Population opinion after hunting

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by Shelby21, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. RLWEBB

    RLWEBB 12 pointer

    7,937
    5,676
    Nov 30, 2005
    Staffordsville, KY
    I hunt over in Martin County and there seems to be a lot of birds on that property. I live in Johnson county and usually hear birds gobbling starting around Valentine’s Day but this year I haven’t heard the first gobble. I did have 5 hens fly over my house a few weeks ago. I believe that overall bird numbers are down and that it’s all over the SE US and not just KY. I have no idea why but I’m guessing you could find some good info online, especially if you search journal articles re Wildlife management.
     
  2. Grago

    Grago 10 pointer

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    2,223
    Dec 13, 2016
    Well as I stated, a few more here, than the last few years, but not even close to years ago, I have hunted this county since the first day it opened, LBL before that, tje first few years, not many birds, but I dont remember the exact years, but im pretty sure around 2002 or so, I have heard as many as 25 birds gobbling at day light, one year day before season, I counted 18 long beards strutting in the field I was going to hunt, the next morning, It wasnt a matter of where you were going to kill one or not, if you hunted you could kill 2 easy. Back at that time you could pretty much pull over on the side of the road at day light and hear a turkey gobble. It is a long ways from being like that now. I know there are places that still have good numbers, but from most people I talk to numbers are way down. I dont know the reasons, as many dont , a lot of coons here, when I was a kid everybody coon hunted, I dont even know but 2 people that even coon hunt anymore, and neither of them hunt here, one is a pretty good friend, I called him after deer season to see if he wanted to hunt, he said he had more people calling him to hunt, that had to many coons, no way could he get around tl everybody, before season went out, Then there is the chicken minaure therory, the field spraying, I have no idea, We had a good hatch year before last, I saw 17 Jakes in one bunch in front of me one time last year, so I figure most of what im hearing and seeing is some of them, I have seen a few Jakes this year, but not that many, as for NWTF as someone mentioned , I dont know of anything them or the state has done except turn them out in the beginning , and honestly, I dont know what they could do except turn more out or put a bounty on the predators, I have a NWTF tag on my truck, and my birthday was this month so time to renew tags, And I have thought the last few years, it cost more than I thought it should, so I asked at the courthouse why so much, they said because of the NWTF tag, I said well I knew it cost more when I got the tag, because of it, but wasnt aware it was a every year thing, which it still isnt much, but it costs me twice as much because of what it is, every year, she said the extra went to them. And thats fine, I have no problem with it. So with the banquets and all the ways they have money coming in, I wouldnt think that would be the issue, but as I said, im not sure if they even know what to do, I certainly dont. I have a few friends that dont even hunt anymore, they expect everytime they get out of the truck , to hear a gobbler to set up on, there was a time like that, but not now or around here anyway, I used to kill several older birds, but I dont even remember the last time I killed a gobbler that I thought was over 2 years old, Nothing has really changed, as far as the environment , and food, so it must be, other reasons, im sure fish and wild life and NWTF are aware of the declining numbers, but not sure they even know what to do.
     
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  3. Davidlondon4

    Davidlondon4 12 pointer

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    Dec 2, 2004
    Laurel County
    Thanks to The Hunting Public crew for putting this information out through their channel so its gets a lot of exposure. Its an interview with researchers from the University of Georgia and discusses the decline of wild turkeys across the country (much of it in the south).

     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
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  4. 257Wmag

    257Wmag 6 pointer

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    121
    Oct 7, 2015
    NC
    Isn’t what it used to be but there are still good numbers. They are acting screwy though. I killed one Thursday that I was working, it was alone on the roost and ended up with 4 or 5 other gobblers when I killed em. Missed one Friday morning that came in silent, there were 2 of em and they were headed to the gobbling bird.

    very little gobbling on the ground. Either they are still henned up or breeding is winding down. Seen several hens but no gobblers with hens. Tough time to hunt em.

    It’s not just a KY issue. I’m from NC and it’s same way there. We have good numbers where I hunt but just across the river (4 miles as a crow flies) there isn’t even a huntable population. Friend counted 126 in one field about 10 years ago and hasn’t heard a gobble or seen a turkey in 2 years. But we have birds in counties that never had them before.

