serious deer forum, a thread came up about alfatoxins in "wildlife feed corn"

This is my opinion on some of these things, and although I am not a turkey biologist, I love the bird and study them alot. I believe that these problems may be some of the causes of turkey decline.

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#3240386 - 05/06/13 01:06 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
Wes Parrish
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Not that this has much to do with the 2013 harvest (beyond eliminating a weekend of turkey-hunting opportunity), but in some mid-to-northern Middle TN counties, we just had a flash flood that surely wiped out a lot of turkey nests. In certain locations, it was worse flooding than anyone can ever remember. These areas may have a set-back comparable to what resulted from the West TN flooding a couple years ago (the one that submerged President's Island WMA).

Just on a half-mile stretch of one creek, I had witnessed the nesting locations of three different hens, all of which had their nests washed away on April 27. Most years, this particular creek never overflows its banks, maybe happens once every 3 years, but even then, commonly not when turkeys are nesting.

This flooding will have some adverse effects on the turkey population, particularly next year's if there's poor nesting success this year.

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#3241089 - 05/07/13 08:40 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
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Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: Wes Parrish
Not that this has much to do with the 2013 harvest (beyond eliminating a weekend of turkey-hunting opportunity), but in some mid-to-northern Middle TN counties, we just had a flash flood that surely wiped out a lot of turkey nests. In certain locations, it was worse flooding than anyone can ever remember. These areas may have a set-back comparable to what resulted from the West TN flooding a couple years ago (the one that submerged President's Island WMA).

Just on a half-mile stretch of one creek, I had witnessed the nesting locations of three different hens, all of which had their nests washed away on April 27. Most years, this particular creek never overflows its banks, maybe happens once every 3 years, but even then, commonly not when turkeys are nesting.

This flooding will have some adverse effects on the turkey population, particularly next year's if there's poor nesting success this year.


I wonder how many turkey nest were destroyed since the the down pours certain areas have had since Saturday?

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#3241151 - 05/07/13 09:45 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
Rockhound
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Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 2667
Loc: Lawrence Co. TN

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
Question for those that are hearing and seeing fewer birds: Has the landscape changed much in/around the areas you hunt over the last 6 years or so? Has there been much large scale timber logging, large tracts being subdivided, home building activity, tillable ground converted to CRP, or other significant changes in land-use? Anyone in an area with lots of poultry houses where litter/manure is now being spread as fertilizer (and it wasn't in the past)?


Everything the same as it has always been except for 1 chicken barn
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#3241914 - 05/08/13 08:02 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
BowGuy84
10 Point


Registered: 09/16/07
Posts: 4897
Loc: Nashville, TN and Louisville, ...

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 Originally Posted By: smstone22
There is a good study that shows some serious detrimental effects to turkey populations when you dont leave something like 30% of adult gobblers in the population. You cant just whack all the 2 yr olds or better and expect to have much the next year.And I do think that happens in more places than I would like to think.


I'm pretty sure I did this on a property in Jefferson Co., KY this year. I know there are probably a couple in and aboust the area but after killed the 2 known gobbling birds (1 I called in for a kid), I didn't hear a gobble the rest of the season.

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#3244278 - 05/11/13 12:01 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: catman529]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 797
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: catman529
Sounds like limits aren't the problem if too many people are hunting the same farm. Maybe the hunters and landowners need to set their own limits. Even with a 2 bird limit you could have 5 guys potentially kill 10 birds off a 100 acre farm for example. I know of one farm in chapel hill that doesn't have many hunters and has tons of acres and is covered in birds. I killed 4 turkeys (tagged out) this year and last spring. Three last spring were public and all four this year were public. I'm not the best hunter, we just have good turkey hunting here. I also killed 6 birds on public last fall. That's on land shared with a lot of other hunters. In counties with low turkey populations maybe the limit should be lowered, like the deer hunting units, but where the population of turkey is booming, I like the generous 4 bird limit and it ain't hurting the hunting here.


Like I said, explaining logic to someone can be difficult at times. If TWRA says they can kill 4, then they can...but it is likely not the best for the area. You have experienced spectacular years it seems, congrats too! But do not expect it to stay that way, turkeys are sensitive and one bad hatch year and no bag limit change can result in some serious decline in a quality hunt. In my opinion, 2 turkeys is enough...I would also like to see a shortened season for peak gobbeling quality reasons (this is just a preference).
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#3244368 - 05/11/13 03:31 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: AT Hiker]
Spurhunter
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 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
 Originally Posted By: catman529
Sounds like limits aren't the problem if too many people are hunting the same farm. Maybe the hunters and landowners need to set their own limits. Even with a 2 bird limit you could have 5 guys potentially kill 10 birds off a 100 acre farm for example. I know of one farm in chapel hill that doesn't have many hunters and has tons of acres and is covered in birds. I killed 4 turkeys (tagged out) this year and last spring. Three last spring were public and all four this year were public. I'm not the best hunter, we just have good turkey hunting here. I also killed 6 birds on public last fall. That's on land shared with a lot of other hunters. In counties with low turkey populations maybe the limit should be lowered, like the deer hunting units, but where the population of turkey is booming, I like the generous 4 bird limit and it ain't hurting the hunting here.


Like I said, explaining logic to someone can be difficult at times. If TWRA says they can kill 4, then they can...but it is likely not the best for the area. You have experienced spectacular years it seems, congrats too! But do not expect it to stay that way, turkeys are sensitive and one bad hatch year and no bag limit change can result in some serious decline in a quality hunt. In my opinion, 2 turkeys is enough...I would also like to see a shortened season for peak gobbeling quality reasons (this is just a preference).


Not to mention the Maury County birds are going to get pressured to death next year. I have heard numerous guys out of turkey poor counties in West TN talking about hunting Maury County next year where there are kamikaze birds ready to embark on a suicide mission in plentiful numbers (gotta love the internet).

The same thing happened in Copiah County MS years ago. It was a turkey mecca and because of that everybody wanted to hunt there. The birds got so much pressure from all over the state it is just an average county even now. The surplus may not last forever. Then, when the guys that whack hens 6 a day start wondering what happened they will only have themselves (and the ridiculous regulations) to blame.
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#3244374 - 05/11/13 03:46 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Spurhunter]
Rockhound
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 Originally Posted By: Spurhunter
 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
 Originally Posted By: catman529
Sounds like limits aren't the problem if too many people are hunting the same farm. Maybe the hunters and landowners need to set their own limits. Even with a 2 bird limit you could have 5 guys potentially kill 10 birds off a 100 acre farm for example. I know of one farm in chapel hill that doesn't have many hunters and has tons of acres and is covered in birds. I killed 4 turkeys (tagged out) this year and last spring. Three last spring were public and all four this year were public. I'm not the best hunter, we just have good turkey hunting here. I also killed 6 birds on public last fall. That's on land shared with a lot of other hunters. In counties with low turkey populations maybe the limit should be lowered, like the deer hunting units, but where the population of turkey is booming, I like the generous 4 bird limit and it ain't hurting the hunting here.


