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#3402293 - 10/14/13 04:48 PM Turkey survey from twra...
Final steps TC
4 Point


Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 375
Loc: Lenoir city

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http://www.tn.gov/twra/pdfs/fallturkeyreport.pdf




For those of you who looked into the thread about possibly shortening of our season here are some stats for you to look at... I have not been able to find the 2013 numbers yet .... Best I can tell our population is around 350.000 birds ....listed below is another link from the Georgia dnr ... It's a very interesting concept in my mind....just an FYI our populations totals are about the same from what I can find...just some facts for you to review not trying to stir the pot...


http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Hunting/NoFallTurkey
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#3402427 - 10/14/13 06:32 PM Re: Turkey survey from twra... [Re: Final steps TC]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5055
Loc: Mississippi

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Just an fyi.... it takes 2.2 poults per hen in the August brood surveys just to maintain the current population levels (outside of hunting). In other words,with our abysmal poult recruitment combined with 30,000 birds killed this spring, our statewide turkey population is declining. We so desperately need a few more years like in the late 90's where we were running 4 poults per hen in august. until we get out of the 2's, our population will continue to decline regardless of how many birds we kill in the spring or fall
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#3402431 - 10/14/13 06:36 PM Re: Turkey survey from twra... [Re: megalomaniac]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5055
Loc: Mississippi

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Oh, just look at the nest initiation data.... that's exactly why some states are considering pushing the season back a week or two... to ensure hens aren't completing nests with infertile eggs. More eggs that hatch increases the likelihood that more poults will be recruited into the flock come august
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#3402460 - 10/14/13 06:54 PM Re: Turkey survey from twra... [Re: megalomaniac]
8 POINTS OR BETTER
10 Point


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 4086
Loc: Hardin, Co.

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What years did we go from a limit of 2 to 3, and from a limit of 3 to 4?
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#3402921 - 10/15/13 12:38 AM Re: Turkey survey from twra... [Re: 8 POINTS OR BETTER]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 16658
Loc: Franklin TN

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funny how people automatically look at the population and harvest statewide and assume we should lower limits for everyone or shorten the season. If your area is on the decline then yes you need to kill fewer birds, but some areas still had a good hatch and where I hunt is overrun with turkeys and can sustain extra killing to keep the population in check. Maybe the spring limit should be like the fall limit... varies by county or unit. and fall limits should be changed by county if decline or increase in population are noted each year. JMO
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#3403002 - 10/15/13 06:31 AM Re: Turkey survey from twra... [Re: 8 POINTS OR BETTER]
8 POINTS OR BETTER
10 Point


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 4086
Loc: Hardin, Co.

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 Originally Posted By: 8 POINTS OR BETTER
What years did we go from a limit of 2 to 3, and from a limit of 3 to 4?


To answer my on question: "The agency has liberalized the number of county (non-WMA) birds that are allowed from two, prior to 1999, to three birds from 2000-2005, and then to four birds from 2006 to the present."


Edited by 8 POINTS OR BETTER (10/15/13 06:31 AM)
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" Some localities are willing to work for their sport, and have plenty. Others are willing merely to take what comes easy, and have little or none." - Aldo Leopold

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#3403076 - 10/15/13 07:45 AM Re: Turkey survey from twra... [Re: catman529]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5055
Loc: Mississippi

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 Originally Posted By: catman529
funny how people automatically look at the population and harvest statewide and assume we should lower limits for everyone or shorten the season.


trust me, there is nothing funny about this. Back in the late nineties, as our turkey population was growing, TWRA was estimating we should plateau at around 65,000 gobblers killed annually in the spring. Despite hundreds of thousands of additional acres turkeys were restored to since that time, our statewide harvest hasn't budged. Many more acres of turkey habitat, but population density has decreased.

 Originally Posted By: catman529
If your area is on the decline then yes you need to kill fewer birds


That's already been the case FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS... the areas that have experienced significant population declines are killing but a fraction of what was killed back in the late 90's.

 Quote:
but some areas still had a good hatch and where I hunt is overrun with turkeys and can sustain extra killing to keep the population in check.


