Turkey population

Kelljp

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Wonder what counties it's discussing that have had a delayed start over the past few years ?
 

deerfever

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Wonder what counties it's discussing that have had a delayed start over the past few years ?
I can't remember go back and look at the 22 turkey regulations and it tells which counties were under study to see if a delay helped. They all opened two weeks after the rest of the state. I am sure someone can name them . They had 1 year to wrap up the findings but commission decided to delay the season before the results were released. Those results were released after the vote to delay the season for all of the state by two weeks. Hatches have been great all over the southeast the last few years, I have read several articles on it. Hopefully the good weather continues and the hatches will follow.
 

MidTennFisher

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The study was actually done here in TN , 6 years worth on various areas . Showed that the delayed areas in TN had no gain in reproductive success over non delayed Weather and predators seem to have the biggest impact. The last 3 years have been dry and we have had great hatches without a delay and with the delay this season. I am sure time will give us more Information .
Oh ok I was unaware that the season was delayed 2 weeks in a handful of counties in TN. I moved from TN 7 years ago and live in SC now.

Everything I'd seen from a DNR presentation here was pretty convincing that a delay of opener would significantly help poult recruitment and it's likely to happen here for the 2025 season. Our turkey population is in horrible shape, as is most everything here.

There's a reason none of the big name YouTubers travel to SC to hunt our public land turkeys. It's not very productive. And thank God! We have no shortage of turkey hunters and the last thing we need is more hunters in the WMAs come April 1st because they saw it on social media.
 

th88

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Everything I'd seen from a DNR presentation here was pretty convincing that a delay of opener would significantly help poult recruitment and it's likely to happen here for the 2025 season. Our turkey population is in horrible shape, as is most everything here.
Your DNR is a bit biased as they are buddy buddy with Chamberlain and his dominant gobbler theory. They have a little data showing poult recruitment was better on a non-hunted site (Savannah River Site) and that is it. That data needs to be replicated on other non-hunted sites because other states have research showing delayed openers DID NOT help with poult recruitment. But what if it is only NON-HUNTED sites that help with poult recruitment? Maybe we should just not hunt them at all! At times I think that is what some want.
 

MidTennFisher

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Your DNR is a bit biased as they are buddy buddy with Chamberlain and his dominant gobbler theory. They have a little data showing poult recruitment was better on a non-hunted site (Savannah River Site) and that is it. That data needs to be replicated on other non-hunted sites because other states have research showing delayed openers DID NOT help with poult recruitment. But what if it is only NON-HUNTED sites that help with poult recruitment? Maybe we should just not hunt them at all! At times I think that is what some want.
Yea the SRS was not much better at all. If I remember correctly it was 35% poult recruitment success there vs 22% statewide. But they also did no predator control in that area, no burns, no habitat improvement at all. All they did was just prohibit hunting.

They claimed to not be proposing anything, just presenting data, but it was quite clear they believed in delaying the opener. Nothing was presented to support a theory that delaying the opener would not help things to let us make our own decision and I didn't even know those studies existed until reading this thread.

One other thing is the issue of baiting deer. South Carolina is probably 2nd to Texas as being the "Pay $2k for a hunt club and shoot at a pile of corn" capitol of America. By mid September half of Iowa's corn harvest is laying on the dirt here.

There are numerous scientific articles discussing the development of aflatoxin in corn at high enough levels to kill young turkeys. And the timing of the corn piles starting in SC falls right in line with it not only being warm enough to rot, but also the poults still being young enough to be affected by aflatoxin. In addition to the rotting, it also props up a population of known nest predators. Racoons. They love a good corn pile.

I know this is anecdotal, but a couple years after bait was legalized in the upstate regions, that part of the state started seeing its turkey population sharply decline.

South Carolina has a 3 month rifle season, almost 4 months in the lowcountry on private land. I mean, if with a 3 to 4 month rifle season you still need to dump 200# of corn on the ground to kill a deer... find something else to do. Hunting isn't for you 😅
 

Kelljp

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Don't know much about aflatoxin, but it makes sense when you consider the other negatives about introducing food to wildlife. Not only does it change there diet from natural feed, it also allows other predators ( besides lazy hunters) to get use to feeding around the bait pile. Coons and coyotes adapt quickly to turkey feeding routines.
 

Boll Weevil

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I mean, if with a 3 to 4 month rifle season you still need to dump 200# of corn on the ground to kill a deer... find something else to do. Hunting isn't for you 😅
I hunted as a guest years ago on a lowcountry club. Studied aerials, carried a climber, and found a spot for the evening hunt. Saw a basket racked 8 and several does and when we all got back to camp and compared notes the guys asked me, "Why didn't you shoot the buck?" My reply was he just wasn't what I was looking for.

You should have seen guys loading up corn and flying out of camp headed to the area I'd sat. At least these guys were honest about their "hunting" skills. They openly admitted if they couldn't bait or run dogs they'd never kill a deer.
 
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MidTennFisher

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I hunted as a guest years ago on a lowcountry club. Studied aerials, carried a climber, and found a spot for the evening hunt. Saw a basket racked 8 and several does and when we all got back to camp and compared notes the guys asked me, "Why didn't you shoot the buck?" My reply was he just wasn't what I was looking for.

You should have seen guys loading up corn and flying out of camp headed to the area I'd sat. At least these guys were honest their "hunting" skills. They openly admitted if they couldn't bait or run dogs they'd never kill a deer.
At least they admit it, that's rare here. Most of them swear they're accomplishing something.