Like I said, explaining logic to someone can be difficult at times. If TWRA says they can kill 4, then they can...but it is likely not the best for the area. You have experienced spectacular years it seems, congrats too! But do not expect it to stay that way, turkeys are sensitive and one bad hatch year and no bag limit change can result in some serious decline in a quality hunt. In my opinion, 2 turkeys is enough...I would also like to see a shortened season for peak gobbeling quality reasons (this is just a preference).


Not to mention the Maury County birds are going to get pressured to death next year. I have heard numerous guys out of turkey poor counties in West TN talking about hunting Maury County next year where there are kamikaze birds ready to embark on a suicide mission in plentiful numbers (gotta love the internet).

The same thing happened in Copiah County MS years ago. It was a turkey mecca and because of that everybody wanted to hunt there. The birds got so much pressure from all over the state it is just an average county even now. The surplus may not last forever. Then, when the guys that whack hens 6 a day start wondering what happened they will only have themselves (and the ridiculous regulations) to blame.



Your dead on spur hunter, people tell way to much on the net
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#3245157 - 05/12/13 11:03 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
MRUTVOL
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There can be many factors that contribute to less birds from time to time. The one ,and I consider a major hit to the turkey populations in some areas, is the harvesting or cutting of hay during the peak of nesting time. Last year due to the lack of rain in some areas hay cutting was late and the birds were able to hatch a majority of their eggs. In a normal year such as this the hay cutting is already starting in some areas and there are numerous nest destroyed in the process. I have heard several farmers talk about all the nest they wipe out while cutting hay. To me this is the one biggest man-made causes of flock reductions in some areas. I know where I hunt in the river bottoms there are a lot of nest taken out.
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#3251747 - 05/21/13 08:47 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: wwa7]
smstone22
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Registered: 01/11/04
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Cumberland Countians.... What in the world is going on over there? 2012 harvest of 310 birds, 2013 harvest of 197 birds. 36% drop in 1 year!
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#3251885 - 05/21/13 11:55 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
Grizzly Johnson Moderator
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No need to worry about units.... just set the limit at 2 male birds per season, no hens at all.... leave the length the same to allow for hunter schedules or poor hunting conditions to be worked around.

The extra birds in some areas of the state should eventually "migrate" to the less populated areas naturally or by pressure.
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#3251952 - 05/21/13 01:20 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Grizzly Johnson]
catman529
spiderboy
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Registered: 11/10/10
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 Originally Posted By: Grizzly Johnson
No need to worry about units.... just set the limit at 2 male birds per season, no hens at all.... leave the length the same to allow for hunter schedules or poor hunting conditions to be worked around.

The extra birds in some areas of the state should eventually "migrate" to the less populated areas naturally or by pressure.
why would they migrate when they have all the horse and cow feed they want? When they become nuisance they will need to be killed more including the hens. I would much rather see units since different areas of the state vary so much.
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#3252000 - 05/21/13 02:10 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: catman529]
Grizzly Johnson Moderator
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 Originally Posted By: catman529
 Originally Posted By: Grizzly Johnson
No need to worry about units.... just set the limit at 2 male birds per season, no hens at all.... leave the length the same to allow for hunter schedules or poor hunting conditions to be worked around.

The extra birds in some areas of the state should eventually "migrate" to the less populated areas naturally or by pressure.
why would they migrate when they have all the horse and cow feed they want? When they become nuisance they will need to be killed more including the hens. I would much rather see units since different areas of the state vary so much.


I use the term "migrate" loosly.... as the numbers expand, their range should expand as well.... I guess we could pay higher license fees to fund TWRA to catch birds from higher populated areas and relocate them to less populated areas..... if that suited you better. Not all birds have those nice horse and cow farms to call home..... I can see deer being a "nuisance" but not a turkey, they have a broad range of foods which include many type bugs that most people call pests.

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#3252013 - 05/21/13 02:32 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Grizzly Johnson]
catman529
spiderboy
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Weren't they saying in the other thread that a very low percentage of hunters kill more than 2 birds? I don't see the point in lowering the limit in the spring unless we got an explosion of out of state hunters or something...I still say units would work best, why wouldn't they?
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#3252312 - 05/21/13 09:08 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: catman529]
Rockhound
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When it come to the point that they are to crowded they will migrate, those of you who dont experience what the ones here are experiencing do not understand what we are going through. I have about 10,000 accessible acres of those pretty cow, and horse pastures as well as hardwoods pines and crop fields here in Lawrence county. On that 10,000 acres there are not enough turkeys for 2 people to tag out on.

Yea I'd say we have a problem.
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#3252314 - 05/21/13 09:09 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
Rockhound
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I heard 4 birds in LC this year, a big rise from the last 4 years
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#3252351 - 05/21/13 09:48 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
catman529
spiderboy
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Registered: 11/10/10
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 Originally Posted By: Rockhound
When it come to the point that they are to crowded they will migrate, those of you who dont experience what the ones here are experiencing do not understand what we are going through. I have about 10,000 accessible acres of those pretty cow, and horse pastures as well as hardwoods pines and crop fields here in Lawrence county. On that 10,000 acres there are not enough turkeys for 2 people to tag out on.

Yea I'd say we have a problem.
it's definitely weird, I hope they figure out the cause of the decline in some areas. What are your theories on the cause?
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#3252397 - 05/21/13 10:45 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: catman529]
Rockhound
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I personally think its something to do with pesticide or fertilizer, we found some doves in a field dead a couple years ago full of grain and some twra officers sent them off but we haven't heard nothing of it. I know that first hand.

My cousin is friends with a guy in south Giles county, he has martin gourds. Every spring and summer he has dozens of martins.

The farmers of the crop field behind his house sprayed the field a couple weeks ago and he said he picked up dead birds from his yard for a day. They would get so weak they couldn't fly and eventually die.

I have no reason to doubt my cousin, but I dont know this first hand.
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#3252484 - 05/22/13 06:49 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: catman529]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
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 Originally Posted By: catman529
Weren't they saying in the other thread that a very low percentage of hunters kill more than 2 birds?

One perspective on why this is the case is the lack of opportunity to kill any more than 1 or 2. Can't kill what's not there. When a population gets "dangerously low" each and every time a hunter pulls the trigger it becomes a more critical "management decision." I know folks (myself included) that actually laid off the trigger this spring because they felt it wasn't good for the local flock.

One could argue that hunters will quit shooting...when there's nothing else to shoot.

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#3252495 - 05/22/13 07:12 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
 Originally Posted By: catman529
Weren't they saying in the other thread that a very low percentage of hunters kill more than 2 birds?
I know folks (myself included) that actually laid off the trigger this spring because they felt it wasn't good for the local flock.

One could argue that hunters will quit shooting...when there's nothing else to shoot.

x 2

It should also be noted that many locales will have hunters whose total focus is "getting the limit".

