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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As an avid turkey hunter for 15 yrs + the past coupla seasons have been not so kind to the arkansas hunter. :frown: With the popularity of the sport growing and turkey #'s dwindling, what needs to be done? We haved voiced our concern to the powers that be ,but it seems to fall on deaf ears since we aren't made of money or fall into the side of politics, it seems our hands are tied.:banghead: So what do you all think we can do? I personally will spend my time and money hunting outside the natural state,which seems kinda unnatural.
 

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As an avid turkey hunter for 15 yrs + the past coupla seasons have been not so kind to the arkansas hunter. :frown: With the popularity of the sport growing and turkey #'s dwindling, what needs to be done? We haved voiced our concern to the powers that be ,but it seems to fall on deaf ears since we aren't made of money or fall into the side of politics, it seems our hands are tied.:banghead: So what do you all think we can do? I personally will spend my time and money hunting outside the natural state,which seems kinda unnatural.[/QUOTE


Quit huntin them for 5 years.
 

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Not saying it's the best thing to do or not, but I typically try not to kill a turkey in an area that I don't feel that can withstand the loss of one. Sometimes this means driving a few extra miles and little more work and sometimes someone else kills the bird I chose not to shoot, but in the longrun I am happy with my decisions. I also choose not to shoot jakes, which is just the way I was brought up by my grandfather who always seemed to keep a huntable amount of turkeys on his land and it sure wasn't because he didn't kill plenty of mature turkeys. It's really just a step of self discipline and sacrafices that each hunter has to make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Self discipline and sacrifaces can only go so far,I have chosen not to kill a bird here for several seasons,I hunt public and private land,decent # of birds on our private land,not like ther was in years past but we chose to harvest one bird this year off the property as a whole but its a small price to pay for the bigger picture.
 

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The biggest question here is do we for fact have a shortage of turkeys? Just because you don't hear or see birds doesn't mean their not there. Arkansas along with the other southern states are fully wooded which means hunting is different than out west or to the north where if a turkey moves anywhere it can be seen. I have hunted several southern states over the years and I would not say that Arkansas has any less than any of them. What i will say is that turkeys in all the southern states are harder to kill for the simple reasons (pressure and plenty of places to hide).

Yes they might not seem as frequent as they used to, but like you said pressure has gotten worse over the last 10 yrs. Which means their survival skills have increased. Now when the time comes I can't even find a track on a sandy road where turkeys have always been then I will be worried.
 

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Now when the time comes I can't even find a track on a sandy road where turkeys have always been then I will be worried.
Up at my place that time is here. There are no birds up there. I have scoured the mountain top to bottom, and no sign at all! Opening day we had 14 folks scattered out across 1,000's of acres near Ozone. Not a single person heard a bird Saturday, or Sunday, and no-one saw a track. There used to be lots of birds there, now nothing.

I will be doing all my hunting in Kansas from now on.
 

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Up at my place that time is here. There are no birds up there. I have scoured the mountain top to bottom, and no sign at all! Opening day we had 14 folks scattered out across 1,000's of acres near Ozone. Not a single person heard a bird Saturday, or Sunday, and no-one saw a track. There used to be lots of birds there, now nothing.

I will be doing all my hunting in Kansas from now on.
That aint good :frown:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree with you it is harder to kill and or a bird in the south where we don't have wide open expanse of fields than our neighbors to the north.I live in an area where in years past it aws not un-common to see 60 bird flocks,and the last several years those flocks have dwindled down to this year I have seen maybe 10 turkeys. Predators ? Poaching? Diease?. Who knows. We probably have more birds than when I started hunting,But we also have a sport that is growing by leaps and bounds,we can't support a growing number of hunters and a population of birds that is stable or dwindling.
 

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Well, the good news is that I saw the gobbler that I shot at with the dud remington nitro, and again with a good shell that netted me 4 feathers....none the worse for wear, that old bird busted off the ground like a quail....! Now the bad news is that some kind of predator found my hen with the[nest] eggs near my house....she's gone, and most of her eggs are gone...except for three that got eaten by a sharp toothed varmint...likely a fox I have seen around. I think we better get a handle on the varmint problem, or we'll wind up in a barren wasteland with no turkeys in sight. Barren because current timber practice have raped the forest[the last 8 or so years]...no turkeys because of varmint restrictions are allowing the problem to get out of control! JMHO
 

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The biggest question here is do we for fact have a shortage of turkeys? Just because you don't hear or see birds doesn't mean their not there. Arkansas along with the other southern states are fully wooded which means hunting is different than out west or to the north where if a turkey moves anywhere it can be seen. I have hunted several southern states over the years and I would not say that Arkansas has any less than any of them. What i will say is that turkeys in all the southern states are harder to kill for the simple reasons (pressure and plenty of places to hide).

