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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: 1295
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: 19186
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
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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
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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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#3252970 - 05/22/13 04:59 PM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: Wes Parrish]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4754
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: 4022
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: 2838
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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#3253359 - 05/23/13 08:59 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: ]
muddyboots
12 Point


Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 7027
Loc: savannah, tn., usa

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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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#3253395 - 05/23/13 09:52 AM Re: 2013 Harvest Comparison [Re: ]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1295
Loc: south TN

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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: 4022
Loc: Tennessee

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 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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