I remember a somewhat similar scenario among hunter mindsets doing a lot of quail hunting back in the 70's in West TN. Some hunters were more "conservation" minded, trying to kill only a few birds from each covey of quail. Other hunters bragged about "mopping them up", decimating every last bird. Eventually, there were too few quail to hunt in most of these areas, and most people quit quail hunting.

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#3252531 - 05/22/13 07:55 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: catman529]
Grizzly Johnson Moderator
Turkey Forum Police
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 Originally Posted By: catman529
Weren't they saying in the other thread that a very low percentage of hunters kill more than 2 birds? I don't see the point in lowering the limit in the spring unless we got an explosion of out of state hunters or something...I still say units would work best, why wouldn't they?


How many turkeys did you take this spring?

Why?

Exactly my point....


And not every hunter has the birds future numbers in mind... you or I may lay off the trigger... but that doesn't mean the next guy(s) will.... many will kill 4 because they can and I am sure there are some that kill more because they are greedy and because the new checkin system makes it easier to get away with.

A lock only keeps an honest man honest.
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#3252587 - 05/22/13 08:47 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Grizzly Johnson]
catman529
spiderboy
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So then why would lowering the bag limit work if it only works on the honest people, a low percentage of which kill more than 2 birds a year?
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#3252593 - 05/22/13 08:52 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Grizzly Johnson]
Wes Parrish
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Not that many years ago Tennessee had an 11-buck annual limit on deer. Many deer hunters were wanting to reduce this to two. Many others argued, "What difference does it make!" pointing out that relatively few hunters killed more than 2 bucks anyway.

Some who were not hunting back in the 90's and prior may never appreciate "what difference it made". Some of us have seen a very positive difference made in lowering buck limits, even when most hunters don't "get the limit" whether it be 2 or 20.

Harvest limits may not matter as much as the collective other factors effecting either deer or turkey populations. It's just that seasons and harvest limits are things we can control, and these are things that will effect the ongoing population either positively or negatively.

 Originally Posted By: catman529
So then why would lowering the bag limit work if it only works on the honest people . . . . .

MOST people are inherently honest.

Among the dishonest, sometimes it's partially an oppositional type thing where they seem "satisfied" just to "break" the limit. Some of these might kill only 3 if we had a 2-bird limit, rather than 5 with a 4-bird limit.

Also, with lower limits, those breaking the limit are more likely to stand out, and be caught.

But I think the biggest impact comes from many accomplished hunters who purposely do NOT want to limit out so long as there are still hunting days ahead. Many will "pace" their harvests, ending up with one less than the limit when the season closes. With a 4-bird limit, this is often 3; with a 3-bird limit, many among this same group would close the season with 2.

Along these same lines, the issue of shooting or not shooting jakes is effected by limits. Make the limits higher, and more jakes will be harvested, adversely impacting how many longbeards are living next year. With a relatively low limit, many hunters feel taking a jake might knock them out of an opportunity to take a longbeard before a current season ends.

This issue is somewhat akin to the difference in mindset of the average accomplished KY deer hunter vs. the average accomplished TN deer hunter. With a 1-buck limit in KY, more young bucks get passed by the experienced hunters. Whereas in TN, there is less incentive for an experienced hunter to pass a young buck, since he can kill it, plus two more. Hunter mindset is effected by limits, whether we're talking deer or turkey.

Lastly, speaking of those hunter mindsets, with higher limits comes the increased hearing of this toxic thinking: "If I don't shoot him, someone else will". Perhaps more than any other "change", when TN went from an 11-buck limit to a 2-buck limit back in 1998, for the first time, many "honest" hunters felt that a buck they passed might not be shot by another hunter.

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#3252639 - 05/22/13 10:10 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
Grizzly Johnson Moderator
Turkey Forum Police
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^^^ Exactly....
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#3252666 - 05/22/13 10:46 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Grizzly Johnson]
woodsman87
8 Point


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I cannot quote all of you, but until you hunters experience what some of the southern TN hunters have experienced, you will not understand. Every hunter that I know in these places has experienced this decline.

Where I live and hunt some, there are few turkeys and lots of hunters. If one hunter passes him up, another hunter will kill it. Thankfully I have other places to go with good turkey hunting. If TWRA changed to units and southern Giles county was a unit, I would say no open season because it is that bad. You look at harvest report of giles and it is way more than most counties, but that is probably 90% north of Highway 64.

I am optimistic though that Southern Giles, Lawrence, and Wayne County will return to greatness. Too much good habitat for turkeys. And I think that we have just been struck with bad luck and many factors. We cannot control most factors, but we can control altering harvest limits, fall and spring, and if we own any hunting land create more suitable habitat for nesting and poult survival.

I would believe that the entire mid-state has the pretty much the same varmints and predators, and that most farming practices are somewhat similar in the use of techniques and pesticides, and that the terrian and habitat is not much different.

I know that wild turkeys typically move around alot, and maybe we are experiencing a "weird" shift and all the turkeys are in Maury county. Sounds strange, but it isn't too far from my spot and it makes sense that could be a factor.

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#3252667 - 05/22/13 10:48 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Grizzly Johnson]
CAMARO12
8 Point


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And with hunters no longer being required to tag their turkey after harvest or take it to a checking station, I believe it's a given that even more turkeys will be killed and not reported. This will skew the actual harvest numbers reported and could further contribute to the decline in the turkey population statewide.
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#3252681 - 05/22/13 10:53 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: CAMARO12]
woodsman87
8 Point


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 Originally Posted By: CAMARO12
And with hunters no longer being required to tag their turkey after harvest or take it to a checking station, I believe it's a given that even more turkeys will be killed and not reported. This will severely skew the reported harvest numbers and further contribute to the decline in the turkey population statewide.


I agree CAMARO12. Doesn't make sense to me why they did this. I grew up hunting AL, and there is and was no tagging system even though they have limits. They are all just guesses. I used to look up to the TN tagging system because it would be so much harder for some hunters to get away with breaking the limits. Now, it is about like AL. Shoot the animal, throw it in your truck, drive home. Get checked by Game Warden, tell him you check it in your computer at home. If you don't get checked, which is most of the time, you could be home free.

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#3252682 - 05/22/13 10:53 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: CAMARO12]
Feedman
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Ky has a 2 bird limit and a 21 day season. This year it started on April 13th and ended on May 5th. You had 4 weekends to hunt. Kentucky's kill was close to Tenn. harvest numbers.
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#3252688 - 05/22/13 10:58 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Feedman]
woodsman87
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Lowering limit would be fine with me and perhaps several people. BUt I hope they do not shorten the season. It sure would hurt the people that only get to go on weekends or afternoons after work. I cherish the 7 saturday mornings I get to go and hunt all day with no restrictions but myself. Cut me down to 4, I don't think I could handle it.
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#3252695 - 05/22/13 11:02 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
woodsman87
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And shortening the season really wouldn't do much if there were only a two bird limit. It wouldn't matter if the season was from Jan. 1st-Dec. 31st or March30-31st, if you killed two turkeys, you killed two turkeys.
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#3252705 - 05/22/13 11:07 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Feedman]
Wes Parrish
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 Originally Posted By: Feedman
Ky has a 2 bird limit and a 21 day season. This year it started on April 13th and ended on May 5th. You had 4 weekends to hunt. Kentucky's kill was close to Tenn. harvest numbers.

