FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

A general discussion area for turkey hunters.
swampchicken
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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by swampchicken » June 28th, 2017, 11:48 am

Missouri used to just have a 2 week fall shotgun season in which you were allowed only one bird per week. They then went to a month long season where you could shoot both on same day. Now the MDC is thinking about going back to a more restrictive season in the fall. It was fun hunting groups of fall birds that numbered 150-350 per flock. Now the flocks have diminished to numbers of 20-50 birds per flock. I think there's alot of different factors that go into turkey population trends. But I do think most states could allow a fall season even if they were very restrictive on how long, how many, and sex type allowed.

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Frankinthelaurels
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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by Frankinthelaurels » June 29th, 2017, 7:02 am

We need a fall harvest all the hens you want season...there are so many old barren hens alive it's ridiculous !!! I watched a huge strutter yesterday, June 28 with three old girls strutting and leading him around this late in the year.? I watched another big boy on May 31 with 6 hens walking around at noon with his harem..kill em' all, we need a good thinning of PA hens !!

swampchicken
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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by swampchicken » June 29th, 2017, 8:22 am

Frankinthelaurels wrote:We need a fall harvest all the hens you want season...there are so many old barren hens alive it's ridiculous !!! I watched a huge strutter yesterday, June 28 with three old girls strutting and leading him around this late in the year.? I watched another big boy on May 31 with 6 hens walking around at noon with his harem..kill em' all, we need a good thinning of PA hens !!

Well if you kill your hens your also killing your future toms. Most likely the hens your seeing with toms this late are one year old hens that pick bad spots to nest. Your 2+yr old hens are your producers. Or they could be older hens that had their nest destroyed by predators and is rebreeding with the tom to renest.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by quavers16 » June 30th, 2017, 12:18 pm

In my State of New York-- while I am not thrilled with a slash of my Fall Turkey season from 6 weeks to 2 weeks and a cut from 2 bird limit to just 1-- what the DEC did right though was move Fall turkey to mid- October from October 1st when alot of seasons open up such as pheasant Season. Now around 2000 or so when the DEC actually manned the permit station at STEWART STATE FOREST and you had to stop and report your take of pheasant,woodcock, Fall turkey, rabbit,etc--I asked the DEC officer how many wild turkeys had been taken so far on the 7,000 acres. He told me that 37 turkeys had been taken mostly by the pheasant hunters!! That is too many turkeys taken for sure in that one area.

quavers16
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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by quavers16 » June 30th, 2017, 12:25 pm

In regards to hens being taken in Fall-- in my area of where I hunt in New York and New Jersey- I see and hear alot of hens. I probably will have one Saturday to Fall hunt in New Jersey this Fall and if a hen presents herself before a gobbler or jake does-- down she goes...

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by decoykrvr » July 1st, 2017, 11:55 am

You can buy a Butterball Turkey for @$1.39/ lb if you want to eat turkey. Take your hunting skills and sportsmanship up a notch and hunt only gobblers. When you learn to discern gobbler sign, utilize gobbler vocalizations in your calling, and successfully kill a gobbler in the fall you've really accomplished something. Shooting the spring's poults in the fall is like fall shooting the spring's fawns which totally eliminates their genetic potential to become a potential trophy animal and to reproduce.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by timbrhuntr » July 1st, 2017, 4:03 pm

Huh ! Guess I'll just quite hunting as most meat I can buy cheaper !!!!!!!!!!

quavers16
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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by quavers16 » July 2nd, 2017, 12:22 pm

Frankinthelaurels of PA has a good and thought provoking post. I agree with much of it as I live in New York which is right next to PA. Same thing in my area--plenty of hens. Almost too many! decoykrvr- I do target gobblers first and the skills are there and have taken Fall gobblers by calling. With a 2 week NY Fall Season and a 1 week Fall New Jersey season- I have anywhere from 3-6 days on the weekends. Often closer to just 3 days. I target gobblers first-jakes out of a family flock are 2nd and hens 3rd. As I said- if a hen comes to my calling first--down she goes!! See you all next Friday on this library computer.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by GLS » July 2nd, 2017, 12:56 pm

I read a quote from a game biologist who joking said about deer hunters thinking "too many deer are not enough" I believe diminishing turkey populations to be bad for turkeys and turkey hunters and killing hens isn't a solution. I don't think we can have too many hens.
First year hens are notoriously lousy "mothers" but you can't have second year "mothers" without a class of first year hens.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by Jamey » July 2nd, 2017, 5:06 pm

There is no reason to kill hens ever.

