Turkey populations in your area

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coconut
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Turkey populations in your area

Post by coconut » April 23rd, 2018, 9:50 pm

Would you say the population of turkeys where you hunt is increasing, decreasing or staying the same? I am in West Alabama and ours is decreasing.

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howl
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by howl » April 23rd, 2018, 10:16 pm

Increasing, but depending on where you are it might not seem like it. Two years ago we had very few birds. Last year we had more jakes than I had seen in years and it seemed like there were a lot of birds even though gobblers were few because they were concentrated in core areas. This year they're spread out thin, but are in places where there were zero last year. People must have massacred the jakes last year, because we have nowhere near as many gobblers as I expected.

Jake numbers seem alright this year. 2019 might be better if the silence has discouraged jake shooters enough. Unfortunately, the wet cold Spring we're having doesn't look good for 2020.

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kythunter
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by kythunter » April 24th, 2018, 8:10 am

Decreasing where we hunt in Tennessee and holding steady in home state Kentucky.

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Southern Sportsman
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by Southern Sportsman » April 24th, 2018, 9:03 am

Definitely seems to be decreasing in middle and West TN. A few years ago several of the southern middle TN counties with huge populations had a sudden, enormous drop in population. Some farms where turkeys were plentiful now have NO turkeys. Several other counties are steadily declining. But we still have a 6 week season, 4 bird spring limit, and allow hens to be killed in the fall. Baffling.
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wingbonehntr
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by wingbonehntr » April 24th, 2018, 9:30 am

Decreasing in Louisiana and Southeast Kansas where I hunt. They are using lots of chicken poop for fertilizer in fields and I wonder if they are killing our turkeys in Kansas with it

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ICDEDTURKES
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by ICDEDTURKES » April 24th, 2018, 9:35 am

Our population peaked late 90s, as I would say"strutter in every field" we went downhill and about 05 it was horrible. I would go 3-4 days on the most primo property spread over 3 counties, here nothing. I'm talking hitting 20-30 properties a day.

About four years ago, we started to build back. Right now it's better than late 90s. Yesterday drove glassing a small number of our places and saw 25-30 gobblers.

I truly believe turkeys are cyclical. Our ruffed grouse run a 10 year cycle, their is no evidence as to why but it's evidenced in the amount of drumming I hear.

I think the peaks and valleys are heightened by the factors many contribute to decline, weather, predators, pressure etc and they define the highs and lows.

This just my guess, but your seeing it all over the country.
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davisd9
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by davisd9 » April 24th, 2018, 9:43 am

This was the best year in the amount of birds we have had since 2012 on one property i hunt. Another property i hunt I am a bit concerned about. Usually hear good gobbling and this year it has been little to no gobbling though one bird was killed on the property.

Cowanortho
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by Cowanortho » April 24th, 2018, 9:59 am

We have ample birds on our place in West Central Alabama, more than in the last few years but gobbling remains sporadic at best. Our birds are not nearly as vocal as 10 years ago. Makes for hard hunting and a potential change in age structure with more older, dominate birds.

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Jbird22
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by Jbird22 » April 24th, 2018, 10:09 am

About 2 years ago, we were at a low I had never witnessed before here in South MS. Now we are slightly increasing but still a long way from having what I'd call a healthy population.

CB on the run
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by CB on the run » April 24th, 2018, 10:33 am

Definitely decreasing in western NY. The hay days were the late 80's, throughout the 90's and into the early 2000's. I received calls today of guys putting on 50-100 miles scouting and not seeing a bird (our season starts May 1st). I would have 8-10 birds spotted prior to opening day during the hay days and even put friends on birds. Now I only share with my son and we're lucky to have a couple birds tentatively spotted. Some say it's due to the fishers establishing populations in our area, the DEC said it's wet springs and a disease affecting the population. I have a non-hunting co-worker showing trail cam pics of numerous coyote kills on turkey. I don't really buy the wet spring theory as grouse are making a come back in our area and they nest identical.

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howl
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by howl » April 24th, 2018, 10:41 am

wingbonehntr wrote:
April 24th, 2018, 9:30 am
Decreasing in Louisiana and Southeast Kansas where I hunt. They are using lots of chicken poop for fertilizer in fields and I wonder if they are killing our turkeys in Kansas with it
I have seen a flock about disappear conincidental to use of chicken litter on pasture. It could be coincidence or a real thing. Idk.