Very interesting to note.

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#3252710 - 05/22/13 11:14 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
CAMARO12
8 Point


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Sounds like Kentucky's Wildlife Department is doing something right!! Maybe TWRA should seek their input??
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#3252727 - 05/22/13 11:37 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Feedman]
Andy S.
TnDeer Old Timer
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Registered: 07/26/99
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 Originally Posted By: Feedman
Kentucky's kill was close to Tenn. harvest numbers.
Real close per the online harvest reports.

KY: 32,496

TN: 32,880
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#3252746 - 05/22/13 11:59 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Andy S.]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 797
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

content Online
Are anyone of KY regions/counties better than the others or is spread pretty evenly?
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In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
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#3252755 - 05/22/13 12:08 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: AT Hiker]
Andy S.
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 07/26/99
Posts: 7636
Loc: Atoka, TN

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I have never turkey hunted in KY, but the harvest report shows this for the regional breakup of harvest data for KY.

Bluegrass Region: 6,396
Green River Region: 10,534
Northeast region: 4,060
Purchase Region: 3,757
Southeast Region: 7,749

One thing I did notice was that each region is not made of the same number of counties, however, the overall footprint in acres/square miles may be comparable between the five, or not.
_________________________
Andy S.

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#3252756 - 05/22/13 12:14 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Andy S.]
Andy S.
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 07/26/99
Posts: 7636
Loc: Atoka, TN

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If this map that was produced using 2011 Telecheck is any indicator, the harvest appears to be spread out with some counties shining and some lagging behind, just as we see here in TN. This map is for the entire calendar year so it also encompasses fall harvest data as well.

http://fw.ky.gov/kfwis/HarvestMap/Turkey_CountySummary2011.pdf
_________________________
Andy S.

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#3252776 - 05/22/13 12:41 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Andy S.]
muddyboots
12 Point


Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 6837
Loc: savannah, tn., usa

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Im not smart but I know hunting was awesome when the limit was 2 and the limit changed to 3 and I thought this is great and then it changed to 4 and then I thought this blows to what it used to be!
_________________________
X Force is Bad!
Let em go and let em grow!
There is a difference in a turkey killer and a turkey hunter!

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#3252787 - 05/22/13 12:53 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Andy S.]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 797
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

content Online
 Originally Posted By: Andy S.
I have never turkey hunted in KY, but the harvest report shows this for the regional breakup of harvest data for KY.

Bluegrass Region: 6,396
Green River Region: 10,534
Northeast region: 4,060
Purchase Region: 3,757
Southeast Region: 7,749

One thing I did notice was that each region is not made of the same number of counties, however, the overall footprint in acres/square miles may be comparable between the five, or not.


Thanks!
_________________________
Longbeards Inc.



In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir




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#3252791 - 05/22/13 12:55 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: muddyboots]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 18672
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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I don't know how much or how little what we "think" is directly correlated as "cause & effect", but do know I consistently heard more gobbling when we had a 2-bird limit than I hear now in the same places being hunting (Stewart Co.) under a 4-bird limit.

Ironically, seems we had more turkey hunters over a broad area then (in a particular county), although the average turkey hunter was not nearly as experienced in killing a turkey as today. The average turkey hunter was also more limited in his effective shooting range with the guns, chokes, shells being used a decade or so ago. Now we have better camo, more comfortable things to sit on, better guns, chokes, shells, instructional dvds, remote-controlled decoys, etc.

This brings up another thought: Might it be that our turkey hunters today are (on average) much more experienced and accomplished, and this coupled with much higher limits may be altering the dynamics more than thought?

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#3252797 - 05/22/13 01:00 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
CAMARO12
8 Point


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 2128
Loc: HARDEMAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE

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I don't think so, Wes. I've been turkey hunting for over 35 years and consider myself to be a better than average turkey hunter with a trunk full of beards and spurs. And I know several seasoned turkey hunters with the same souveniers. This was one of the worst turkey seasons we've ever experienced as far as hearing, seeing and killing turkeys. And we don't feel that the weather was a major factor.
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#3252811 - 05/22/13 01:16 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Andy S.]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16774
Loc: Allardt, TN

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I said this on here years ago when this topic was being discussed but there werent so many people behind it then, and those of us crying foul were seen as not knowing what we were talking about..... anyway you go one county north of my county into KY and the habitat is much the same but the turkey population is far ahead of ours. Their harvest is at least 2.5 times what ours is generally if that tells you anything, with a shorter season and lower limit! I just dont fight it much anymore because I turned my own lands into great turkey places and can sustainably harvest more there than really should be taken in the county per hunter, but it wouldnt hurt me if the state limited me to 2. I would take the hit for the greater good of the whole area. I even killed a hen this Spring, but did so with careful thought, I had watched her for 3 years and she had never had poults when others in her flock had many. She could have had a dozen this year, I dont know but I took her based on those observations instead of filling that tag with a gobbler. But I dont expect to see much action from the wildlife agency, I hope Im wrong, but I doubt it.
_________________________
-QDM=Better Deer, Better Deer Hunting
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#3252815 - 05/22/13 01:19 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1079
Loc: Hardeman

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 Originally Posted By: Wes Parrish
Might it be that our turkey hunters today are (on average) much more experienced and accomplished, and this coupled with much higher limits may be altering the dynamics more than thought?

I've thought of this as well, Mr. Parrish. As I understand, limits for certain species (like turkeys) are set at least in part to allow hunting opportunities based upon the annual surplus. In other words, the number of birds that can be harvested and replenished each year helps drive limts and season length. This is quite different from deer for example, where the goal may be to actually reduce the population annually in some areas.

What if we've gotten to a point where the number of hunters and our effectiveness in hammering through that "surplus" is much faster than it used to be? But, since the season is still open and we haven't reached our limit yet, we keep right on bangin'away...well beyond the surplus. We're cutting into our "seed stock" year after year and although it's only a little at a time, 5-10 years later there's an obvious reduction in available stock to reproduce the next surplus.