Fall hunting is a tradition that dates back to the time before many states had spring seasons or before it was popular to hunt in the spring. Like many traditions, it is hard for states to drop it even when there is no good biological reason to allow hens to be killed in the fall.

I am glad our GA DNR has enough sense to make decisions based on biologically sound principles and not just on public opinion.
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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by timbrhuntr » July 2nd, 2017, 6:03 pm

I respect your opinion over many others Jamey but we have never had a fall or spring season tradition here in over a hundred years. The biologists have resisted calls to ever increase the seasons etc until they felt the poulation could handle it. Then they started to have fall seasons in areas with very high poulations. I hunt on an island that has very few predators and the turkey population is expoding to the point that many birds are contracting diseases we have not seen before. So they have now instituted a fall season for any sex. I have to hope that the professionals know what they are doing. :dontknow:

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by timbrhuntr » July 2nd, 2017, 6:05 pm

I have a buddy with a video from last year with over 400 birds in one field and there are at least 75 strutters that you can count !!

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by Meleagris » July 2nd, 2017, 9:15 pm

While I respect what it takes to call in and kill a fall gobbler, for me personally I choose not to use one of my tags on a fall bird(out of state). We don't have a fall season in my home state of NC and I think, if we did, a lot of them would get whacked while feasting on corn by deer hunters. To me it's all about the gobbling and the strutting in the spring. That's the big show.

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Jamey
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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by Jamey » July 3rd, 2017, 7:57 am

timbrhuntr wrote:I respect your opinion over many others Jamey but we have never had a fall or spring season tradition here in over a hundred years. The biologists have resisted calls to ever increase the seasons etc until they felt the poulation could handle it. Then they started to have fall seasons in areas with very high poulations. I hunt on an island that has very few predators and the turkey population is expoding to the point that many birds are contracting diseases we have not seen before. So they have now instituted a fall season for any sex. I have to hope that the professionals know what they are doing. :dontknow:

Tim, I guess I should never say never and I'm sure there are exceptions to every rule but by and large killing hens is not a good thing. Fall hunting for gobblers is another thing altogether but even then it would hurt the population here in the south as most of the southern states have very long rifle seasons for deer...unlike many of our northern neighbors.
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poorcountrypreacher
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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by poorcountrypreacher » July 3rd, 2017, 9:07 am

This is probably the most divisive subject among turkey hunters. When I was growing up in AL, I was taught that only the scum of the earth would ever shoot a hen, but that's not the attitude hunters have in many other states.

Fall turkey hunting is a tradition in many places, and the county I live in used to have a fall season. There were a handful of hunters who actually went out fall turkey hunting. It was gobblers only and they counted against your spring limit if you killed one. I had little desire to hunt them then myself, but I certainly didn't object to those who wanted to do it and were willing to follow the rules and do it right.

But what happened was that 99% of the fall turkeys were killed by deer hunters, and many of them were illegal hens. It was against the law to shoot one with a rifle, but I guess they just saw that as a technically. Turkey season was in, they saw a turkey, they blasted it.

Our county commission asked the state to eliminate the fall season and they did. We saw an immediate increase in the population as a result. I think if states wanna have a fall season, it needs to be during a time when deer season is not open.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by timbrhuntr » July 3rd, 2017, 9:53 am

I believe I read somewhere from Tom kelly that because there is a tradition in the south of the southern belle and how she must be protected and provided for by a strong male and that this is projected to all females including does and jennys .

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by timbrhuntr » July 3rd, 2017, 10:06 am

I have to admit its hard to argue it as good or bad from different locales. Where I'm hunting fall birds (southern Michigan and Ontario) I also bow hunt deer. I have had only a few oportunities to kill a fall turkey from a tree . In Michigan the fall season ends before the rifle deer season. And here the fall turkey season goes Oct1-31 in bows only zones (new this fall) and Thanksgiving monday until the second sunday after this year Oct9-22.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by hawglips » July 6th, 2017, 9:10 am

poorcountrypreacher wrote:I think if states wanna have a fall season, it needs to be during a time when deer season is not open.
I agree. About the only thing worse than a hen killer ( :mrgreen: ) is a deer hunter plinking at turkeys....

