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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: 1274
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: 1174
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: 1274
Loc: south TN

Offline
 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: 115
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: 115
Loc: West Tennessee

Offline
 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: 1274
Loc: south TN

Offline
 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: 1274
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: 4497
Loc: Greeneville

Offline
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: 4734
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)
_________________________
The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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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: 1906
Loc: MT. Juliet Tennessee

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IMO
2 things
season is too long
and
4 bird limit needs to go
_________________________
Gobble
Gobble

BOOM


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