If it weren't for piles of corn, most of the "hunters" here couldn't kill a mosquito. Let alone a deer.

I may not kill big bucks on the public land I hunt like the hunting lease corn pile guys do, but I just arrowed a nanny doe last week after scouting and finding some hot acorn feeds and well used travel paths from bedding.

That's learning to hunt and that's more of an accomplishment than any number of bucks from 200 yds away over a pile of poured bait.
 

th88

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Yea the SRS was not much better at all. If I remember correctly it was 35% poult recruitment success there vs 22% statewide. But they also did no predator control in that area, no burns, no habitat improvement at all. All they did was just prohibit hunting.

They claimed to not be proposing anything, just presenting data, but it was quite clear they believed in delaying the opener. Nothing was presented to support a theory that delaying the opener would not help things to let us make our own decision and I didn't even know those studies existed until reading this thread.

One other thing is the issue of baiting deer. South Carolina is probably 2nd to Texas as being the "Pay $2k for a hunt club and shoot at a pile of corn" capitol of America. By mid September half of Iowa's corn harvest is laying on the dirt here.

There are numerous scientific articles discussing the development of aflatoxin in corn at high enough levels to kill young turkeys. And the timing of the corn piles starting in SC falls right in line with it not only being warm enough to rot, but also the poults still being young enough to be affected by aflatoxin. In addition to the rotting, it also props up a population of known nest predators. Racoons. They love a good corn pile.

I know this is anecdotal, but a couple years after bait was legalized in the upstate regions, that part of the state started seeing its turkey population sharply decline.

South Carolina has a 3 month rifle season, almost 4 months in the lowcountry on private land. I mean, if with a 3 to 4 month rifle season you still need to dump 200# of corn on the ground to kill a deer... find something else to do. Hunting isn't for you 😅
I'm so glad to see you weren't blinded by that powerpoint presentation and are able to use sound reasoning!

And you nailed it with the corn. There's some good research brewing about feed sites and potential turkey population impacts. Other states have saw turkey declines at the start of baiting being legalized too.
 

Soft Talker

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At least they admit it, that's rare here. Most of them swear they're accomplishing something.

If it weren't for piles of corn, most of the "hunters" here couldn't kill a mosquito. Let alone a deer.

I may not kill big bucks on the public land I hunt like the hunting lease corn pile guys do, but I just arrowed a nanny doe last week after scouting and finding some hot acorn feeds and well used travel paths from bedding.

That's learning to hunt and that's more of an accomplishment than any number of bucks from 200 yds away over a pile of poured bait.
;)
 

DeerCamp

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The hens we are seeing have 5-7 poults with them.

I don't know what a good survival rate is for them, but this seems like more than what I am used to seeing this late in the year.

It probably doesn't hurt that my neighbor and I have devastated the local predator population.
 

Andy S.

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Atoka, TN
I may not kill big bucks on the public land I hunt like the hunting lease corn pile guys do, but I just arrowed a nanny doe last week after scouting and finding some hot acorn feeds and well used travel paths from bedding.

That's learning to hunt and that's more of an accomplishment than any number of bucks from 200 yds away over a pile of poured bait.
AMEN!!!
 

ROVERBOY

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moss,tn
I've been seeing a bunch of birds in fields but, I know a lot of them are young birds. I wonder what the survival rate is for young birds their first year?
 

BSK

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Nashville, TN
Yea the SRS was not much better at all. If I remember correctly it was 35% poult recruitment success there vs 22% statewide. But they also did no predator control in that area, no burns, no habitat improvement at all. All they did was just prohibit hunting.

They claimed to not be proposing anything, just presenting data, but it was quite clear they believed in delaying the opener. Nothing was presented to support a theory that delaying the opener would not help things to let us make our own decision and I didn't even know those studies existed until reading this thread.

One other thing is the issue of baiting deer. South Carolina is probably 2nd to Texas as being the "Pay $2k for a hunt club and shoot at a pile of corn" capitol of America. By mid September half of Iowa's corn harvest is laying on the dirt here.

There are numerous scientific articles discussing the development of aflatoxin in corn at high enough levels to kill young turkeys. And the timing of the corn piles starting in SC falls right in line with it not only being warm enough to rot, but also the poults still being young enough to be affected by aflatoxin. In addition to the rotting, it also props up a population of known nest predators. Racoons. They love a good corn pile.

I know this is anecdotal, but a couple years after bait was legalized in the upstate regions, that part of the state started seeing its turkey population sharply decline.

South Carolina has a 3 month rifle season, almost 4 months in the lowcountry on private land. I mean, if with a 3 to 4 month rifle season you still need to dump 200# of corn on the ground to kill a deer... find something else to do. Hunting isn't for you 😅
Corn on the ground in warm, humid weather and turkey don't mix. And it's not just young birds that are killed by aflatoxin. Aflatoxin rates of only 50 Parts Per Billion (PPB) can be fatal to adult turkey and 50 PPB of aflatoxin would not be noticeable to the human eye (you would not see mold on the corn).

On several occasions I have found dead turkey near corn feeders on clients' properties. No way to prove it was aflatoxin poisoning, but highly likely. In addition, predators key in on these feeding stations, waiting in ambush for turkey to come feed in that one spot.
 
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