Mathews Inc.
2022 Turkeys?
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
Jims 12-Jan-22
dmandoes 12-Jan-22
Dale06 12-Jan-22
DanaC 12-Jan-22
midwest 12-Jan-22
No Mercy 12-Jan-22
jstephens61 12-Jan-22
JusPassin 12-Jan-22
midwest 12-Jan-22
Brotsky 12-Jan-22
No Mercy 12-Jan-22
Grey Ghost 12-Jan-22
Pop-r 12-Jan-22
jstephens61 12-Jan-22
Grey Ghost 12-Jan-22
bigswivle 12-Jan-22
jimss 12-Jan-22
t-roy 12-Jan-22
Zim 12-Jan-22
Cazador 12-Jan-22
Medicinemann 13-Jan-22
Mad Trapper 13-Jan-22
Grey Ghost 13-Jan-22
Shiloh 13-Jan-22
groundhunter50 13-Jan-22
Will 13-Jan-22
fastflight 13-Jan-22
Pop-r 13-Jan-22
Pop-r 13-Jan-22
MA-PAdeerslayer 13-Jan-22
Nimrod90 14-Jan-22
Shiloh 14-Jan-22
Old Reb 14-Jan-22
HUNT MAN 14-Jan-22
Dale06 14-Jan-22
Sivart 14-Jan-22
Jims 15-Jan-22
ronsoutdoors 15-Jan-22
TonyBear 17-Jan-22
yooper89 17-Jan-22
Shuteye 18-Jan-22
writer 25-Feb-22
EmbryOklahoma 25-Feb-22
sitO 26-Feb-22
[email protected] 26-Feb-22
Huntcell 26-Feb-22
BULELK1 26-Feb-22
Rock 02-Mar-22
elkmtngear 02-Mar-22
drycreek 02-Mar-22
Blood 02-Mar-22
From: Jims
12-Jan-22
Is anyone else in a quandary in regard to where to gobbler hunt in 2022? Unfortunately turkey numbers in my dependable Nebraska turkey spot has crashed from several hundred birds several years ago in tree rows to only a handful of turkeys in 2021.

The number of turkey hunters here in Colo has pretty much exploded the past few years in OTC units and tag numbers in just about every limited unit is 2 to 3x what they were several years ago.

Is anyone else struggling with trying to figure out a decent spot to hunt gobblers recently with the decline in turkey populations and increase in hunting pressure in many Western and Midwest states?

From: dmandoes
12-Jan-22
90/10 will fix that problem. I couldn't help myself. Laugh it's good for yourself.

From: Dale06
12-Jan-22
I’m going to central sodak.

From: DanaC
12-Jan-22
Is Nebraska experiencing an increase in predation on turkeys? Hawks? Coyotes?

From: midwest
12-Jan-22
Just hunting close to home and only weekends again this year. Got a big fall coming up and want to build up PTO.

From: No Mercy
12-Jan-22
Nope-heading to Texas for Rios in March then to western ND in April......

From: jstephens61
12-Jan-22
Staying close to home, Illinois/Indiana. Too many hunts coming up in June.

From: JusPassin
12-Jan-22
Low numbers here in Iowa too.

From: midwest
12-Jan-22
No Mercy, if you could go ahead and get the ND turkey season opened up for NR, that'd be great. :-)

From: Brotsky
12-Jan-22
Don't think I'll shoot a turkey this year, probably shoot 4.

From: No Mercy
12-Jan-22
Midwest.......probably isn't going to happen anytime soon. :-)

From: Grey Ghost
12-Jan-22
Jims

I'll hunt turkeys on my place, as usual, this year. That's assuming we have some birds. I'm getting a little concerned. In previous winters, I've had flocks of up to 100 birds living on my property at this time of year. I've only seen a handful so far this winter, and I have no clue why. They don't get hunted hard at all in my area, and we don't have any more predators than usual. It's kind of disheartening, since they were doing so well not that long ago.

Matt

From: Pop-r
12-Jan-22
If you read the NWTF predictions they have called for this. Turkeys will unfortunately NEVER do as well as they have and did with their reintroduction. It's over. Sad but true.

From: jstephens61
12-Jan-22
Staying close to home, Illinois/Indiana. Too many hunts coming up in June.

From: Grey Ghost
12-Jan-22
I've shared this video before. It sure doesn't seem that long ago, but this was in 2013 at my place. The turkey population has dwindled since then. Does the NWTF, or anyone, know why? It's definitely not due to over-hunting or predation around here.

Matt

From: bigswivle
12-Jan-22
Looks like it’s gonna be a great season down here, been working on the predator population for a couple years!! Saw a wad of 13 long beards yesterday

From: jimss
12-Jan-22
I started hunting Nebraska around 8 years ago. The past 3 years there have been significantly fewer and fewer birds until last year when there were only a handful.