    After all the money they spent trapping and moving turkeys you’d think someone would take more of an interest in why and try and do something about it. We came up with a COVID vaccine in under a year, we can figure out why turkeys are disappearing!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
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  5. Trapper Delk

    Trapper Delk 12 pointer

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    4,458
    Feb 10, 2020
    Central Kentucky.
    Just seen 2 Toms and 3 jakes in field no hens.
    Pulled SD card from camera behind my building on 4/11 a Tom with 2 hens.. I'd say its winding down. Some of the easiest birds to kill is end of season when they are lonely they gobble all day long non stop
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
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  6. luvtohunt

    luvtohunt 10 pointer

    1,630
    1,223
    Sep 1, 2011
    Eubank, Ky
    I haven’t seen anything but jakes so far in the limited time I’ve been out. Had two jakes tearing the limb off the tree this am, hit the ground and were gobbling but not to me. Came out In the field gobbling but had zero interest in my calling. No hens in sight!!! Strange.
     
  7. WaterDog88

    WaterDog88 10 pointer

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    281
    Jul 28, 2008
    Kentucky
    Numbers are down on all places I hunt in both central and eastern ky. There are birds but nothing like it was 15-20 years ago. There's a lot of reasons. Bad hatches, predation, habitat loss and hunting pressure. I also think as baiting for deer has gotten more popular turkey numbers have declined and there's a lot of factors associated with that.
     
    riverboss likes this.
  8. cedar creek

    cedar creek 10 pointer

    1,472
    800
    Sep 7, 2014
    If you got birds your lucky, been at this game a long time, definitely not the turkey here as there used to be, to many facts to mention,
     
  9. Grago

    Grago 10 pointer

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    Dec 13, 2016
    I started watching this, but havent finished it yet, thanks for posting,
     
  10. riverboss

    riverboss 12 pointer

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    4,753
    Jan 26, 2009
    northern ky
    close the fall season! It can't hurt for a few yrs, or atheist take hens off of it.I don't buy the predatorstuff that much as I'm seeing more rabbits than I have seen in 20 yesterday, I know bobcats are a lot of the problem around my area's I think they like turkeys more than rabbits.
     
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  11. Snareman2

    Snareman2 12 pointer

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    247
    Feb 25, 2007
    Nice video, Thank you David.

    Can’t compare with the rabbit population, rabbits can have multiple clutches per year and the offspring can also reproduce in the same year. Turkeys are different. Predators are playing a major roll in the reproduction. Just like the video stated, Georgia is one of the leading states and they are only getting 20% of the nest hatching. That ain’t much.

    Also said, population declines if under two poults per hen average. At 1.5 poults average, the hen is not replacing herself. Interesting information. Like I said, thank you David for posting.
     
    Journette likes this.
  12. Snareman2

    Snareman2 12 pointer

    2,686
    247
    Feb 25, 2007
    I’ve got ten acres in Warm Season grasses, I see tons of rabbits. However, the turkeys are another thing, they ain’t doing well in my area or the public area I hunt a couple counties over.
     
  13. Semp

    Semp 10 pointer

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Kaintukee
    Good video. Thanks for posting. It had a lot of good info about the decline I think. The researchers did not give any particular reason for the decline in turkey numbers. Just a multitude of factors it seems.

    Maybe we should go back to the old days. One bird in the spring. Stop hunting at 1pm. Shorten the season and do away with fall hunting altogether. Somehow we've got to get the numbers back up.
     
  14. Trapper Delk

    Trapper Delk 12 pointer

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    4,458
    Feb 10, 2020
    Central Kentucky.
    I m sure some are see less turkeys but here its been good. I was a little worried early when they wasn't gobbling like we think they should, didn't go out scouting just hunted opening morning and I was very surprised at how many I heard, that being said I trap and a buddy traps, I can't say that's what it is but I can imagine of how many turkeys and nest wouldn't make it if we didn't trap
     
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  15. luvtohunt

    luvtohunt 10 pointer

    1,630
    1,223
    Sep 1, 2011
    Eubank, Ky
    Hunted four farms in Pulaski county this am. Heard one bird at daylight gobbling on the limb. He hit the dirt and went directly South of me across a big holler and pretty good size creek to get away from the few soft tree yelps I had laid out. Nearly 15 hours in the field across 4 farms and I have seen a grand total of 3 jakes and 2 hens. Same story last year. Never saw a long beard last year til the last week of season. Think I’m gonna hang up the Turkey gear and keep catching crappie. Just ain’t worth the time anymore in my area.
     
    Randy1974, JR in KY, Semp and 2 others like this.

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