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Discussion Starter #5
My opinion and only mine, I hope every hen is bred and sitting before our season starts.
If maybe ten percent of the hens are bred that wouldn’t be in years past and all have a successful first hatch, that would be a huge bump in our turkey population in the near future.
 

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I personally think Arkansas should be split in 2 seasons. North half of the state maybe keeping it like it is and south half at least a week earlier with everything. Which I know folks would hop to 1 half of the state to the other would be the problem with that. But the difference in everything blooming up is pretty obvious . Tennessee and Missouri just now budding up good but south Arkansas below little Rock already getting fairly green.
 

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I don’t care what anybody says or what stats and data you have I’ll never be convinced that a late season opening is doing any good. If they would open it up legally the first Monday in April what that would do is dramatically shorten the outlaw season. An April 19 opening in Arkansas is idiotic.
 

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I personally think Arkansas should be split in 2 seasons. North half of the state maybe keeping it like it is and south half at least a week earlier with everything. Which I know folks would hop to 1 half of the state to the other would be the problem with that. But the difference in everything blooming up is pretty obvious . Tennessee and Missouri just now budding up good but south Arkansas below little Rock already getting fairly green.
That’s why we have Mississippi
 

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I only have turkeys on my land in the spring - and only then a hen or two that comes looking for a place to nest. There are two that I know of around. I would say they are laying right now because I see them in same general area. So they are bred and have left the gobbler where ever he might have been - none close to here that I know of. I wish Thompson was still around to confirm this, but pretty sure they had a hen in a study in north AR that went fifty some miles from her home range to nest.
 

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I personally think Arkansas should be split in 2 seasons. North half of the state maybe keeping it like it is and south half at least a week earlier with everything. Which I know folks would hop to 1 half of the state to the other would be the problem with that. But the difference in everything blooming up is pretty obvious . Tennessee and Missouri just now budding up good but south Arkansas below little Rock already getting fairly green.
The only way this could ever work would be for you to declare whether you were hunting north or south beofre season started.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The only way this could ever work would be for you to declare whether you were hunting north or south beofre season started.
There are a lot of other states that do this successfully.
Maybe do like some states and stair step permit hunts at early dates and open it up wide later on.
Or charge extra for turkey tags. Right now, there is no way to actually know how many people turkey hunt because turkey tags are included in the $25 license. Heck, make it $10 for the small game license and add $5 for each deer tag and $5 for each turkey tag. Just so there’s some type of knowledge who is hunting what.
 

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There are a lot of other states that do this successfully.
Maybe do like some states and stair step permit hunts at early dates and open it up wide later on.
Or charge extra for turkey tags. Right now, there is no way to actually know how many people turkey hunt because turkey tags are included in the $25 license. Heck, make it $10 for the small game license and add $5 for each deer tag and $5 for each turkey tag. Just so there’s some type of knowledge who is hunting what.
I wholeheartedly agree that we are opening too late, but in a state this size, with our hunting population, north and south zones are going to do more harm than good. If we do north and south zones, every square inch of south Arkansas public will be covered for the south opener and south Arkansas turkey leases will rise drastically in price.

I don't know if there is truly a good solution, but to me at least, having two different openers will be a disaster here.
 

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So what do you all feel is the biggest problem for the season. I am talking about limit or how late is it starting or lack of game and fish listening to and actually doing things that might help?

I know when our season first started we had to stop hunting by 1 if I recall correctly and we can only harvest 1 bearded bird or tom and now we can still only harvest 1 in the spring but we now have a fall season which most people don't hunt them then but in the fall you can harvest one of either sex.
 

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It wouldn’t matter if the AGFC stocked a turkey behind every tree people would complain that birds were to skinny or didn’t gobble hard enough or weren’t all multi bearded. In short it doesn’t matter what they do with our season people are going to complain. From a nesting standpoint I get the latter start dates. Do I like it no. I would rather hunt birds early when they were gobbling good. But I’ve also heard gobblers hammering in May here so.... I would love to have a season like Alabama or Tennessee but we have much bigger problems than ‘our season is to short’ or ‘our season is to late and the birds are done’ arguments. Honestly I believe they should close season for a few seasons and nail down some real management practices because it won’t be long until we won’t have enough turkeys to even worry about when season starts.
 

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How? Would they AGFC close season?
Just for the honest Hunter?

How you going to stop the poachers?

Not enough Game Wardens....

How ya Going to do it?

Whose going to Enforce it?
 

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I think a split season with a one turkey bag limit would reduce most of the overcrowding. I’m up almost to the Missouri line and if anything it would hurt my chances but it would make it more fair to the guys down on the Louisiana line. I don’t like Illinois’ tag system where you have to specify what week or weeks you want a tag for, but it may not be a bad thing to go to.

I’m not complaining (for the most part), but I just don’t believe Arkansas will ever be a state with high numbers. We simply have too many turkey hunters. I just got back from Tennessee and if people liked to shoot turkeys there as much as they do here, I’m not sure they would have a turkey left in the state.
 
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