When I first hunted Nebraska there were hardly any coyotes. A local guy told me that mange was a really bad (or good) problem with coyotes those early years. I saw more and more coyotes every year. I've heard coons and possums eat a lot of turkey eggs. Nebraska also had some horrible spring weather around nesting time. I'm pretty sure there is some type of disease hammering the turkeys. One place had around 300 turkeys roosting in their trees 6 to 8 years ago and last year they said there were only around 5 or 10. I know bluetongue/EHD has been a major problem with the deer in there area but I don't think it infects turkeys. A few years ago west nile hammered some of the other birds but didn't seem to hit turkeys. I would be curious if anyone knows of any turkey diseases found in Nebraska and the midwest states?

I also used to see literally hundreds of turkeys along I80 through Nebraska. Not any more.

From: t-roy
12-Jan-22
I was very encouraged by the numbers of broods that I saw and got trailcam videos of, here at home in Iowa, this year. Seemed to have a very good hatch, compared to the past several years. Our numbers are down here, as well.

Planning on getting out a bunch here at home, plus making it down to my buddys place in Oklahoma, as well as possibly Nebraska.

From: Zim
12-Jan-22
Populations strong on the public I’ll be hunting in Indiana, Wisconsin & Illinois.

From: Cazador
12-Jan-22
Funny we will still get out and shoot them even with low numbers.

From: Medicinemann
13-Jan-22
In western NY, our numbers plummeted dramatically about 5-8 years ago. Wasn't really sure why. I started planting a couple cornfields every year, and I dusted off my traps and started trapping predators......ANY mammal predator. Skunks, opossums, and coons because they'll backtrack a hen to her nest and eat the eggs.....and coyotes, fox, and fishers because they'll take the birds as well. Sure enough, my numbers are starting to rebound somewhat.... However, it seems like there are two other factors that weigh heavily in the turkey population....1.) A wet Spring really seems to reduce the survival rate for the new year's hatch. 2.) Avian predators - hawks, and especially owls are pounding the birds in my area, and since they are protected by law, they get a free pass. For those of you seeing a dramatic decrease of recent, does any of what I have described seem to have changed in recent years?

From: Mad Trapper
13-Jan-22
As a long time life member and sponsor if the NWTF , I have to say that in the last decade or so the NWTF lost its way. During that time period they lost their focus on the wild turkey. It has been widely reported and well known that generally speaking the populations of wild turkeys have declined and in many states continue to decline. And the NWTF doesn’t know why. Over the years I have donated thousands of dollars and a lot of time to that organization and I have to confess I don’t even know its mission statement. Unlike the wild sheep foundation which is putting and keeping sheep on the mountain. Although the NWTF more recently seems to be expressing concern for the decline, they should be laser focused on figuring it out and I am not seeing it.

From: Grey Ghost
13-Jan-22
Jake,

None of what you described in your area applies to mine. We don't have many Avian predators, and if anything, our coyote population is down from past years. I've never seen a fox, fisher, or opossum around here. And I haven't seen a skunk or raccoon in a long time. The only drastic change of animal populations, other than turkeys, is the rabbits have exploded in recent years.

I have to believe there is something else going on, like some sort of disease that targets turkeys the worst. Or, perhaps it has to do with our generally dryer climate that we've had over the last decade. I've been trying to find answers for a few years, and nobody seems to have any.

Matt

From: Shiloh
13-Jan-22
I think all wild game populations go up and down naturally. High turkey populations will be dealt an ugly blow by momma nature. I'm betting they bounce back in time. We had tremendous populations down here in the south in the 70's and 80's. In 1990 I remember my dad hearing one gobbling jake on our place the entire year and yes, he killed him. Since that time we have been on a steady increase and while we don't have the pop we had in the 80's we have a very strong group of birds to hunt. Habitat, weather, predation and disease are definitely major factors, but I don't think this is the end of turkeys like one fella above suggested. Wild quail left our area for 40 years and now we have a fairly strong population coming back mainly due to habitat I believe.

13-Jan-22
I hunt turkeys in Wis. not all areas are created equal, but my area has alot of birds. I draw a tag every year, and they always have extras..... However it is not a free for all, here only so many, draw from a Wed to a Tuesday...... lots of fun. Shot one western bird, no intrest in making the trip, when I can hunt close to home

My deer camp in SW Wis, was at one time, the "Mecca" of birds, today it is just dismal,,,,,, Everyone has a theory, I have no idea why, there are so few. My suspicion is that no manure etc, is thrown out on the fields anymore. Deep liquid manure, every square inch of land is turned over, used and not much left if any for wildlife. So yes I think modern big farm practices, have had an effect

From: Will
13-Jan-22
Only chasing long beards in MA. Decent numbers - though a bit lower than in the past - and all within a 30-60' drive.

From: fastflight
13-Jan-22
Way way down in Northwest Illinois. Coyotes are a problem but eagle and hawk numbers are way up and what I blame it on. I havent kicked up a rabbit in years.

From: Pop-r
13-Jan-22
Matt what surprises me is we graduate and hire so many new wildlife biologist every year and literally WASTE taxpayer money on funding their careers for very little return from them to OUR turkey populations. I'd hide!

