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Don't know about the worms, but 1980 we had a three gobbler limit, with a 1 Apr opening date, and a month long, 3 bird either sex limit in the fall. And, we had a lot of turkeys - not many *****, but a LOT of turkeys in the Ouachita's.:up:
 

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Premium Member<br>Merganser Slayer<br>2011 Turkey
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1980 would've been about the time my Dad started taking me turkey hunting. I remember lots of gobbling turkeys in Winona and very few hunters.....Sure not the case now.


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Discussion Starter #6
This is no joke this is as serious as it gets. How the Forestry service and the Arkansas Gameless & Fish managed the turkey, back in the early 1980s. they almost wiped the turkeys out where I live. Well you see we had a little worm that damaged 5% of the timber, the little worm's name is canker worm. The Forestry service came up with a brilliant plan to poison the worms. The poison killed the worms and the turkey ate the worms and also did 63% of other birds killing all most all the turkey and 63% of other birds around here. When the turkey hunters ask the Arkansas Gameless & Fish where the turkey were, they lied and said disease killed the turkey. A friend told me he found 30 dead turkey under a tree. I don't know how many times they poisoned the canker worms after that.

4 years before I was born but sounds like start to good joke
 

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Premium Member<br>Merganser Slayer<br>2011 Turkey
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I don't know about all that, but I've often wondered how much cancer is the direct result of the timber industry (private and government) spraying and injecting herbicide in watersheds....that lead directly to water supplies.


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I dont know about the canker worms.I do know there was a severe drought in the summer of 1980. I started hunting turkeys in the Ouachita's in 74 and up until 1980 the turkeys had multiplied every year. The spring of 80 I did most of my hunting just south of Muddy Mtn. It was uncommon if I heard less than a dozen turkeys every morning I hunted. THEN in the spring of 1981, out of 8 hunters,we killed 1 gobbler the whole season.We made 3 or 4 trips and would hunt 2 or 3 days a trip. The turkeys gradually built back up to about half of what it had been in the glory years.I quit hunting there in 90 and havent been back.I wish you younger guys could have witnessed muddy creek in the 70's,it was primitive,very few roads and even less hunters.
 

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i remember that in 82 and 83 there were not many turkey in van buren county due to the hot dry summers. then we started having several good hatches through the mid 80s. even back then the county wide kill was 300 to 400 birds each spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The only reason I bring up the canker worm is they are back in a big way around here. IF the Forestry service poisons the canker worm again the only place you will find a turkey is in a super market, (enjoy).

How many of you know anything about 1980, canker worms and turkey?
 

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Interesting theory on the worms but I'm not buying. Turkey population went down 5-7 years ago, not 1980.
Louisirby,
May be something to your canker worms but like Buck & others said. 1980 was one of the most severe droughts we have seen in decades. Then we turned around & had the flood of my lifetime in 1982. Here where we live in the Ouachitas the turkeys were thick then & the drought of 80 wiped out probably 1/2 or more of the population. I talked to a former AGFC director I know who said they would drive trail 86 well after dark & would every night pick up multiple turkeys that were walking the road ditches cause they didn't have the strength to fly up to roost & were too sick & poor from the drought. They would literally stop the truck, get out & he said the turkeys would just cower down like a whipped pup. They would put them in crates like what the980y would transport in a stocking & take them & usually in a couple hours they were dead. They would discet them & he said their breasts would just have gobs of worms oozing out of them. Said they might weigh 4 or 5 lbs.
I think that had more to do with the severe drought than the canker worms but for the folks that think it's been bad the last few years....it was nothing compared to a 3-4 window then. The same guy also pulled over one of our local poachers here in Perry Co. in August driving out of Link Mtn. with a load of wood on a flatbed truck. Said the AGFC guy he was the boss of had been trying to catch this guy poaching for a while & when they saw him coming out he locked the truck up sideways in the road & blocked it. My guy said he thought what in the world his guys was doing cause he figured he didn't have a woodcutting permit & thought they were gonna flip the truck trying to stop someone for not having a woodcutting permit. This was in August of 1980 (hottest month of the most severe drought in decades if not the century so their was almost no water anywhere in the mountains here) and they made the guy unload every stick of wood on the flatbed.
Well you know what they found hidden under the wood......31 turkeys the guy had! Yes, 31! From hens, to gobblers to 1/2 grown poults. Killed them all at the only pond on top of Link Mtn. that had a little bit of moisture in it with a .22 rifle. Said they assumed the turkeys were so starved for water he'd shoot & they would just keep coming trying to survive by having to have some water. Now that is pathetic.

So for all complaining about the last few years, be glad you weren't turkey hunting back then. It was sure enough bad during that couple years of the early 80's.

By the way, when my AGFC client & friend told me I needed to talk to this old AGFC coworker & friend of his about back when it was really bad in Perry Co. & I called him; the 1st words out of his mouth were "so is old _______ ______ still killing the hell out of them in Perry Co"? Then proceeded to tell me some stories that I was pretty amazed by.
 
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