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Just imagine if the AGFC stocked 8000 gobblers in Arkansas. Now imagine them doing it for 5 years in a row. Things would start looking a lot better, I believe. I live for turkey season but I'd sacrifice that gladly to help a resource that's in trouble.
This new tagging system is not helping either. It's too easy to tag it and if you get it home without being checked, just tear out another tag and start fresh the next day.
Imagine a hatchery (maybe several small ones) that could pump up to 10,000 birds into the population on a yearly basis (wouldn't need that many every year, sell the excess to other States).. We do it for trout and catfish why not turkey?? No need to shut the season down and hope mother nature heals herself when we can take care of the problem ourselves.. I'm at a age where shutting down the season for 5 years could very well be the end of my hunting so I'm not a fan of that..
 

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That would be the part I'd feel worst about. I'm no spring chicken myself. I can ease out of state though. Never have but pondered it quite a bit. I wish there were a way to run a stocking program of sorts. Maybe Biden will appoint Kamala to address this situation as well?
We’d end up with a bunch of gobblers who thought they were hens. #woke turkeys that are mad because their feathers are dark colored. To combat their irrational feelings, they will roost in our deer stands and crap in the seat.
Gobblers with no peckers and who refuse to gobble because that symbolizes masculinity.
 

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All this talk of early vs late seasons - and it is not just in AR - it is all across the SE. I have seen this type of thing before. A dozen years ago, it was all about balancing the herd, shooting the does down close to your buck numbers. A short, intense rut they said. Hopefully, you didnt have to work the day of the rut. Turns out, a 1:2 or even 1:2.5 ratio works best around my place. Then, the wildlife agencies became consumed with hogs. Turns out making hog breeding refuges out of thousands of acres did not stop the spread of hogs across the landscape.

Now, it is late turkey seasons. Is there any focused, definitive research on whether or not late seasons improve poult production? Could well be, but I have not seen it. Dr Chamberlain is probably one of the biggest advocates of the late season, yet I have heard him say in the Meateater Podcast the eggs were getting fertilized - that wasnt the problem - and then goes on to commend Arkansas as the first state to embrace the late season. Well, how has that been working?

I just hope the “late season” isnt just the newest management fad with no definitive data to back it up, while subjecting hunters to more difficult conditions. I am all for increased restrictions when they are proven to get results. I dont support increased restrictions when they havent yet been proven to work.

Does anyone have a link to research definitively proving a late season structure results in increased poult production?
 

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Imagine a hatchery (maybe several small ones) that could pump up to 10,000 birds into the population on a yearly basis (wouldn't need that many every year, sell the excess to other States).. We do it for trout and catfish why not turkey?? No need to shut the season down and hope mother nature heals herself when we can take care of the problem ourselves.. I'm at a age where shutting down the season for 5 years could very well be the end of my hunting so I'm not a fan of that..
Like it.....
 

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All this talk of early vs late seasons - and it is not just in AR - it is all across the SE. I have seen this type of thing before. A dozen years ago, it was all about balancing the herd, shooting the does down close to your buck numbers. A short, intense rut they said. Hopefully, you didnt have to work the day of the rut. Turns out, a 1:2 or even 1:2.5 ratio works best around my place. Then, the wildlife agencies became consumed with hogs. Turns out making hog breeding refuges out of thousands of acres did not stop the spread of hogs across the landscape.

Now, it is late turkey seasons. Is there any focused, definitive research on whether or not late seasons improve poult production? Could well be, but I have not seen it. Dr Chamberlain is probably one of the biggest advocates of the late season, yet I have heard him say in the Meateater Podcast the eggs were getting fertilized - that wasnt the problem - and then goes on to commend Arkansas as the first state to embrace the late season. Well, how has that been working?

I just hope the “late season” isnt just the newest management fad with no definitive data to back it up, while subjecting hunters to more difficult conditions. I am all for increased restrictions when they are proven to get results. I dont support increased restrictions when they havent yet been proven to work.

Does anyone have a link to research definitively proving a late season structure results in increased poult production?
Your Hired.....
 

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I think they should go to a 1 Gobbler limit with youth hunt on a Saturday and Sunday followed up by a 5-day, M-F season.
While I also love to ride Atv’s the explosion of atv and side by side riding in the NF has coincided with the turkey decline and may not be a coincidence.
Perhaps the G&F and National Forest folks could work together to help promote a trail network with large loops that actually connect with a few of the towns in the area, rather than just the the hit or miss stuff they have now.
Not to mention they have a few designated off road areas that are overly saturated with atv trails.
Also, they could charge for a riding permit and use that money to help enforce the regulations rather than placing more of the burden on hunters.
 

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What ever the plague is that is declining Turkey numbers is, it appears to be moving west. Oklahoma just released this:

IMG_1619963951.181861.jpg


IMG_1619963960.711068.jpg
 

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I think they should go to a 1 Gobbler limit with youth hunt on a Saturday and Sunday followed up by a 5-day, M-F season.
While I also love to ride Atv’s the explosion of atv and side by side riding in the NF has coincided with the turkey decline and may not be a coincidence.
Perhaps the G&F and National Forest folks could work together to help promote a trail network with large loops that actually connect with a few of the towns in the area, rather than just the the hit or miss stuff they have now.
Not to mention they have a few designated off road areas that are overly saturated with atv trails.
Also, they could charge for a riding permit and use that money to help enforce the regulations rather than placing more of the burden on hunters.
They Don't care..It's all about selling Timber..
Timber Management....Big Money..
They could care less about Hunting...
 

