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#3246300 - 05/14/13 01:47 PM Re: Numbers droping ? [Re: catman529]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1127
Loc: south TN

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Catman,
That is all the info anybody needs. The population is declining in most areas, so why would we want to keep shooting hens? Even in the population increase areas? You know that it aint going to increase for eternity?
Let me say this again, hen shooting aint the sole purpose in it. But it is a factor that we can control, why not fix it? Why not make it illegal since hen turkeys and poults already have a hard enough time living anyways?
I suggest hunters slack off on the hen shooting while the getting is still good and before it gets bad. Doesn't everyone enjoy hunting longbeards in the spring?
Since there are only 2 poults per hen, wouldn't we need every hen to live and raise her two poults?

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#3246302 - 05/14/13 01:49 PM Re: Numbers droping ? [Re: catman529]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 18663
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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Just a few thoughts to ponder.

 Originally Posted By: catman529
If you don't want to kill hens then don't kill them.

How do you distinguish male from female turkeys during the fall?

If you had the choice, would you rather call up a gobbling, strutting longbeard, or simply shoot one walking by or feeding (one that is not gobbling or strutting)?

 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
171 turkeys were reported last fall season in Maury County, more than some counties spring seasons. 103 of those were hens.

Killing mostly hens during the fall turkey season is not isolated to just Maury County. STATEWIDE, (TWRA data 09/01/2012 thru 12/31/2012) there were 935 male turkeys "checked in" and 1,676 hens "checked in".

It would appear that "fall turkey" hunters kill MOSTLY HENS.

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#3246305 - 05/14/13 01:55 PM Re: Numbers droping ? [Re: Wes Parrish]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1127
Loc: south TN

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Its hard to tell them 5 month old birds apart. Sometimes the jakes will already be a little bigger, and their breast feathers will be darker, and hed a little more red.
I also like shooting them when they gobble and strut, not walking by eating acorns or clovers. So much easier to ambush them during the fall.

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#3246311 - 05/14/13 02:05 PM Re: Numbers droping ? [Re: Boll Weevil]
Andy S.
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


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

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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
Anyone have contact information for the appropriate person (Wild Turkey Program Coordinator) to connect with in West TN?
It is my understanding that Chris Hunter is the TWRA Turkey Program Coordinator for the entire state. He might be a good place to start if you have questions or concerns.

I saw where Chris posted this on another hunting forum. "Chad Harden (TWRA turkey biologist in West TN) a call. The office number in Jackson, TN is 731-423-5725"

FWIW, I've spoke with Chad and shared email a few times over the years, top notch guy.


Edited by Andy S. (05/14/13 02:09 PM)
_________________________
Andy S.

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#3246335 - 05/14/13 02:16 PM Re: Numbers droping ? [Re: woodsman87]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1127
Loc: south TN

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The last page of the fall turkey hunting report shows a good sign that things look to be going up. Hopefully, that is the case.

The thing that gets me is this: I live on some my hunting land. I am there everyday. I do not understand how biologist say we have a healthy turkey populations, when they all estimate it with suitable habitat. 90% of the turkeys in my county live 15+ miles north of me. It used to not be that way. from 1997-2006 you saw turkeys daily. They have either just completely moved or died off.
No change in habitat or management techniques amongst me or neighbors except maybe a house here or there.

The only changes I know of are these:
1) more liberal fall and spring bag limts.
2) Armidillos are seen almost everyday
3) wild hogs have been around the general areas since about 2007.
4) Feeding wildlife "deer" corn is very popular because of the game camera industry so people can see how big of a buck they are going to kill this year, only to never see him during the day.
5) the popularity of predator hunting. Yes I said it, shooting coyotes can effect in a negative way. Coyotes kill the animals that eat the eggs. Coyotes do eat nesting hens, but that isn't the main problem of them.
6) and rainfall. What I think is the most important factor of all. If I am wrong on this, please correct me. The past several nesting seasons have been way wetter than normal. Rain fall causes hens to produce more oil on their feathers, making them smill stronger for predators or nest getting varmints. Excessive rain fall the first 2 weeks of a poults life kills many, not becuase of drowning, but because of freezing to death. When the eggs get excessive rainfall after rainfall, not only could the flood and go away, but the pours in the eggshells absorb bacteria. This causes eggs to not hatch, or the poults to be very unhealthy when they do hatch.

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#3246340 - 05/14/13 02:19 PM Re: Numbers droping ? [Re: woodsman87]
Spurhunter
8 Point


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

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As far as comparing deer to turkey biology, the reasons we kill deer from a control standpoint is to reduce car collisions, reduce crop damage, and keep them from running out of food. Turkeys don't cause car wrecks, and their diet is so diverse they can survive on almost anything. There is no chance of turkeys becoming a nuisance. Once a whitetail deer in TN gets out of spots, he has no natural predators. Everything in the woods wants to eat a turkey. The predadation and survival rates are not even related. Honestly, comparing deer and turkey biology makes about as much sense as comparing turkey biology and great white shark biology.
_________________________
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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#3246342 - 05/14/13 02:21 PM Re: Numbers droping ? [Re: Spurhunter]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1127
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: Spurhunter
As far as comparing deer to turkey biology, the reasons we kill deer from a control standpoint is to reduce car collisions, reduce crop damage, and keep them from running out of food. Turkeys don't cause car wrecks, and their diet is so diverse they can survive on almost anything. There is no chance of turkeys becoming a nuisance. Once a whitetail deer in TN gets out of spots, he has no natural predators. Everything in the woods wants to eat a turkey. The predadation and survival rates are not even related. Honestly, comparing deer and turkey biology makes about as much sense as comparing turkey biology and great white shark biology.



Good post about comparing the two, that they are not even comparable!
I wish we had as many turkeys as deer.

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#3246361 - 05/14/13 02:46 PM Re: Numbers droping ? [Re: woodsman87]
ImThere
10 Point


Registered: 08/24/06
Posts: 2659
Loc: Lewisburg, Tn

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I got it! Why dont they raise the price of license (especially for out of staters) and lower the all bag limits and we all will be happy!
_________________________
Team Run 'N Gunners


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#3246369 - 05/14/13 02:55 PM Re: Numbers droping ? [Re: CAMARO12]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1127
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: CAMARO12
TWRA used to conduct annual poult to hen ratios per county and publish the results but when was the last time anyone saw those in print??


I don't know, but I would like to see the documentation of that for about the past 10 years. And then wonder why if recruitment is worse every year, why let people continue to shoot hens?

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#3246379 - 05/14/13 03:06 PM Re: Numbers droping ? [Re: woodsman87]
CAMARO12
8 Point


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

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Do a search for "TWRA Big Game Harvest Report 2011-2012" and go to the turkey section. There's a lot of good information there going back to the mid-80's as for as harvest numbers and brood surveys and the like. Hardeman County killed 952 birds during the 2004 spring season and the annual spring harvest was down in the 600's from 2006-2011. It dropped to 546 in 2012 and 460 this year. I'd like to hear an explanation as to why this steady decrease has occurred.
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