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#3252816 - 05/22/13 01:21 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: smstone22]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: smstone22
I said this on here years ago when this topic was being discussed but there werent so many people behind it then, and those of us crying foul were seen as not knowing what we were talking about..... anyway you go one county north of my county into KY and the habitat is much the same but the turkey population is far ahead of ours. Their harvest is at least 2.5 times what ours is generally if that tells you anything, with a shorter season and lower limit! I just dont fight it much anymore because I turned my own lands into great turkey places and can sustainably harvest more there than really should be taken in the county per hunter, but it wouldnt hurt me if the state limited me to 2. I would take the hit for the greater good of the whole area. I even killed a hen this Spring, but did so with careful thought, I had watched her for 3 years and she had never had poults when others in her flock had many. She could have had a dozen this year, I dont know but I took her based on those observations instead of filling that tag with a gobbler. But I dont expect to see much action from the wildlife agency, I hope Im wrong, but I doubt it.


This has been going on for a number of years. I hope they take action before it becomes a major problem and before it becomes a problem in the killing counties

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#3252862 - 05/22/13 02:39 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Boll Weevil]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 18672
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
What if we've gotten to a point where the number of hunters and our effectiveness in hammering through that "surplus" is much faster than it used to be? But, since the season is still open and we haven't reached our limit yet, we keep right on bangin'away...well beyond the surplus. We're cutting into our "seed stock" year after year and although it's only a little at a time, 5-10 years later there's an obvious reduction in available stock to reproduce the next surplus.

In the case of spring hunting (male birds only), we "shouldn't" be having that much effect on the ongoing number of birds. But we may be having an adverse effect on the "flock" dynamics, i.e. too few older male birds with the survivors being afraid to gobble. Also, the more humans are out "stirring around" where turkeys are trying to nest and do their stuff, the more we make them more vulnerable to other predators.

It may be that a shorter season with a lower limit possibly contributes more to both nesting success and hunter success than previously thought.

But all those other factors probably matter much, much more.
Does Kentucky have a fall turkey season?

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#3252871 - 05/22/13 02:58 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
Feedman
Button


Registered: 05/08/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Kentucky

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Kentucky does have a fall turkey season. 4 bird limit( 2 with a bow and 2 with a gun) only one male bird in the fall with a beard over 3 inches.
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#3252876 - 05/22/13 03:07 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Feedman]
Feedman
Button


Registered: 05/08/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Kentucky

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Found this article today on Tennessee proposed hunting seasons for 2013-2014. Looks like some of the counties will have lower number of birds allowed.

Hunting Seasons For 2013-14 to Be Set at May’s Commission Meeting
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | 12:51 pm
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Resources Commission will establish the state’s 2013-14 hunting seasons at its May 30-31 (Thursday-Friday) meeting at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Ray Bell Region II Building.

TWRA officials previewed their recommendations for the 2013-14 hunting and trapping seasons at the commission’s April meeting that was held in Paris. Review of the recommendations and information on public comment received since the preview was made will be provided during Thursday’s committee meeting.

Among the recommendations by Agency staff at the April meeting involved white-tailed deer hunting. Crockett County in West Tennessee is proposed to be moved to Unit L. Numerous counties in units A and B were recommended for increases in antlerless opportunities.

Surveys continue to indicate the black bear population is stable and the state is coming off a year of another successful harvest. Last year, the commission approved TWRA’s proposal to increase the number of bear hunting opportunities.

For 2013-14 in regard to the bear hunting seasons, there were minimal changes proposed. To avoid a conflict with the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday, the main bear gun season is proposed to open on Friday, Nov. 29 rather than Thursday.

During fall turkey season, several counties in southern Middle Tennessee would have their bag limits reduced. The bag limits in Giles, Wayne, and Lawrence would be one while Lincoln County would be three. The fall turkey counties included three expansions to include Meigs, Rhea, and Roane counties to have bag limits of one. Bag limits in Carroll and Weakley counties were increased from one to three.

The statewide changes to Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) include cave closures (to assist in the control of white nose syndrome) on all areas unless authorized by TWRA. All WMAs open to statewide seasons would have a Jan. 15 closure for quail hunting.

In regard to manner and means, the boating and law enforcement division proposed that the air rifles regulation wording be changed to air guns, with a maximum caliber of .25.

Among other business at the May meeting, the TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division will recognize its 2012 Boating Officer of the Year and Part-Time Boating Officer of the Year.

Committee meetings will begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The formal meeting starts at 9 a.m. on Friday. The public is invited to attend.

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#3252890 - 05/22/13 03:20 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Feedman]
CAMARO12
8 Point


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 2128
Loc: HARDEMAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE

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Not enough. The spring season limit needs to be reduced statewide.
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#3252970 - 05/22/13 04:59 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4588
Loc: medon,Tn.

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 Originally Posted By: Wes Parrish
I don't know how much or how little what we "think" is directly correlated as "cause & effect", but do know I consistently heard more gobbling when we had a 2-bird limit than I hear now in the same places being hunting (Stewart Co.) under a 4-bird limit.

Ironically, seems we had more turkey hunters over a broad area then (in a particular county), although the average turkey hunter was not nearly as experienced in killing a turkey as today. The average turkey hunter was also more limited in his effective shooting range with the guns, chokes, shells being used a decade or so ago. Now we have better camo, more comfortable things to sit on, better guns, chokes, shells, instructional dvds, remote-controlled decoys, etc.

This brings up another thought: Might it be that our turkey hunters today are (on average) much more experienced and accomplished, and this coupled with much higher limits may be altering the dynamics more than thought?
Wes, you may have hit the nail on the head.
_________________________
The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#3253266 - 05/23/13 07:11 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: tickweed]
102
10 Point


Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 4018
Loc: Tennessee

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Not ONE of us could possibly make a statement about Turkey season limits for the entire State without exhaustive research for the ENTIRE State.

As for my season, I probably have as much experience hunting Tennessee Gobblers as most on this forum. I also have a degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management. That being said I went from last season being my best ever. To this season being my worst ever. I am CERTAIN weather has as much to do with birds being vocal as it does with daytime rut activity. If it is hot, bucks still rut, just more at night, when it is cooler.

I walked over 180 miles in six weeks this past turkey season. I can count the number of birds I killed and called up on one hand. (One killed out of 5 called up).

I saw about the usual amount of turkey sign but just did not hear much gobbling.

For a run and gunner who relies HEAVILY on loud birds, this makes it tough. Had I wanted to set up a blind in a usage area and wait, I feel certain I would be successful. I just do not like to do this. I reserve the "stand" hunting for the deer.
(I am seriously considering doing more blind hunting next season though).
But putting out decoys, in the middle of the public woods, and calling randomly to a bird I have yet to see is just too boring and certainly not good exercise.

Does my lack of success make me think there are fewer birds?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Let's examine the facts from a random sample of a good cross section of some of the finest turkey hunters I know. (or know of)

First, I have friends who hunt all over the US. Kansas, Missouri, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, to name a few. These guys also have friends who stay in touch with them. Most of these hunters also prefer the run and gun tactic when possible. We all need vocal birds.

The vast majority of these hunters all said the same thing. Turkey hunting in the areas where they hunted that had wetter and or cooler than usual weather, had OFF seasons. And unanimously ALL hunters said that in MOST places they hunted in Tennessee, vocal birds were way less vocal than usual.

