Turkey decline all over

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by 1wildcatfan, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    Just read an article in Game & Fish, it's not just Ky. Interesting read as I'm not knowledgable on turkeys. Most states are showing a big decline over a few years ago. Biologist haven't determined what the cause is, one theory is its just natures way to balance the carrying capacity.
  2. Tom Threetoes

    Tom Threetoes 10 pointer

    Oct 4, 2002
    southern Indiana.
    I've read that in several different articles and on different forums. In my part of Southern Indiana all through the 90s and the first part of the 2000s turkeys were every where and I could just about tell you where you could find birds any time and which location. Then all at once things started changing, the fields that always had turkeys were empty, the woods that always had scratching and feathers were barren of sign. Why would areas that had sustained these populations for 15 or so years all of a sudden become unable to support them? I think the problem are nest predators, the growing bobcat populations and some bad hatches. When you can see road kill coons and skunks littering the road sides that tells me the populations are out of control, and why protect the growing bobcat numbers. We already have too many coyotes why protect an even more proficient turkey killer. Sorry for the rant, I just love turkeys and turkey hunting!
    Nock, Huntertyler, Jack Ryan and 6 others like this.
  3. Bee

    Bee 10 pointer

    Mar 14, 2005
    Several folks on here have wisely and repeatedly urged all of us to trap or kill all the footed predators it is legal to remove. Many southeastern US states and midwest states like KS an MO believe their turkeys are in a decline on the ten year average; some hugely so. Everywhere I hunt around the country the areas which have had the most intense predator control have the best current surviving turkey populations in the area. Not a coincidence IMO.
    Nock, Jack Ryan and barney like this.
  4. clovis67

    clovis67 Spike

    Aug 16, 2008
    SO so happy that 1Wildcatfan brought this article up...I have a REEEL hard time even trying to digest this”Natural Carrying Capacity” explanation as the reason we are seeing fewer turkeys. That might be the situation in a few places...but I can’t begin to believe that F&W folks would come up with this kinda lame excuse for our decline. We need George Wright to get r figured out.
    I am just like Tom Threetoes.... Late 80’s.. population was expanding ,90’s we saw good stable to increasing numbers,2000 we had birds in almost every place that was decent turkey habitat.. I remember 2002 in particular being just the bomb for turkey hunting in Ky..gobbling birds on every ridge..and that was the norm until around 2014-15 ..when all of a sudden things started going south... Them folks that came up with that crap need to stop and start over again...They should have blamed our turkey decline on Russia or something...Geeeez
    Jack Ryan and Timholt70 like this.
  5. mudhole crossing

    mudhole crossing 12 pointer

    Aug 20, 2007
    East ky
    If we gonna control predators, that should include crow, hawk,neighborhood cats, owls, , eagles, mink, domestic dogs, and blue jays. They all contribute to turkey nest destruction. Not just yotes possum and coon
  6. Bee

    Bee 10 pointer

    Mar 14, 2005
    Feds don't like the eagle and hawk shooting much...federal prison time and fines etc. but everybody knows that already Im sure
    CentralKyHunter likes this.
  7. Meatstick

    Meatstick 12 pointer

    Oct 25, 2013
    Washington County
    We should all shoot the hell outta crows. It's easy and funner than pickin boogers, with an electronic call. I'm talkin can't keep your gun loaded sometimes. I gave em hell this time especially, mostly because there weren't enough ducks to hunt. But I've been shooting crows since I was a kid. Any hunter would have a ball doing it
  8. bigbonner

    bigbonner 10 pointer

    Aug 5, 2015
    Turkey numbers are down . I am usually plagued with turkeys but this year there is not as many turkeys as I normally see.
    I am also wondering since I have seen more snakes , that they may be taking a small toll on eggs.
    Jack Ryan likes this.
  9. barney

    barney 12 pointer

    Oct 11, 2005
    I've said it several times over the years and I'll say it again, there's WAY more bobcats than most would realize and they are killin machines!
    Nock, Jack Ryan, BootsOn27 and 10 others like this.
  10. Chilly

    Chilly 10 pointer

    I bet I have found 10-15 dead turkeys since rabbit season started. Mostly just find the bones, but I found a few this year that still had feathers lying around. Not sure the cause, but most were found in thickets.
  11. mudhole crossing

    mudhole crossing 12 pointer

    Aug 20, 2007
    East ky
  12. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

    Feb 20, 2011
    the swamps of western KY
    There’s plenty of nest raiders around nowadays. I think flooding has taken its toll on the western end of the state. This will be our fourth year in a row to flood.
  13. Have you ever seen a hen with chicks after hatch absolutely helpless all she can do is hold out her wings for them to gather around till they get feathers to fly up there's not a good chance rain turning freezing cold they're dead if a bobcat finds her it's easy picking coyote coon possum Hawks owls it's all best eating that time of the year.. if you don't trap I'd suggest finding someone hit the turkey grounds hard trap everything you can after 1st year you'll see the difference in numbers 2nd year they'll be 2 year old Tom's gobbling everywhere
    Meatstick likes this.
  14. davers

    davers 12 pointer

    Jul 14, 2014
    I don't think that: Crows, Snakes, etc are the reason for the sharp decline in our & other States. I am still leaning toward a disease and abnormal weather conditions.
    Timholt70 likes this.
  15. Duckwisperer

    Duckwisperer Fawn

    Jan 11, 2020
    this seems to be a big topic on the Arkansas forum thats come up, Arkansas numbers are down word is Kansas numbers are dropping as well, probably quite a few states are seeing declines. Arkansas did away with their fall hunting years ago. Ive heard N Carolina or someplace like that implemented a reward or pay for predator type of system. I have a hard time w the "Natures Way to balance or Whatever" line of thinking. Two other things I can think of outside of predators----- and that is if Forestery places are using something different that their spraying like when the Quail population dwindled or Social media craze has more Turkey hunters/ Poachers but thats a lot of killing, no doubt hunting has turned into more of a fashion show/ ridiculous bragging ordeal--- ok a third thing simply a desease that has spread amongst them. I still tend to lean towards the predators. How many time have you seen a hen after breeding season w 12 poults then a week later 9 then a week or so later 4-5 and so on after time it adds up to just lees birds. Just my take.....

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