That's great that you have so many birds. This year.... all it takes is 2 poor hatches in a row for you to experience the same thing that many other in the state have already experienced. Oh, and by the way, there is no reason biologically to keep the turkey population 'in check'. You have to remember, turkeys are COMPLETELY different critters than deer. There is no such thing as an overpopulation of turkeys from a biological standpoint. Their reproduction is population independent.

 Quote:
Maybe the spring limit should be like the fall limit... varies by county or unit.


Unfortunately, that would probably be too complicated for the general population of the state. And how would you handle counties where portions of the county have experienced huge declines, yet the remainder of the county the population is stable?

Bottom line, there are more and more people in the state who are realizing there IS A PROBLEM with turkey populations in many areas of the state. I've been saying this for over 10 years. And I, for one, am glad to see that TWRA is finally taking notice and is admitting there is a problem. We should all ultimately want the same thing... to preserve the population for future generations to enjoy, not be selfish and just see what I can limit out from year to year.... that shortsightedness and selfishness will ultimately be the downfall of what used to be the greatest state in the country for turkey hunting. Hunting should be treated as a renewable resource... that only the surplus birds are harvested each year... and we've been overdrawing our bank account with the number of birds killed for the past decade with such poor hatch rates.

Solutions...

yes, the season needs to be pushed back a bit... 2nd Saturday in April would work just fine. Extend the season another week or two for the total season to last 6 weeks as it is.

Reduce the spring gobbler limit to 3 birds this year. Give that a couple years to see what happens. If the population rebounds, increase it back to 4 (or 5, or 100... I could care less what the spring limit is as long as the population is increasing). If the population continues to decline, decrease the spring limit to 2.

Eliminate the killing of hens until the population begins to increase. Sure, there aren't that many hens killed annually, but it sends a positive message to the general public that there is a problem in TN with our population, and makes John Q Public a little more conservation minded.

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#3403381 - 10/15/13 11:20 AM Re: Turkey survey from twra... [Re: megalomaniac]
Spurhunter
8 Point


Registered: 06/09/08
Posts: 1978
Loc: T County, TN

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Great posts mega. It amazes me that people cannot/will not separate turkey biology from deer biology. One thing you left out: as the populations dwindle all over the state, yet hunters keep hearing how there is a longbeard behind every tree in maury county, guess where those hunters will go. I expect there to be more hunters than ever in maury county this spring. Sooner than later everyone will realize it IS a statewide problem.
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#3403408 - 10/15/13 11:46 AM Re: Turkey survey from twra... [Re: megalomaniac]
Southern Sportsman
6 Point


Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 961
Loc: West TN

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 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac


Solutions...

yes, the season needs to be pushed back a bit... 2nd Saturday in April would work just fine. Extend the season another week or two for the total season to last 6 weeks as it is.

Reduce the spring gobbler limit to 3 birds this year. Give that a couple years to see what happens. If the population rebounds, increase it back to 4 (or 5, or 100... I could care less what the spring limit is as long as the population is increasing). If the population continues to decline, decrease the spring limit to 2.

Eliminate the killing of hens until the population begins to increase. Sure, there aren't that many hens killed annually, but it sends a positive message to the general public that there is a problem in TN with our population, and makes John Q Public a little more conservation minded.


Sounds reasonable. I love the first week of turkey season as much as anybody, but the world wouldn't end if it were pushed back. Hunting gets better after hens start going to next anyway. Honestly, this is the first year I've heard anyone say there was significant problem with turkey population. Much of it, I suspect, has to do with weather and spring flooding, but regardless the cause, the solutions are likely the same. I'll be interested to see how this progresses.

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#3403453 - 10/15/13 12:23 PM Re: Turkey survey from twra... [Re: Southern Sportsman]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5055
Loc: Mississippi

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 Originally Posted By: Southern Sportsman
Much of it, I suspect, has to do with weather and spring flooding, but regardless the cause, the solutions are likely the same. I'll be interested to see how this progresses.


I've not seen this August's brood survery numbers, but I suspect this year was another terrible hatch with all the spring and early summer rains.

I have seen Mississippi's August brood survey numbers for 2013... was 1.6 poults/hen IIRC... absolutely abysmal. MS turkey hunters have been having similar problems, and this year EVERY turkey hunter I talked to (over 50) has noted far fewer birds this year than in years past.

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