Does this mean that breeding was off? I doubt it. I am sure there was still plenty of breeding.

To us, it just means that birds did not gobble much this Spring.

If next Spring has warm, dry weather, and I see very little sign and hear very little gobbling, I will begin to worry a little. VERY little. Because nature has a way of "cycling" through things.

All things considered, if I wanted TWRA to change anything, it would be to eliminate Spring Squirrel season.

I just do not think that there is any doubt that weather plays a key role in gobbling. Not so much breeding, but definitely how vocal birds are. And I have too many friends, and friends of friends, who hunt a huge cross section of the State, who all shared similar experience where weather was similar to here.
_________________________
God, Family, Job, Bowhunting
Luck is where Opportunity and Preparation MEET!
When in doubt...back out!
SCAPAS.stay calm and pick a spot.

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#3253299 - 05/23/13 07:50 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: 102]
Rockhound
10 Point


Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 2667
Loc: Lawrence Co. TN

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Ok so what about the areas of the state, that the birds aren't vocal vocal because they aren't there? No gobbling, no sign, no anything and there hasn't been for a few years. The ones that are doing the griping are the ones who have been without birds for several years not just this one.
_________________________
Isaiah 40:31.... Those who wait upon The Lord .....shall renew there strength ......

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#3253315 - 05/23/13 08:10 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
CAMARO12
8 Point


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 2128
Loc: HARDEMAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE

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But myself and the other good turkey hunters I mentioned did not see the birds or the sign that we saw in recent years. So its not just the gobbling. And we hunt excellent habitat.
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#3253359 - 05/23/13 08:59 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: CAMARO12]
muddyboots
12 Point


Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 6837
Loc: savannah, tn., usa

Offline
If it we could just blame it on bad weather what about the 6 or 7 years before this year? Did those years have bad weather also?
_________________________
X Force is Bad!
Let em go and let em grow!
There is a difference in a turkey killer and a turkey hunter!

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#3253365 - 05/23/13 09:05 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: muddyboots]
CAMARO12
8 Point


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 2128
Loc: HARDEMAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE

Offline
Muddy, these guys that are not and have not experienced a downturn in their turkey hunting success can't relate to what we're talking about. And I hope they never do. But if something doesn't change quickly, its only a matter of time before they do.
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#3253395 - 05/23/13 09:52 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: CAMARO12]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

Offline
I agree with 102 on the weather and gobbling. Better weather does have better gobbling. But it aint that I and everybody else aint hearing turkeys because there silen. We are not hearing turkeys or seeing them or having sign on our land because they aint there.

We are not stupid. We know our lands and the lands around them and have experienced the drop off for sevearl years in a row. One bad year doesn't mean anything, but 7-8 bad years in a row does. If you don't live or hunt in these places you do not understand and you have no business saying that they are there and just not gobbling because the bad weather. We know what is going on the places that we frequent.

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#3253445 - 05/23/13 10:51 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
102
10 Point


Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 4018
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
I agree with 102 on the weather and gobbling. Better weather does have better gobbling. But it aint that I and everybody else aint hearing turkeys because there silen. We are not hearing turkeys or seeing them or having sign on our land because they aint there.

We are not stupid. We know our lands and the lands around them and have experienced the drop off for sevearl years in a row. One bad year doesn't mean anything, but 7-8 bad years in a row does. If you don't live or hunt in these places you do not understand and you have no business saying that they are there and just not gobbling because the bad weather. We know what is going on the places that we frequent.


Nobody is calling anyone stupid.
I had no idea that there were places in Tennessee that had supported good huntable numbers of turkey 6 or 7 years ago and that now, the birds were all killed.
I think in those areas of the State, the season should be closed.
And I am CERTAIN that if proof were presented to TWRA that this were the case, TWRA would take action to replenish the flock including a closed season or three.

I have hunted places like Ocoee (National Forest Land) where groups of seasoned hunters would "swear" the flock had all but vanished. Year after year would produce poor hunting results. Then suddenly one year things change and turkeys are BACK! EVERYWHERE.

I have seen the same thing with deer herds, and fish.

It is a NORMAL natural cycle.

I suggest finding land to hunt that HAS good huntable numbers of turkey next season and give your "home" area a (voluntary) break.

It took me years to accept that TWRA could not produce "huntable" numbers of Pope and Young deer in my county. So I went looking. And I have never looked back.
_________________________
God, Family, Job, Bowhunting
Luck is where Opportunity and Preparation MEET!
When in doubt...back out!
SCAPAS.stay calm and pick a spot.

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#3253499 - 05/23/13 11:52 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: 102]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: 102
 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
I agree with 102 on the weather and gobbling. Better weather does have better gobbling. But it aint that I and everybody else aint hearing turkeys because there silen. We are not hearing turkeys or seeing them or having sign on our land because they aint there.

We are not stupid. We know our lands and the lands around them and have experienced the drop off for sevearl years in a row. One bad year doesn't mean anything, but 7-8 bad years in a row does. If you don't live or hunt in these places you do not understand and you have no business saying that they are there and just not gobbling because the bad weather. We know what is going on the places that we frequent.


Nobody is calling anyone stupid.
I had no idea that there were places in Tennessee that had supported good huntable numbers of turkey 6 or 7 years ago and that now, the birds were all killed.
I think in those areas of the State, the season should be closed.
And I am CERTAIN that if proof were presented to TWRA that this were the case, TWRA would take action to replenish the flock including a closed season or three.

I have hunted places like Ocoee (National Forest Land) where groups of seasoned hunters would "swear" the flock had all but vanished. Year after year would produce poor hunting results. Then suddenly one year things change and turkeys are BACK! EVERYWHERE.

I have seen the same thing with deer herds, and fish.

It is a NORMAL natural cycle.

I suggest finding land to hunt that HAS good huntable numbers of turkey next season and give your "home" area a (voluntary) break.

It took me years to accept that TWRA could not produce "huntable" numbers of Pope and Young deer in my county. So I went looking. And I have never looked back.


I am fortunate enough to have a good spot somewhat nearby with huntable turkeys. I stated earlier that if TWRA went to units and my home area was a unit, it should be either closed season or no more than 1 or 2 birds with a 3 or 4 week season.
We hear and see few on my land year round. We normally get 1-3 gobblers and a few hens each spring, but the area is void of turkeys from mid summer all the way through the next March. Just seems to be a breeding/nesting area. I do not own much land, but have access to lands around it. This is just a guess, but I would say it has been about 1-3 gobblers per about 1,000 acres of good suitable habitat (cow pasture, hay fields, oak hardwoods, cedar thickets, food plots, and grown up blackberry thickets). It is just simply something wrong. We just never see, hear, or see turkey sign anymore.
7+ years ago it wasn't this way, seeing turkeys almost daily throughout this portion of the county year round. Small fall flocks were about 20 birds, but you would occasionally see them in the hundreds. Every spring all the pastures would have gobblers with "thier" hens. Every late spring and summer every little nook and cranny had a hen with a nest in it.