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guesswho
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by guesswho » April 24th, 2018, 10:45 am

Been steadily declining here since 1993.
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coconut
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by coconut » April 24th, 2018, 11:42 am

wingbonehntr wrote:
April 24th, 2018, 9:30 am
Decreasing in Louisiana and Southeast Kansas where I hunt. They are using lots of chicken poop for fertilizer in fields and I wonder if they are killing our turkeys in Kansas with it
A lot of that being used here as well

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ICDEDTURKES
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by ICDEDTURKES » April 24th, 2018, 12:11 pm

wingbonehntr wrote:
April 24th, 2018, 9:30 am
Decreasing in Louisiana and Southeast Kansas where I hunt. They are using lots of chicken poop for fertilizer in fields and I wonder if they are killing our turkeys in Kansas with it
I forgot about chicken manure theory it makes sense.

I guided in Se Ks few years back, honestly was not impressed in the numbers My lodge mate however went on his own and they are stomping them, dunno if hes got better ground or what.
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jdjnicholson
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by jdjnicholson » April 24th, 2018, 12:30 pm

Staying strong on the public ground I hunt.

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quavers16
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by quavers16 » April 24th, 2018, 1:41 pm

The wild turkey population is increasing in Orange County,NY and ajjoining to the South- Passaic County, NJ.

coconut
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by coconut » April 24th, 2018, 2:53 pm

quavers16 wrote:
April 24th, 2018, 1:41 pm
The wild turkey population is increasing in Orange County,NY and ajjoining to the South- Passaic County, NJ.
Is there anything that you can see that is helping the population increase?

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Waddle Whacker
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by Waddle Whacker » April 24th, 2018, 4:10 pm

Steady decline for the last few years on the place I hunt in LA. It’s bad.
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coconut
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by coconut » April 24th, 2018, 5:25 pm

Anyone have any ideas on how to increase the population?

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youngoutdoors
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by youngoutdoors » April 24th, 2018, 5:57 pm

Decreasing in NW NC. In the past I have heard 17 different gobblers on the roost in a single morning prior to season and this year I heard a couple of birds prior to season in about a month of listening. Seems that as coyote populations increase the gobbling decreases though. Grouse are almost non-existant and used to be plentiful.

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Southern Sportsman
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by Southern Sportsman » April 24th, 2018, 7:01 pm

coconut wrote:
April 24th, 2018, 5:25 pm
Anyone have any ideas on how to increase the population?
Lots of theories. The obvious ones are to shorten seasons and lower limits in hopes that the population rebounds. Good nesting habitat is obviously important.

One theory that has been pushed a lot in TN is pushing back the start date 1-2 weeks to help ensure that all of the mature receptive hens are bred. Knocking a huge dent in the mature male population starting right in the peak breeding window can reduce or push back breeding of hens so they nest late or have failed clutches. That makes senss to me. Particularly with the advent and increases popularity of hyper-realistic male/strutter decoys. Dominant birds with harems of hens that used to be damnnear unkillable early in the year are now often the first to hit the ground next to a strutter decoy each spring.

Not intended as a decoy bash, but I think the easiest thing in the world would be to simply outlaw decoys or at least male decoys. I bet the kill numbers in TN would drop by half. Thus more turkeys, that year and next. But it will never happen.
I go stubbornly into error by myself, and reach my own fallacious conclusions using my own faulty data. ~Tom Kelly

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Stinky J Picklestein
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by Stinky J Picklestein » April 24th, 2018, 7:49 pm

Populations in southern Iowa and northern Missouri (where I usually hunt) appear steady for the last few years, but still not quite up their peak from '90s.

willie
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by willie » April 24th, 2018, 8:05 pm

in my area there are 3 reasons gobbler decline is evident.
1.coyotes killing them, kill a few every year that run in on you while calling (4 last spring).1 so far this year
2.hunters catching gobblers in fields and shooting them with a rifle
3.turkey hunters seeing how many they can kill in a season.

jdjnicholson
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by jdjnicholson » April 24th, 2018, 8:25 pm

coconut wrote:Anyone have any ideas on how to increase the population?
Habitat is the key.

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coconut
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Re: Turkey populations in your area

Post by coconut » April 24th, 2018, 8:49 pm

jdjnicholson wrote:
April 24th, 2018, 8:25 pm
coconut wrote:Anyone have any ideas on how to increase the population?
Habitat is the key.

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What part of habitat should we concentrate on?

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