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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All the Toms are are gobblig good here in SW Arkansas. Will the season start too late again this yr?

I had that problem last yr. By the time season opened all the Toms were henned up and wouldn't come to a call.
 

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I think things will be better than last year just because it stayed cooler longer this year. We should hit it about right in my area.
 

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How Many of you jumped hens off of the nest last year?
I had to walk past two nest and drive by one , there only going to come back so many times and then what happened to the HATCH?
 

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In SW Arkansas, gobbling will be about done by the time hunting season opens - just like last year. Last year, I heard 16 different gobblers before season opened, and 3 after season opened. After season opened, I never heard a bird after sunrise. I am convinced, that at least in SW AR, hunters are in the woods stirring up the hens and interrupting the breeding when it is at its peak - mid to late April. I would like to see season open mid March - mid-April, and get the hunters out of the woods when the turkeys are at their breeding, laying, and setting best. Besides that, it would give us legal hunters even footing with those that start the season early.
 

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not trying to be mr negative or think the G&F are right all the time, but wouldn't it be bad to be hunting them before most of the breeding is done? i mean, you would be taking a lot of the gobblers out leaving many hens unbread.....just my opinion. but i feel for ya in the south when they do crank up a bit earlier.
 

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In SW Arkansas, gobbling will be about done by the time hunting season opens - just like last year. Last year, I heard 16 different gobblers before season opened, and 3 after season opened. After season opened, I never heard a bird after sunrise. I am convinced, that at least in SW AR, hunters are in the woods stirring up the hens and interrupting the breeding when it is at its peak - mid to late April. I would like to see season open mid March - mid-April, and get the hunters out of the woods when the turkeys are at their breeding, laying, and setting best. Besides that, it would give us legal hunters even footing with those that start the season early.
Your estimation of peak breeding is way off. In your neck of the woods, peak breeding will be much earlier than that, probably more like late March and early April. Oh ya, a tom can't breed if he's dead.
 

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Lonnie,
I think we'll be fine up here. That snow, hail, and rain we got should push 'em back to where things should be just right. I do feel for the South AR bunch. If I lived down there, i would make it a point to hunt gobbling birds with my bow in Feburary to make up for the slowdown come mid April.
 

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I live in South Arkansas and thought the hunting would be horrible last year due to the late season start. But i had a great year, and most of my friends did as well. I saw alot of birds and heard alot. I even called up a big tom the last afternoon of the season. I know that its not the best time to start the season, but to me, it just makes it more of a challenge to try and kill one. Hope everybody has a good year this season!
 

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I think the only thing that really helped the South Arkansas hunting last year (at least in other areas because the hunting still sucked on the two leases I'm in) was the cooler than usual spring that we had.
Last year it was pretty chilly during the youth hunt and even fairly cool on opening weekend. Then we didn't really have that many sure enough hot days till late in the season.
When temps are nearing 90 during the middle of April like they have in some years past, the hunting has seemed to cool off respectively. Of course this is based mainly on my own experiences.
 

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I think the only thing that really helped the South Arkansas hunting last year (at least in other areas because the hunting still sucked on the two leases I'm in) was the cooler than usual spring that we had.
Last year it was pretty chilly during the youth hunt and even fairly cool on opening weekend. Then we didn't really have that many sure enough hot days till late in the season.
When temps are nearing 90 during the middle of April like they have in some years past, the hunting has seemed to cool off respectively. Of course this is based mainly on my own experiences.

cool temps that first weekend was quite nice and helped the hunting. like matthew said, the better turkey hunters will step up the the plate and get a turkey or at least get some action on a talker, the rest will sit around on the computer griping about not hearing or seeing anything. The birds are there, just gotta figure out what mood they are in
 

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I know there are several states that start their seasons this weekend and they seem to have a lot better turkey populations than we do. We hunt bucks from before the prime breeding season until after, and I don't think it has had any negative effect on the deer population. We hunt ducks, geese, squirrels, and about everything else before they breed, and it does not seem to hurt them. Duck and geese were already starting to pair up during the end of the duck season. I don't know of another animal, besides a turkey that we actually hunt during the birthing/hatching season. In SW Arkansas, we have turkeys on the nest during turkey season. It is a proven fact that turkeys are very easily permanently bumped from their nests. One gobbler is able to breed many hens, so it is hard for me to believe there would not be enough gobblers to get around to the hens if we hunted late March/ early April. I live within 75 miles of three different states with earlier turkey seasons than Arkansas and the hunting is better in each of them than Arkansas. At least we have a choice - if we don't like hunting in Arkansas, we can go somewhere else. I give them fits here in Arkansas, whether they are gobbling or not - but the gobbling does make it a lot more exciting. Good Luck.
 

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Hen turkeys decide to breed by photoperiodism, not by the temperature. This tends to keep things were they are supposed to be. Do we have to go through this fear of missing the best turkey hunting time fear every year.
 

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Turkey nesting does depend, in a large part, on photoperiodism - but also on weather conditions. Turkeys north of here nest later in the year. When I started turkey hunting in the 80's, it was a rare thing to hear a turkey gobble in February. I have heard a number of turkeys in February the past few years. They have been gobbling like crazy the last three weeks where I live. I actually think the reduced gobbling activity that I experience in the last half of April is a result of the depressed turkey populations in my area. Turkeys are gobbling good right now, because the hens are not with them, and they are trying to establish their territories and attract hens that are not interested. Hens are at the height of their breeding activity from mid-April into May, and gobbling activity is reduced because the hens are with the gobblers. My opinion is that turkey gobbling activity is directly proportional to turkey population, unlike buck rutting activity. Where deer populations are low, buck rutting and scraping activity is usually high. Where deer populations are high, rutting and scraping activity is lower, because it is much easier to locate the does. Gobblers seem to be much more vocal in areas where populations are high - probably not so much to attract more hens, but to compete with more numerous gobblers. I am not about to quit hunting just because I can't hear a turkey gobble, but the excitement level is much higher for me to call one up gobbling, drumming, and strutting, than have one slip quietly in, or ambush one. Fortunately, I have the opportunity to hunt other states where seasons are structured so that hunters may be in the woods during peak gobbling activity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Lonnie,
I think we'll be fine up here. That snow, hail, and rain we got should push 'em back to where things should be just right. I do feel for the South AR bunch. If I lived down there, i would make it a point to hunt gobbling birds with my bow in Feburary to make up for the slowdown come mid April.
I'd go along with that MtnMan. I am hearing alot gobble right now. One of my buddies just pulled off the to the side of the road today north of Mena and started calling. Within 5 minutes he had a bird strutting 75 yds from his truck.

And such is life.
 

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The peak breeding will be done for much of Ar. but there will still be more birds killed this year than last, mainly due to more turkeys. Sometimes the better hunting happens just as the hens begin nesting and ol' big boy is lonely. I think if the weather cooperates it will be pretty good year.
 
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