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#3253552 - 05/23/13 01:14 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
102
10 Point


Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 4018
Loc: Tennessee

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Not sure why things are that way for you woodsman, maybe something to do with a DDT type interaction between the soil (diet) and the eggs accumulated through several nesting seasons. Really doubt this but who knows.

More than likely it is a cycle of some sort.

If I were in your shoes, I would do as you have, find an alternate location till things get better.

TWRA simply can't micro manage counties. Manpower is just too prohibitive. I am sure we all realize these TWRA guys are not paid much. It is a state job. Kinda one of those (called) to serve kinda deals. Most TWRA employees really do it for the satisfaction and enjoyment of the job rather than the money. I respect that, even if it isn't long lived.

So it is pretty much up to us as hunters to decide "micro-management" style, what is best for our chosen area and then "pull the trigger" (pardon my pun). It is amazing what just a few like minded serious hunters can do for a local population of animals.
_________________________
God, Family, Job, Bowhunting
Luck is where Opportunity and Preparation MEET!
When in doubt...back out!
SCAPAS.stay calm and pick a spot.

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#3253555 - 05/23/13 01:23 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: 102]
CAMARO12
8 Point


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 2128
Loc: HARDEMAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE

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But we as hunters can call it to TWRA's attention that something is definitely wrong!
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#3253568 - 05/23/13 01:57 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: CAMARO12]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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Im ready for hunting season of any kind(besides spring squirrel) to open so we can all relax again!
Check out these threads since all seasons are closed. We are having withdrawals and losing ourselves


Edited by woodsman87 (05/23/13 01:58 PM)

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#3253578 - 05/23/13 02:24 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
Rockhound
10 Point


Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 2667
Loc: Lawrence Co. TN

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Me and woodsman aren't that far apart but different counties. I have access to thousands of acres of prime habitat and I heard more birds this year than I have in SEVERAL years. That number was 4, I used to hear 10-15 every morning just on one 450 acre parcel we lease but not anymore.

I agree with spur hunter and woodsman, there are several factors into play, but I still feel like there is a main contributor.
_________________________
Isaiah 40:31.... Those who wait upon The Lord .....shall renew there strength ......

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#3253617 - 05/23/13 03:26 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: 102]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4588
Loc: medon,Tn.

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The point seems to be missed. Its not so much the fact the birds didn't gobble. Weather related? Yes, may have been. Its the fact that in several counties, and way more than a couple, the bird population has really dropped, or they have just vanished.

Edited by tickweed (05/23/13 03:32 PM)
_________________________
The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#3253640 - 05/23/13 04:35 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
CAMARO12
8 Point


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 2128
Loc: HARDEMAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE

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 Originally Posted By: Rockhound
Me and woodsman aren't that far apart but different counties. I have access to thousands of acres of prime habitat and I heard more birds this year than I have in SEVERAL years. That number was 4, I used to hear 10-15 every morning just on one 450 acre parcel we lease but not anymore.

I agree with spur hunter and woodsman, there are several factors into play, but I still feel like there is a main contributor.
You heard more this year than you have in several years and you only heard 4 this year???

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#3253797 - 05/23/13 08:44 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: CAMARO12]
Rockhound
10 Point


Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 2667
Loc: Lawrence Co. TN

Offline
 Originally Posted By: CAMARO12
 Originally Posted By: Rockhound
Me and woodsman aren't that far apart but different counties. I have access to thousands of acres of prime habitat and I heard more birds this year than I have in SEVERAL years. That number was 4, I used to hear 10-15 every morning just on one 450 acre parcel we lease but not anymore.

I agree with spur hunter and woodsman, there are several factors into play, but I still feel like there is a main contributor.
You heard more this year than you have in several years and you only heard 4 this year???


In LC, yep
_________________________
Isaiah 40:31.... Those who wait upon The Lord .....shall renew there strength ......

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#3253803 - 05/23/13 08:53 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
CAMARO12
8 Point


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 2128
Loc: HARDEMAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE

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Didn't you mean to say that you heard "less" this year instead of "more"???
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#3253910 - 05/23/13 10:36 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 15158
Loc: Franklin TN

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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
Im ready for hunting season of any kind(besides spring squirrel) to open so we can all relax again!
Check out these threads since all seasons are closed. We are having withdrawals and losing ourselves
this is true! lol

Places I hunt have no problem with turkey population. I don't think any of these extreme measures are needed here. And hopefully we won't get an influx of hunters from other areas because they heard it was good here, and killing more birds and causing a problem. I guess we turkey hunters can be pretty selfish sometimes. Everybody seems to want 15 gobblers on the roost when they hunt and some people think killing a hen will ruin the flock....
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#3253953 - 05/24/13 03:05 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: CAMARO12]
Rockhound
10 Point


Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 2667
Loc: Lawrence Co. TN

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 Originally Posted By: CAMARO12
Didn't you mean to say that you heard "less" this year instead of "more"???


No! I mean exactly what I said, I heard 4 birds in Lawrence co. This year and that is MORE than I have heard in 6 or 7 years
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#3254086 - 05/24/13 08:32 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
CAMARO12
8 Point


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 2128
Loc: HARDEMAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE

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Ok. I gotcha now.
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#3254109 - 05/24/13 08:57 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: Rockhound
 Originally Posted By: CAMARO12
Didn't you mean to say that you heard "less" this year instead of "more"???


No! I mean exactly what I said, I heard 4 birds in Lawrence co. This year and that is MORE than I have heard in 6 or 7 years


I only heard 4 in Giles county this year, no joke. And I do not live in a subdivision, suburb, city, or town. I live in a very secluded area with lots of good habitat all the way around. It isn't because I don't listen either. I get up before daylight every day and during the spring months if I am not hunting, im listening for them on my property before work. This year I started hearing them on March 11th. By April 19th, they were all gone. Do not know whether they got shot or just moved off. Plenty of pasture and field for hens to feed in and gobblers to strut in. Plenty of roosting hardwoods. There is water sources.

Since we have had this decline, I only hear/see them during early to mid spring. They are either all dead or just move out of there by the end of April. We do not have turkeys on our land during the fall winter since the population started going down.

This is all a few miles south of Highway 64. You get north of Pulaski, birds everywhere all the time.

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#3254147 - 05/24/13 09:33 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 797
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
This is all a few miles south of Highway 64. You get north of Pulaski, birds everywhere all the time.


I know you say good habitat all around, but has there been any major timbering or burns in the areas that could have caused an issue?

What about increase in predators, be it wild critters or an increase of dogs running loose?

What about any major agriculture changes?

I'm not doubting your evaluation of the habitat at all, just curious if something major has happened that you never thought about affecting the population. We are having the same decline in SW Dickson County, not as drastic as yours though. I have been trying to look at all angels but I cannot come up with anything, other than an slight increase in timber harvest nothing major.
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#3254160 - 05/24/13 09:47 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: AT Hiker]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
This is all a few miles south of Highway 64. You get north of Pulaski, birds everywhere all the time.


