Ohio Turkey hunting limit reduction???

WaterDog88

12 pointer
Jul 28, 2008
2,066
Kentucky
Is your suggestion just public land or statewide???
State wide. Afternoon birds are easy to kill with hens on the nest. If I strike a bird after 1 and get him talking I'm probably going to kill him. Cut off that afternoon harvest for a few weeks and more gobblers will live to bred hens in the morning or afternoon etc.

When I started turkey hunting we had an afternoon cutoff. Bird numbers got high and then we went wide open. Now bird numbers are on the decline in a lot of places. I'm not saying it's the fix but it would help.

I heard a biologist say about turkey hunting can you imagine hunting any other game bird during their peak breeding season?? Shooting mallards in their courtship flights? It's kind of crazy. That's why we have to manage it better. The free-for-all isn't working.
 

Jay Blankenship

6 pointer
Mar 22, 2018
389
OH
State wide. Afternoon birds are easy to kill with hens on the nest. If I strike a bird after 1 and get him talking I'm probably going to kill him. Cut off that afternoon harvest for a few weeks and more gobblers will live to bred hens in the morning or afternoon etc.

When I started turkey hunting we had an afternoon cutoff. Bird numbers got high and then we went wide open. Now bird numbers are on the decline in a lot of places. I'm not saying it's the fix but it would help.

I heard a biologist say about turkey hunting can you imagine hunting any other game bird during their peak breeding season?? Shooting mallards in their courtship flights? It's kind of crazy. That's why we have to manage it better. The free-for-all isn't working.


That’s a great post. FOR YEARS in OH it was noon cut off the entire season. The only ones that did get to hunt past noon was the kids on the two day youth hunt. Then it became a week of all day huntin. Then it became two weeks of all day huntin clear to full three weeks of all day huntin. The first week of season is still noon cut-off but three weeks of our 4week season is all day huntin. Two bird limit.

ODNR set it now this be a one bird limit but really didn’t adjust the time limits on the hunt. This should start to help the cause of what the divisions of natural resources wildlife did here in OH. IMO it should have happened years ago. But it’s started now.
 

Kyhunter75

Fawn
Jan 3, 2022
9
East Ky
If our numbers are dropping, reduce the bag limits bunt dont takeaway away afternoon hunting. It gives working people more time to hunt. Reducing opportunities to hunt is not the answer. We need participation in the sport. Ive seen a decline of turkey hunters around home the past few years which will equal less birds harvested. Predation is the problem. Very few coyote and coon hunters. Maybe earn a second gobler if you kill 3 yotes. Just a suggestion.
 

WaterDog88

12 pointer
Jul 28, 2008
2,066
Kentucky
If our numbers are dropping, reduce the bag limits bunt dont takeaway away afternoon hunting. It gives working people more time to hunt. Reducing opportunities to hunt is not the answer. We need participation in the sport. Ive seen a decline of turkey hunters around home the past few years which will equal less birds harvested. Predation is the problem. Very few coyote and coon hunters. Maybe earn a second gobler if you kill 3 yotes. Just a suggestion.
I can sympathize with finding time to hunt. Anymore I'm pretty much a weekend warrior unless I take a vacation day to hunt. But I will say I've talked to several biologist about this issue and they both said the most successful predator of adult gobblers is by far hunters. Owls and bobcats are pretty good but a guy with a turkey fan and a gun that can kill at 60 yards is way more successful. Adult gobblers need to live to breed hens and fewer gobblers just equates to fewer nesting hens and given nest success rate you can see how the decline in one precipitates a decline in the other.

Now here's another can of worms...coyotes. I've seen coyotes try and nab birds and they're pretty bad at it. They're opportunists and do occasionally get hens on the nest. But to me I actually see some benefit in having coyotes because they do kill nest raiders like possums and coons. For the 1 hen a coyote might get I can only imagine it has killed many more nest raiders.

Anocodatly an area I've hunted for over 25 years now has always had a lot of coyotes. In 25 years I've seen the overall bird numbers decrease. The thing that has changed has been hunter pressure in the area. Idk just my thoughts
 

Little FR

12 pointer
Nov 10, 2021
3,396
West Kentucky
I can sympathize with finding time to hunt. Anymore I'm pretty much a weekend warrior unless I take a vacation day to hunt. But I will say I've talked to several biologist about this issue and they both said the most successful predator of adult gobblers is by far hunters. Owls and bobcats are pretty good but a guy with a turkey fan and a gun that can kill at 60 yards is way more successful. Adult gobblers need to live to breed hens and fewer gobblers just equates to fewer nesting hens and given nest success rate you can see how the decline in one precipitates a decline in the other.