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Member<br>2016 Turkey Contest Team Winner<br>
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It’s not all doom and gloom in some parts of the state. I hunt south Arkansas and work all over it as well. What I see is a stable to possibly growing population. Is it anywhere near where it was in the late 90’s? No it’s not. It’s a huntable population though. Some of you guys paint with a pretty large brush calling for closing the season and such. I’m old enough to remember when the coastal plain wasn’t the place to be come season. All I would hear is you got to go the mountains. I remember looking at the game and fish rule book every year seeing where counties such as sharp,Fulton, stone,etc showed harvests of 300-400 birds per county. If it’s that bad and they need to pick out a few counties and shut it down then so be it,but not the whole state.
 

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It’s not all doom and gloom in some parts of the state. I hunt south Arkansas and work all over it as well. What I see is a stable to possibly growing population. Is it anywhere near where it was in the late 90’s? No it’s not. It’s a huntable population though. Some of you guys paint with a pretty large brush calling for closing the season and such. I’m old enough to remember when the coastal plain wasn’t the place to be come season. All I would hear is you got to go the mountains. I remember looking at the game and fish rule book every year seeing where counties such as sharp,Fulton, stone,etc showed harvests of 300-400 birds per county. If it’s that bad and they need to pick out a few counties and shut it down then so be it,but not the whole state.
Good post....very true
 

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It’s not all doom and gloom in some parts of the state. I hunt south Arkansas and work all over it as well. What I see is a stable to possibly growing population. Is it anywhere near where it was in the late 90’s? No it’s not. It’s a huntable population though. Some of you guys paint with a pretty large brush calling for closing the season and such. I’m old enough to remember when the coastal plain wasn’t the place to be come season. All I would hear is you got to go the mountains. I remember looking at the game and fish rule book every year seeing where counties such as sharp,Fulton, stone,etc showed harvests of 300-400 birds per county. If it’s that bad and they need to pick out a few counties and shut it down then so be it,but not the whole state.
South AR is the only region in the state where poult numbers have recently been above 2 poults per hen. I remember when every turkey hunter south and east of Arkadelphia came to the Ouachita Mountains to hunt. Now, folks who hunt the Ouachitas would gladly go to the south AR piney woods - except it is almost all private land. That may be one of the reasons turkeys are doing better there - less year round disturbance than northern and western ground. I would suspect it is the vast areas of nesting habitat - clearcuts - that overwhelm predators and allow more poults to be produced.

Yes, there are areas where turkeys are doing OK - or better than that. It seems like almost all the turkey research has been directed towards what is wrong or what is causing the population to decline. I would like to see a little more effort directed towards these areas where turkey populations are successful. Why are they doing well in that area - and compare to those areas where they are not doing so good.
 

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I think pine plantations are great for turkeys. We’ve seen an increase in turkey numbers at the lease in south Arkansas. Just wish we could control burn some of the thinned pines. I think that would really give an increase to turkey numbers there
I remember years ago when the timber companies burned half the winter and early spring. Dont see them hardly ever burning now. I think burning those plantations opens them up so turkeys can see the predators and greens them up, increasing the food supply. I remember years ago, when I worked for the Feds, we burned 100’s of acres each year. It stays so wet now, I cant even burn off my garden.
 

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I remember years ago when the timber companies burned half the winter and early spring. Dont see them hardly ever burning now. I think burning those plantations opens them up so turkeys can see the predators and greens them up, increasing the food supply. I remember years ago, when I worked for the Feds, we burned 100’s of acres each year. It stays so wet now, I cant even burn off my garden.
They spray now vs burn. Less liability. Cheaper in long run
 

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I would go along with a 9 day Saturday/Sunday youth then Monday thru Sunday regular season. Start it on second Saturday of April. 1 bird limit. That way Hunters are able to be in the woods when gobbling is happening and experiencing a quality hunt. I’d rather have 1 bird with a great hunting experience for 9 days than disturbing the woods for 3 weeks trying to find that second bird.
 

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Let me clarify my post above. 9 days total. 2 day youth (Saturday/Sunday) the regular season following Monday thru Sunday.
 

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South AR is the only region in the state where poult numbers have recently been above 2 poults per hen. I remember when every turkey hunter south and east of Arkadelphia came to the Ouachita Mountains to hunt. Now, folks who hunt the Ouachitas would gladly go to the south AR piney woods - except it is almost all private land. That may be one of the reasons turkeys are doing better there - less year round disturbance than northern and western ground. I would suspect it is the vast areas of nesting habitat - clearcuts - that overwhelm predators and allow more poults to be produced.

Yes, there are areas where turkeys are doing OK - or better than that. It seems like almost all the turkey research has been directed towards what is wrong or what is causing the population to decline. I would like to see a little more effort directed towards these areas where turkey populations are successful. Why are they doing well in that area - and compare to those areas where they are not doing so good.
Amen...
 
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