I know you say good habitat all around, but has there been any major timbering or burns in the areas that could have caused an issue?

What about increase in predators, be it wild critters or an increase of dogs running loose?


What about any major agriculture changes?

I'm not doubting your evaluation of the habitat at all, just curious if something major has happened that you never thought about affecting the population. We are having the same decline in SW Dickson County, not as drastic as yours though. I have been trying to look at all angels but I cannot come up with anything, other than an slight increase in timber harvest nothing major.


Nothing major in our general area of any kind except non-native animals.

I have said this on these population threads earlier. Since 2007, we have had fewer turkeys each year. 2006 was the first year we started seeing feral hogs throghout north AL and south TN. Do not remember the exact year, but armidillos started showing up around this time as well. We have had coyotes, skunks, coons, possums, hawks, and barred owls as long as I can remember. I would think that these same invasive species, besides hawks and owls, live in much of the state of TN. I just think there is more going on with just these animals. Very wet springs early summers we have had the past several years with the exception of last year.

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#3254164 - 05/24/13 09:51 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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Another animal that I just thought of, the Great Horned Owl. I started seeing these a few years ago too. I am pretty observent while I hunt, whether its deer or turkey or whatever. I have hunted these places for years, I can remember a few years ago while in a deer stand I heard a noise that sounded like some sort of owl I have never heard before. It eventually flew next to me and it happened to be a great horned owl.
I am not a scientist of any kind, but I thought these lived up in the northern Appalachians? I wonder if those are killing turkeys? If so, I still don't think it could be the one and only main factor.
Anybody else seen or heard of these?

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#3254183 - 05/24/13 10:13 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
Roost 1
10 Point


Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 3221
Loc: KY

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You make mention of habitat but do you have some thick cover for nesting? On some of my places the turkeys shift from feeding areas in early spring to nesting areas closer to the end of season, in some instances this shift in pattern will cause some of my places to not have any birds either at the beginning or the end of season depending on the habitat on that particular place. Ideally you would like to have both so the birds would not leave.....I am not sure what is going on in your area but I am really surprised no one from the twra has chimed in on any of these threads.
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#3254197 - 05/24/13 10:28 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Roost 1]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1135
Loc: south TN

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Yes there are thickets around. I agree that the key to a good turkey place is having good nesting habitat. I have about 30 acres of pasture that I have cows in just to help make some money. We are thinking about selling the cows, and planting pines instead of using cows for some sort of income. If we planted pines it may help with more suitable nesting habitat.
I don't know why TWRA hasn't stated anything.

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#3254257 - 05/24/13 12:08 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: woodsman87]
Bone Collector
14 Point


Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 8517
Loc: Murfreesboro, TN

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Same Argument, different species. Same people or people with the mindset to trophy hunt making the argument. I guess i should mention I'm not surprised. That being said, I believe that there are ares in this state that the limit needs to be dropped. Maybe even on both deer and turkey, but not the entire state.

The only real option IMO is to do like others said and make units based on species densities, hunter density, and available hunting land. Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson County for instance should not be changed. JMO. those areas have tons of deer and turkey and not as many hunters, nor do the hunters have as many places to go. WHY SHOULD WE SUFFER because your area that is covered up with hunters (most of them seasoned) is now suffering because you shot all the birds, nature was unkind, or a combination of those things???

and before someone says that Williamson's kill #'s aren't that high, I would bet money it is because the land is being deer hunted, but not turkey hunted. I see more turkeys on the way to work than you can imagine. I personally turkey hunt Wilson and Rutherford though and can't remember, aside from opening day, not seeing a bird (yes i am counting hens as seeing a bird), but most times I saw male birds too.


Edited by Bone Collector (05/24/13 12:10 PM)
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#3254417 - 05/24/13 05:49 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Bone Collector]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 797
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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You know we are starting to get armadillos real bad in my area, there seems to be a correlation with them and the drop in turkeys. Not saying its a cause and effect, just an observation.

I also have not witnessed many good hatches in the past several years, but we have had some cattle farms around us turn fallow which is good because of the extra cover, so the young critters may hang around them more. Our deer numbers have gone up but turkey numbers are down.
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#3254436 - 05/24/13 06:45 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: AT Hiker]
Rockhound
10 Point


Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 2667
Loc: Lawrence Co. TN

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Our area has a great all around habitat as far as feeding roosting and nesting but its not getting any better. WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO suffer because a lot of hunters are greedy.
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#3254502 - 05/24/13 08:53 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
curdogtn
4 Point


Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 216
Loc: Mcminn County, Tn

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Sounds like you need to find some different "areas" to hunt. ;\)
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#3254511 - 05/24/13 09:05 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: curdogtn]
Rockhound
10 Point


Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 2667
Loc: Lawrence Co. TN

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I do but I shouldn't have drive an hour and a half to hunt, since I'm looking formore spots, when you taking me?
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#3254520 - 05/24/13 09:22 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: curdogtn]
CAMARO12
8 Point


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 2128
Loc: HARDEMAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE

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 Originally Posted By: curdogtn
Sounds like you need to find some different "areas" to hunt. ;\)
You're sympathy is overwhelming, curdog

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#3254560 - 05/24/13 10:35 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Rockhound]
curdogtn
4 Point


Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 216
Loc: Mcminn County, Tn

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 Originally Posted By: Rockhound
I do but I shouldn't have drive an hour and a half to hunt, since I'm looking formore spots, when you taking me?
Surely there must be some public land in these counties that has turkeys to hunt.
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#3254646 - 05/25/13 09:04 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: curdogtn]
Rockhound
10 Point


Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 2667
Loc: Lawrence Co. TN

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 Originally Posted By: curdogtn
 Originally Posted By: Rockhound
I do but I shouldn't have drive an hour and a half to hunt, since I'm looking formore spots, when you taking me?
Surely there must be some public land in these counties that has turkeys to hunt.


WRONG! We are not exaggerating this, there are no turkeys. Yes we have public land, LAurel hill wma , 14000 acres of hardwood paradise with some great turkey habitat.

Laurel hill WMA harvest 2006= 44 birds
Laurel hill WMA harvest 2013= 14 birds

Can you see what I'm talking about??

The turkeys in these counties are gone, and the biggest reason nothing has been done is. Because we get no support from the rest of the state. People are ignorant as to what is going on or the fact that they do not care because they have turkeys to hunt And do not care for the rest of the state. People would listen if everybody would "worry" about it and not just the ones that it affects directly. Thats not gonna happen just based on several attitudes we have here. Maybe yall wont have to experience it, i hope you dont.

Access to thousands of acres of prime habitat joining and some not and no birds, but i need to find some better areas? Pure ignorance is the fact as why we cant get anything done to fix it.

But anyway while im looking for "better areas" when will you take me? You must have more birds than you have tags?
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