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Population in Missouri

3489 Views 59 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  Onetrakd
Anyone notice a drop in population in Missouri last season. Ran into more hunters past couple years than I ever had. Guys saying they didn’t hear much on private so they were hitting the public hunting areas. Seems to be getting worse to me. Your thoughts?
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And the point to all of it - what are we doing now that actually benefits turkeys. What is G&F doing? I surely am not the best informed - but I dang sure am not the worst informed - and I dont see much effort on their part. I surely hope I am wrong on that point and welcome being corrected.

We have got to do something. Barring perfect nesting weather five years in a row - this isnt going to take care of itself.”

This goes back to research for me. We spend countless efforts and money for research, which I support, but at some point what is learned has to be addressed. And I’m sure it is, but at what level and tenacity? AGFC, NWTF, TFT, etc. ….put you your money where your mouth is!! I have probably been one of the most vocal critics against those who blame the AGFC for the decline, based on the opinion that they can only influence so much with private landowners, USFS, and timber companies. And I still believe weather has been devastating to nesting and poult survival over the last 15-20 years, with the exception of 2-3 years. I still stand by that, but at the same time there needs to be an all out, aggressive effort. It often feels like we wait on more research, like we will need to study fire ants, chicken litter, and disease before we address what already has been proven to be detrimental. We may have 97% of the pie chart figured out, but let’s wait 10 more years while we figure out the other 3% before putting a solution into action. What we don’t know… have private land owners and timber companies turned down AGFC proposals for habitat improvements? If so, what’s the counter…..Shrug shoulders and give up or continue to “sell” them on the benefits until they can’t say no. And communicate with the turkey hunters of this state!!!

It’s a complex dynamic with multiple layers no doubt, but at least communicate and work towards results. We don’t truly know what’s often going on behind the scenes. I have supported and will continue to support the NWTF, and I am thankful for what they have accomplished over the years, but it becomes more and more difficult to think of a bulk of the money raised leaving our state. Would those funds be better served here at home through a different avenue? I’m appreciative of their voice in Washington DC, as we need that, but worry about too much money going to fluff rather than local level to help turkeys in our own state. Someone share and inform if I’m wrong.

If it takes a required turkey stamp to fund some habitat improvements, then get it done!! Fight and claw for it.

We don’t need more research to reveal many pieces of the puzzle. Habitat, Predators, Weather…. It’s complex, but simple at the same time. Each of us just has to do our part on our localized levels.

As far as MO, it’s a shell of what it used to be. I’d say they have had an identical trajectory in decline to Arkansas, just a stronger population base to lose from.
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My new motto:
Don’t take a kid hunting!
Mine is to take a kid hunting, BUT teach him/her to keep their mouth shut, as it should be. Learn to respect it enough that it’s not about views, likes, or shares.

My son (16 at the time) asked me to tell him where I’d been hearing and hunting some turkeys, so he could take his friend. I said “nah, I’ll tell you where I know some turkeys are but it won’t be there”. Some say selfish, I say not. I told him that’s something you have to be guarded with. I had and would take him as much as he wants, but him taking friends is a different story. I’ve repeatedly told my boys….. put in the work, don’t ask others, and loose lips sink ships. We need more of that in my opinion.
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My son and I heard a turkey gobble a few days ago on a scouting trip... his momma asked if he heard any birds where we were at. He said "Nope". Then proceeded to tell me that he didn't know if he could trust her with that info... we fixing to have a pot luck at church and didn't want her getting loose lipped about info!

Sent from my SM-G970U using Arkansas Hunting mobile app
Smart kid and sounds like you are raising him right. Keep up the good work!!! It’s like the game within the game. From the outside looking in, a church potluck seems innocent enough, but juicy turkey gossip will run rampant and before you know it you are face to face with the preacher asking too many turkey related questions.

I believe in “it’s not lying” if it’s about turkeys and if you ask questions, you likely won’t get the full truth, if any. Social media and the internet has turned this all on its head at a level that is difficult to comprehend. I would consider myself unselfish in helping others with turkey hunting, but it’s on my terms, based on who it is, what effort they are personally willing to put into it, and how trustworthy they are. It’s like a credit card application, my approval rating is lower than some and definitely more strict than it was years ago.
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