Yes they might not seem as frequent as they used to, but like you said pressure has gotten worse over the last 10 yrs. Which means their survival skills have increased. Now when the time comes I can't even find a track on a sandy road where turkeys have always been then I will be worried.
I would have to agree with Manybeards. I just moved from Iowa a few months ago where I have spent my whole life hunting. I can vouge the style of hunting I had to do this season for turkey is VERY different than what I am used to up north. Up North it may seem there are more turkey because you can glass large stretchs of land. Most land being cropland with wooded fingers and fencelines. The terrain is much much different

One thing I can so though, is I couldn't believe when I went and bought my hunting license here and there were 2 tags for turkey!:eek:(which I filled!) 2 turkey tags is unheard of up north! AND if the comment about more turkey up North is true, maybe that is a direct correlation to the turkey populations here!????

I wont even tell you what I thought when they gave me a spreadsheet full of tags for deer!:eek: That subject could be a whole new thread itself!
 

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I'm going to kill as many predators as I can find, and I'm not buying turkey tags any more. I can buy a turkey for a lot less than what it costs for a tank of gas and a box of shells.

If the economics and management of the resources change in the future.....I might reconsider.
 

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close the season is a bit radical. go from a 2 gobbler limit to closing the season.We have turkeys, they get hunted a week before we get a chance <youth hunt> plus the season is coming in too late. this i why the turkeys have shut mouth. i heard more shots during the youth hunt than during main season. It seems the GFC with its late season plus the youth hunt has worked exactly like they planned, it has severly lowered the kill ''state wide''. I rather have quality than quanity. GFC cut the limit to 1 gobbler and open it the first part of april rather than making us have a less than quality season:interesting:
 

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Encourage year round predator hunting. Make a contest out of it.

Go to a one bird limit for a couple of years.

Open the season earlier.

Make all public land-permit only ! ! ! With the permits being for specific days of the season instead of the whole season. Charge a nominal fee ($5-10) for these permits and use the $$ for habit restoration or restocking efforts.

These are just a few simple ideas that the simple minds at the GFC will never grasp.
 

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This is just a thought on my part but years ago when lots of people trapped and coon hunted it seemed like we had more turkeys. Just about any kind of varmint will bust up a nest and eat the eggs. Skunks, coons, possums, foxes, coyotes, bobcats are a few that will eat turkey or any other kind of egg on site. A few years ago before PETA caused the price of fur to drop and folks stopped trapping and hunting them so much these critters were kept in check. Nowadays you can't hardly drive anywhere at night without seeing one of the above critters coons for sure.
 

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I don't believe there is a shortage of turkeys, i have seen plenty of them during the summer through winter months. There is just a shortage of gobbling, especially the past 2 maybe 3 years come prime time. With the number of hens around, a bird doesn't have much reason to gobble and walk around looking for a lonely yelper (AKA hunter), when he has a large number of hens by him.

I don't have a clue what the ideal ratio is between gobbler/hens should be, but i wouldn't doubt its out of whack.

Hopefully, the new coyote seasons (almost year around) will help out some in the predator issue. I will be doing my part. Maybe the board can have a predator contest on here??
 

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This is just a thought on my part but years ago when lots of people trapped and coon hunted it seemed like we had more turkeys. Just about any kind of varmint will bust up a nest and eat the eggs. Skunks, coons, possums, foxes, coyotes, bobcats are a few that will eat turkey or any other kind of egg on site. A few years ago before PETA caused the price of fur to drop and folks stopped trapping and hunting them so much these critters were kept in check. Nowadays you can't hardly drive anywhere at night without seeing one of the above critters coons for sure.
Maybe we should all buy fur coats for the women in our families. :biggrin:
An increase in fur demand and the resulting increase in prices paid for pelts would certainly put a few more trappers in the woods.
 
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