New study on turkeys going on now by Ky

Bee

10 pointer
Mar 14, 2005
1,640
Good information. My impression is Danks is serious about the issues. I actually killed one of the banded birds in Tennessee's study this spring; about 300 were banded state wide. The banders are targeting young of the year jakes if possible and are banding in locations far enough apart that no bird banded in one area is likely to end up near other banded birds, thus the biologists hope to use the info from returned bands to determine survival of the banded birds in specific geographical areas by hunting.
 

bgkyarcher

12 pointer
Aug 23, 2011
19,356
BG
Good information. My impression is Danks is serious about the issues. I actually killed one of the banded birds in Tennessee's study this spring; about 300 were banded state wide. The banders are targeting young of the year jakes if possible and are banding in locations far enough apart that no bird banded in one area is likely to end up near other banded birds, thus the biologists hope to use the info from returned bands to determine survival of the banded birds in specific geographical areas by hunting.
Reckon yotes and cats will turn the bands in? lol. I sure hope they get answers.
 

Feedman

Cyber-Hunter
May 28, 2003
17,367
In the basement
Wonder when the legislature will vote on these recommendations.

The commission recommended:

  • A bag limit of one turkey per hunter per wildlife management area per season.
  • Eliminating the harvest of non-bearded turkeys during fall hunting seasons.
  • Extending the prohibition of baiting of wildlife from May 31 to July 31. Bait piles promote artificially high concentrations of predators and turkeys at bait sites, which likely increases predation and health risks to turkeys.
  • Extending the night-time coyote hunting with rifles season through June 30, except the season would be closed April 1-May 15. Hunters on private lands could use any legal modern firearm, both centerfire and rimfire.
 

Bee

10 pointer
Mar 14, 2005
1,640
Here is the explanation of the TN program, which is likely same as what is being done in KY. I could not get the thing to link, so here it all is.
“””””””
TWRA is conducting a wild turkey gobbler leg-banding project beginning the winter of 2021. The purpose of this project is to obtain survival and harvest rate estimates of wild turkey gobblers from across the state.
Eastern wild turkey populations have
declined throughout much of the southeastern United States over the past decade or more, including in parts of Tennessee. There are many possible reasons for these declines. Habitat loss and deterioration, poor reproduction because of recurring bad weather, increased predation on turkeys and their nests, and impacts associated with legal hunting are just a few of the possible reasons. However, as a state wildlife agency, the only one of these factors that we have direct influence to change is the impact associated with turkey harvest.
In order to make wise management decisions, state wildlife agencies need good science to understand the relationships between hunting regulations, harvest, and resultant population impacts. Therefore, working with researchers at Tennessee Tech University and with the cooperation of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, we are conducting a four-year, statewide banding project to investigate gobbler harvest rates in Tennessee. The project will allow us to collect data that we can use to determine which biological, landscape and regulatory factors are influencing male wild turkey harvest and survival rates across Tennessee.
Harvest rates influence wild turkey populations in two possible ways: through direct removal of juvenile and adult gobblers, and by removing dominant males from the population, which may affect reproductive rates of females. Unlike other upland game birds in North America, wild turkeys are hunted and harvested during their breeding season, making hunting regulations (e.g., the timing, duration, and bag limits) of spring turkey season critical for population management. Therefore, it is vital for state agencies to understand the harvest rates of gobblers across different regulatory frameworks to better inform their season-setting recommendations.
To measure harvest rates, we will use a statewide band-and-recover approach so that data can be collected from all regional units of the state. Each year in January, February, and March of 2021-2024, TWRA biologists will trap and band approximately 300 wild turkey gobblers from sites across the state. As these birds are harvested, hunters are asked to report the band number stamped on the band. Hunters can keep the band as a memento of their hunt but reporting the band to TWRA is essential to our obtaining good estimates of harvest rates.
Data collected from hunters reporting banded turkeys will provide us a wealth of information. Our overall project objectives include:
1. Documenting survival and harvest rates of adult and juvenile gobblers across Tennessee,
2. Identifying biological, landscape, and hunting regulation variables that influence observed harvest rates and determining which variables have the strongest influence,
3. Predicting how various regulatory changes could influence harvest, and
4. Gathering data to use in conjunction with summer turkey survey data to calculate relative turkey abundance.
“””””

I’m a cynic on some of these studies but at least something is being done. Hopefully the study result will show something about hunter harvest impacts by what percentage of bands in an area are recovered. Also the percentage of bands not recovered will tell , perhaps, how much predation or disease impact there is on adult male turkeys in that area. I’m not a biologist. But I think this study to be successful needs hunters to fully participate in turning in bands.
 

Bee

10 pointer
Mar 14, 2005
1,640
No one mourns the loss of grouse more than I do, but the problem with the grouse study was it never started until the grouse were basically gone. Twenty years ago the serious local hunters knew grouse were in deep trouble. We begged on here to get some attention to it. Nobody listened. Even today other than West Nile virus issues nobody really knows where the grouse went or why. Grouse is / were a non revenue species.
F and G folks pay attention to revenue generating critters like deer elk and turkey.

Hopefully the turkey study has started before it is too late.

Simple question is what is the alternative ? There really isn’t one. So I say give the study a chance and share all info from other states on research and studies and react with appropriate limits and regulations. Hammer the predators where you can in the meantime.
 
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bigbonner

12 pointer
Aug 5, 2015
4,153
No one mourns the loss of grouse more than I do, but the problem with the grouse study was it never started until the grouse were basically gone. Twenty years ago the serious local hunters knew grouse were in deep trouble. We begged on here to get some attention to it. Nobody listened. Even today other than West Nile virus issues nobody really knows where the grouse went or why. Grouse is / were a non revenue species.
F and G folks pay attention to revenue generating critters like deer elk and turkey.

Hopefully the turkey study has started before it is too late.

Simple question is what is the alternative ? There really isn’t one. So I say give the study a chance and share all info from other states on research and studies and react with appropriate limits and regulations. Hammer the predators where you can in the meantime.
They kept saying it was habitat loss causing the decline and I know darn well that that was not true.
I know where I live there was plenty of grouse and the area has not change , if anything it has grown up and gotten better.
 

OLE RASPY

12 pointer
Sep 9, 2018
3,063
Barren county
I haven’t read this yet but Zac dad and mom was my neighbors in lewisburg when I lived there. Good people. Avid hunters.
I went to school with zac also.
 
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davers

12 pointer
Jul 14, 2014
4,926
Kentucky
I agree with the probable reasons for these declines. Habitat loss and deterioration, poor reproduction because of recurring bad weather, increased predation on turkeys and their nests. I've noticed a population decrease in several Game & Non-Game species also.
 

Bee

10 pointer
Mar 14, 2005
1,640
Every state in the S E US seems to have some kind of turkey decline study in place , underway, or planned. The turkey biologists in the S E usually meet periodically (every five years at least ) and this year the meeting is in N Carolina in June I believe. I expect that with the attention being given to the issues some factual biology-science based will emerge, if not this year, then soon thereafter. Some of us may. to like the answers but at least attention is being given to the problem.
 

Drahts

12 pointer
Apr 7, 2015
5,750
KY
Zac is good people. He can't make F&W do the things his team states will assist the grouse in recovering. Many of the discoveries, and planned habitat work went by the way side when Beshear nocked the crap out of the dept budget. Funding is reqd and this governor has not helped anywhere except moving elk out of hunting areas to viewing areas and spent a ton of money on that. And all that $$ has done nothing for anyone but the tree huggers.
 


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