Now here's another can of worms...coyotes. I've seen coyotes try and nab birds and they're pretty bad at it. They're opportunists and do occasionally get hens on the nest. But to me I actually see some benefit in having coyotes because they do kill nest raiders like possums and coons. For the 1 hen a coyote might get I can only imagine it has killed many more nest raiders.

Anocodatly an area I've hunted for over 25 years now has always had a lot of coyotes. In 25 years I've seen the overall bird numbers decrease. The thing that has changed has been hunter pressure in the area. Idk just my thoughts

The adults that get taken by predators aren’t the issue. It is the restock chain. I saw 2 nests that had been raided last year. I also witnessed a hen sitting on a nest get chased off their nest by raccoons and the raccoons began eating the eggs, not saying what may or may not have happened to coons (post coon season). Possums, coyotes, snakes and dogs will all destroy the nest. Owls are hard on the smaller turkeys as well.

The poults are pretty defenseless for a little while. Ive seen groups of 4 hens and 25 poults reduced to 4 hens and 7 poults within 3 weeks. Less than that by winter. My biggest pet peeve is people feeding raccoons corn during deer season, not shooting or hunting them, starving them after season and going, where the turkeys at?
 

KYH5N1

10 pointer
Jan 19, 2008
1,947
In the nightmares of turkeys
While I somewhat agree with the above comments, there are a few that don't really make sense to me. If KY would follow the guidelines set forth in the early years, successful "breeding" shouldn't be a problem. George Wright suggested not hunting turkeys in KY until they have a chance to breed. Generally after 4/15. If the breeding is successful, then we should focus on poult recruitment. Habitat improvements, predator control etc. There are a myriad of circumstances we have no control over. Focus on the few we do.
 

CalebConn16

6 pointer
May 27, 2016
436
Turkey hunting is my favorite of all hunting. I’m fine with a 1 bird limit. Heck I wouldn’t even mind shutting it down for a couple of years if it helped. Where I hunt, I’ve noticed no reduction in birds but I know that this is an anomaly. I’ll gladly sacrifice now for a better future for the Wild Turkey.
Pretty sure we hunt the same areas. I’ve not seen a reduction either. Just maybe be in different areas from season to season
 

CalebConn16

6 pointer
May 27, 2016
436
The adults that get taken by predators aren’t the issue. It is the restock chain. I saw 2 nests that had been raided last year. I also witnessed a hen sitting on a nest get chased off their nest by raccoons and the raccoons began eating the eggs, not saying what may or may not have happened to coons (post coon season). Possums, coyotes, snakes and dogs will all destroy the nest. Owls are hard on the smaller turkeys as well.

The poults are pretty defenseless for a little while. Ive seen groups of 4 hens and 25 poults reduced to 4 hens and 7 poults within 3 weeks. Less than that by winter. My biggest pet peeve is people feeding raccoons corn during deer season, not shooting or hunting them, starving them after season and going, where the turkeys at?

Owls are hard on adults too. Michael Chamberlain studies show that Owls account for the majority of predation in adult turkeys and it’s by a significant amount.
 

cedar creek

10 pointer
Sep 7, 2014
1,866
Ky needs to shut off at 1 to give them time to breed, i know a lot of people hunt the evening but we have to give them time to do there thing if we want to keep what birds we have
 

KYH5N1

10 pointer
Jan 19, 2008
1,947
In the nightmares of turkeys
Ky needs to shut off at 1 to give them time to breed, i know a lot of people hunt the evening but we have to give them time to do there thing if we want to keep what birds we have
While I wholeheartedly agree , there will be significant resistance. The modern day KY turkey hunters know very little about our history of turkey hunting in this state. They don't remember the midday cut off, the midweek opener, or even the Monday openers. They definitely don't remember the 7 day seasons or the 1 bird limit!
 

Kyhunter75

Fawn
Jan 3, 2022
9
East Ky
I remember those times, been Turkey hunting Ky since the 80's. I sure hope none of the stuff you mention gets adopted by ky fw for statewide again. Focus on problems counties if need be but don't punish an entire state. Maybe a zoning system similar to deer would be a better approach.

While I wholeheartedly agree , there will be significant resistance. The modern day KY turkey hunters know very little about our history of turkey hunting in this state. They don't remember the midday cut off, the midweek opener, or even the Monday openers. They definitely don't remember the 7 day seasons or the 1 bird limit!
 

KYH5N1

10 pointer
Jan 19, 2008
1,947
In the nightmares of turkeys
I remember those times, been Turkey hunting Ky since the 80's. I sure hope none of the stuff you mention gets adopted by ky fw for statewide again. Focus on problems counties if need be but don't punish an entire state. Maybe a zoning system similar to deer would be a better approach.
You're about to see what a nightmare "in state zoning" is going to be in TN. Midday cut off should be considered in KY, especially on public ground. Maybe not for the entire season, but definitely for the early portion.
 


Latest posts

Top