From: Pop-r
13-Jan-22
& ftr...the quail are definitely done from every perspective I have. Unfortunately.

13-Jan-22
My favorite place to call turkeys in PA has been over ridden by loud gas compressor stations in PA…bird numbers also down from what they use to be… tough calling a bird you can’t hear and he can’t hear you either

From: Nimrod90
14-Jan-22
Indiana numbers are way up, especially Northern part of the state. I Plan on hitting Kansas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin again this year. Last few years the Kansas and Nebraska flocks seem to be down but still manage to kill birds and have alot of fun chasing them around either way.

From: Shiloh
14-Jan-22
I am heading to the northeast again this year. Delaware, NJ and Maryland. If anyone has any advice for NJ I’d be all ears. I have some homework left to do for that one to figure out where to hunt!!

From: Old Reb
14-Jan-22
Go hunt where that Beav guy lives. :^)

From: HUNT MAN
14-Jan-22
Old Reb. I think I will take your advice !! Thanks

From: Dale06
14-Jan-22
Had about 15 mostly long beards and some hens 100 yards from my drive way this morning, in the twin cities burbs. They’re very common here.

From: Sivart
14-Jan-22
Having lived and hunted Turkeys all over Neb for the last 25 years, I've never seen the numbers so low. I don't think anyone knows exactly why. Different biologists give me different answers. I estimate the numbers at about 20% of their highest point. Highest numbers were reported statewide in 2004. They have been on a steady decline ever since. Many areas there is no breeding stock left. It sucks, and I hope we raise funds to restock and relocate new birds.

From: Jims
15-Jan-22
Sivart, that is exactly what I'm seeing in Nebraska. For some reason turkeys totally tanked in a couple places I hunt last year. I got toms but likely should have not even hunted or shot any of them because there were so few last spring. Needless to say, I'm searching elsewhere this year. I certainly hope Nebraska cuts spring and fall tags or it could get even worse?

15-Jan-22
MDC said we had a good hatch this year and my own observations support that. Long term trend has been down.

From: ronsoutdoors
15-Jan-22
My Dream hunt was to go to Nebraska this year as my retirement present . I have been thinking of holding off because of the covid fiasco .I am listening to you guys speak and maybe I had better be looking for another area instead. Mad have you read any of Dr. Chamberlins studies on the Turkeys very interesting

From: TonyBear
17-Jan-22
A lot of birds in my home state. Private farm close to home had 4 dozen during the late archery season. I have 15-20 of them on the wood lot behind my house (16 acres) Nearby on public land, along the river bluffs I used to see 15-20 birds every trip. Haven't seen much there in 2-3 years. I think it's a localized phenomenon.

From: yooper89
17-Jan-22
I’m hoping to get my 4 year old out for at least one turkey hunt. Might try to fly up to Michigan but if not I’ll try my luck in Nebraska with him, or Colorado if I can find a reasonable spot to bring him into.

From: Shuteye
18-Jan-22
The Eastern Shore of Maryland always has a lot of turkeys. I like them because they eat the potato bugs off my potato plants and I don't have to spray. One old hen has a nest near my garden every year. I don't normally hunt turkeys but spot some gobblers for my neighbor and he gets his gobbler every year. We still seem to have plenty of birds.

From: writer
25-Feb-22
Gray Ghost— it’s wide-spread across the nation, and seemed to start in the southeast. Kansas crash started 8-10 years ago where we had our biggest population in central sandhills. All kinds of huge winter flocks 300 or more. Within 2-3 years almost nothing.

Same in ranches that hit the coyotes hard.

25-Feb-22
With the down turn in hatches way down from where they once were across many states, I think I’ll do a lot of fishing, shed hunting and arrowhead hunting this spring.

From: sitO
26-Feb-22
I didn't fill a Turkey tag last year in KS for the first time in 20+, I'm with you Rick...gotta try a time or two but there are lots of good eatin critters to "catch", and things to "hunt" in the Spring!

26-Feb-22

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
One just has to hunt where the turkeys are. One state, three toms last year. I might have to return again this season.

From: Huntcell
26-Feb-22
Covid! covid! COVID!!!

It”s a damn shame.

Wouldn't get the shot and wouldn't wear da mask.

From: BULELK1
26-Feb-22
I shared my 13-home state LE Turkey points with 2 others and we drew so Mid-April here in the Flaming Gorge/Utah side area.

Good luck, Robb

From: Rock
02-Mar-22
Ole Reb, not exactly were Beav is but I will be within a few miles of him and then also Colorado.

From: elkmtngear
02-Mar-22
Saw a flock of 50 plus, and another flock of over 100, driving around last Friday (both on big private ranches).

It's encouraging, maybe the "Great Turkey Blight" hasn't reached the West Coast yet !

From: drycreek
02-Mar-22
Easy choice for me since I only have one place to hunt. ;-)

From: Blood
02-Mar-22
Lol. You guys should try CT public land….. that’s where I’ll be. Hope I hear a gobble or two…… maybe I’ll even see a bird this year.

  • Sitka Gear