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 Have we seen the best of it already? Turkeys decline widens 
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Longbeard

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:27 am
Posts: 169
Location: Lynchburg, VA
Post Re: Have we seen the best of it already? Turkeys decline wi
It does seem that a good mast will result in a good spring season. Have u guys noticed this too?

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Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:33 pm
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King of Spring
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:12 am
Posts: 2035
Location: Midland, VA
Post Re: Have we seen the best of it already? Turkeys decline wi
Roy S wrote:
It does seem that a good mast will result in a good spring season. Have u guys noticed this too?



Yes, when there is a good mass crop and fair winter the turkeys do seem in better health for breeding and laying. Usually the spring after a good fall mass and with the other variables a good hatch results and for what ever reason more Jakes then Jenny's resulting in good gobbling 2 year olds the following year, Also after a sacada hatch there seems to be a better survival rate for the poults.


Earl

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Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:49 am
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King of Spring

Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:02 am
Posts: 562
Post Re: Have we seen the best of it already? Turkeys decline wi
I have no idea why but I know for sure there are less birds in a lot of the places I hunt. In 1998 there is a mountain I would climb in Georgia and here lots of birds every single day, and it was that way every year through 2005, I've been there multiple times in the last three years and haven't heard a bird. All over NE GA there is a substantial decrease in birds. Less birds in sc, they recently went from 5 to 3 a year. My spots in NC and VA have remained pretty good, but even there it seems like less birds. I know a lot of yall have been hunting them longer than me but even over twenty five years I been hunting them it seems the numbers of hunters has dramatically increased, except maybe the last few years. Techniques have changed making it easier to kill birds with a lot less boot time and experience, loads have gotten better. Reporting has gotten lax, I used to take me to a service station in Virginia and sometimes they would take a feather. There's videos and forums, etc. Kauai is an awesome place, awesome hikes, nature that is so incredible it seems fake, we love it, others do too now you go on a hike there and there's 200 other folks, trash etc. Maybe the appeal of it ends up killing it. Who knows, nature is resilent maybe they will bounce back. I know most guys won't keep getting up every morning if there aren't birds gobbling.


Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:01 am
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King of Spring
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:12 am
Posts: 2035
Location: Midland, VA
Post Re: Have we seen the best of it already? Turkeys decline wi
T.W. wrote:
I have no idea why but I know for sure there are less birds in a lot of the places I hunt. In 1998 there is a mountain I would climb in Georgia and here lots of birds every single day, and it was that way every year through 2005, I've been there multiple times in the last three years and haven't heard a bird. All over NE GA there is a substantial decrease in birds. Less birds in sc, they recently went from 5 to 3 a year. My spots in NC and VA have remained pretty good, but even there it seems like less birds. I know a lot of yall have been hunting them longer than me but even over twenty five years I been hunting them it seems the numbers of hunters has dramatically increased, except maybe the last few years. Techniques have changed making it easier to kill birds with a lot less boot time and experience, loads have gotten better. Reporting has gotten lax, I used to take me to a service station in Virginia and sometimes they would take a feather. There's videos and forums, etc. Kauai is an awesome place, awesome hikes, nature that is so incredible it seems fake, we love it, others do too now you go on a hike there and there's 200 other folks, trash etc. Maybe the appeal of it ends up killing it. Who knows, nature is resilent maybe they will bounce back. I know most guys won't keep getting up every morning if there aren't birds gobbling.



You got that right on reporting. Most everyone has been on the honor system when they kill a bird. But there are I am sure many that have left an area with a bird or two that never is reported. I know that most States have a fudge factor when estimating kills for poaching and wounding, but don't know if they have one for not reporting unless that is factored in on the poaching figure.

Also your last sentence, I have heard folks say that when they don't hear birds that they must be in the non gobbling phase and that they would not hunt for the next few days. I usually say yea thats right and enjoy less hunter pressure/interference for a few days.


Earl

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Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:13 pm
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Co-Owner/Dog Feeder

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 10:20 am
Posts: 3319
Post Re: Have we seen the best of it already? Turkeys decline wi
TW- glad you showed up at least once in 2018!

Missed hearing your reports from last spring, and figured that HAT must have lost its magic powers.

Im sort of like you...that gobble is what makes a good hunt for me too. I hate to think this decline is a permanent thing. I have a pretty good numbers of location options to hunt in the spring, and can somewhat avoid the serious decline areas. i am very lucky in that regard. if l was unable to move around much and was in an area of a 'decline state' that had a bird population decline as bad as some apparently are then I would be one very unhappy camper. Once you have experienced hunting a great abundance of spring birds it tests your metal to anchor in for a poor season, no matter how much else you love about the spring woods in terms of observing nature.

Hope you have a great spring , and at least report back as it gets to be the season.....

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"even after almost a half-century of hunting of the noblest game bird I am going to confess that I am still in the kindergarten; and I doubt if any human being ever acquires a complete education in this high art."
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Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:57 am
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