I was real disappointed to see VA's mgmt plan state the goal to increase the number of incidental turkey kills by deer hunters, by opening the season during the first two weeks of deer season. Makes no sense at all to me.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by pedro » July 6th, 2017, 10:16 am

Let the states decide by region. People get all fired up about shooting a yearling turkey. Have y'all never shot ducks, geese, quail, doves and any other species that you can't tell age. I feel as if the population can handle it then have at it. Wisconsin killed 43k birds this spring, they also have the most liberal fall season. They also have tons of deer hunters out there. So wisconsin can afford to have a fall season. My state of Illinois has a seven day shotgun fall season. Archery season on turkeys is from oct-mid Jan.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by quavers16 » July 6th, 2017, 2:18 pm

Good replys here-- respect for all. I guess it depends on where you live and what you believe in and were taught by a mentor and later developed your own opinion. One of my most exciting Fall turkey hunts happened after the combine got down with the cornfield. I shot a nice hen in the air. An easy station 3 high house shot. Her crop was just jammed with corn and I made a nice wingbone from one of her wings.
I remember reading that Simon (the Kurnel) Everitt frowned on wing shooting turkeys and yet took out jars of peas to bait turkeys. Something I don't agree with.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by ole5beards » July 6th, 2017, 4:29 pm

Not too many moons ago there were several counties in Alabama that had a fall gobbler only season. Of course none of those counties were close to me so I didn't have the opportunity to grow up fall hunting. I enjoy hearing turkeys on those early fall mornings and you'll hear sounds that you didn't know turkeys could make, and one can learn a lot by just listening to turkeys in the fall, I know I did. Id be in favor for a short fall season gobblers only in my area. Although each spring there's a few hens that I wouldn't mind seeing disappear, I have no desire to shoot hens or young turkeys period. Things might be different had I have grown up in a state or area that allowed either sex during the fall.
Pass the biscuits!!

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by decoykrvr » July 6th, 2017, 6:04 pm

I started bow hunting w/ a recurve before the advent of compound bows and all the accruements. With that said, it is a travesty to allow the harvest of turkeys in the fall by bow hunters during deer seasons. This is not turkey hunting, but turkey shooting and is demeaning to the sport of turkey hunting and serves no purpose but to give bow hunters additional targets. How many times have you encountered deer hunters who say, "I'm going to start hunting turkeys, they are all over us during deer season, aren't very smart and can't be that hard to hunt and kill." Invariably, the majority of these same deer hunters last less than a full spring turkey season before calling it quits. Hunting turkeys should be a sport and not just targets of opportunity.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by hoobilly » July 6th, 2017, 6:21 pm

decoykrvr wrote:I started bow hunting w/ a recurve before the advent of compound bows and all the accruements. With that said, it is a travesty to allow the harvest of turkeys in the fall by bow hunters during deer seasons. This is not turkey hunting, but turkey shooting and is demeaning to the sport of turkey hunting and serves no purpose but to give bow hunters additional targets. How many times have you encountered deer hunters who say, "I'm going to start hunting turkeys, they are all over us during deer season, aren't very smart and can't be that hard to hunt and kill." Invariably, the majority of these same deer hunters last less than a full spring turkey season before calling it quits. Hunting turkeys should be a sport and not just targets of opportunity.
Yes and no...


I have heard deer hunters say the same thing. I myself have thought and said this before. Deer hunters in a tree stand best be on his best skills as them turkeys have eagle eyes and I have been busted by fall gobblers more times than I would want to admit.

Indiana has 1 either sex fall season and one bearded turkey spring season. Reportedly 4 went through windshields this spring here in Indiana. I don't think fall hunting by anyone is going to hurt our turkey population. Spring turkeys killed compared to fall is probably 20-1

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by fredw » July 6th, 2017, 7:40 pm

Jamey wrote: I am glad our GA DNR has enough sense to make decisions based on biologically sound principles and not just on public opinion.
This.

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Re: FALL TURKEY SEASONS FOR ALL 49 STATES....

Post by swampchicken » July 6th, 2017, 9:39 pm

decoykrvr wrote:I started bow hunting w/ a recurve before the advent of compound bows and all the accruements. With that said, it is a travesty to allow the harvest of turkeys in the fall by bow hunters during deer seasons. This is not turkey hunting, but turkey shooting and is demeaning to the sport of turkey hunting and serves no purpose but to give bow hunters additional targets. How many times have you encountered deer hunters who say, "I'm going to start hunting turkeys, they are all over us during deer season, aren't very smart and can't be that hard to hunt and kill." Invariably, the majority of these same deer hunters last less than a full spring turkey season before calling it quits. Hunting turkeys should be a sport and not just targets of opportunity.
When I was growing up bow hunting I was told to always carry my turkey call with me! Called up and shot quite a few with the old bow. Almost all were shot off the ground and called up with a call. I will say most guys I know that shot turkeys with there bows were waiting on deer but some I knew called up birds and shot them.

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