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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: 16863
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: 8831
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.
_________________________
Semper Fidelis!

“There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.”
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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: 1182
Loc: Hardeman

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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
Posts: 1182
Loc: Hardeman

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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: 1274
Loc: south TN

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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: 1274
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: 6971
Loc: savannah, tn., usa

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


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1274
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: 19051
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: 1274
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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