Mathews Inc.
Change is coming to Nebraska
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
[email protected] 09-Jun-22
speedgoat 10-Jun-22
wildwilderness 10-Jun-22
[email protected] 10-Jun-22
DanaC 10-Jun-22
Olink 10-Jun-22
Missouribreaks 10-Jun-22
lineman21 10-Jun-22
Scrappy 10-Jun-22
pav 10-Jun-22
Habitat 10-Jun-22
SBH 10-Jun-22
t-roy 10-Jun-22
Bent arrow 10-Jun-22
Beav 10-Jun-22
SIP 10-Jun-22
JohnMC 10-Jun-22
Dale06 10-Jun-22
cnelk 10-Jun-22
JohnMC 10-Jun-22
cnelk 10-Jun-22
Robear 10-Jun-22
EmbryOklahoma 10-Jun-22
Sivart 10-Jun-22
JohnMC 10-Jun-22
speedgoat 10-Jun-22
speedgoat 10-Jun-22
t-roy 10-Jun-22
Thornton 10-Jun-22
09-Jun-22

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will consider recommendations for 2023 wild turkey hunting seasons at its June 17 meeting in Lexington.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. Central time at the Holiday Inn Express, 2605 Plum Creek Parkway.

Turkey populations in Nebraska have declined 45% since their peak between 2008 to 2010. Because of that, staff will recommend changes to regulations and orders that include reducing the spring season personal permit limit from three to two, lowering the fall bag limit from two to one, shortening the fall season to Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, and requiring all turkeys be checked via phone or internet beginning with the Spring 2023 season.

From: speedgoat
10-Jun-22
Limited resources can only handle so much pressure. Nebraska seems a lot more willing to address the problem with turkeys than their deer or antelope.

10-Jun-22
How does the current population compare to a healthy carrying capacity number? Was the peak an artificial high?

I know some may consider native turkeys as competition for introduced pheasants,

10-Jun-22
I have no problem doing my part when trying to get a population higher but I doubt that reducing tom harvest will provide any substantial results.

I usually try and get my kid a bird so I personally haven't even punched my first tag the last few years and missed a year for Covid.

From: DanaC
10-Jun-22
Increase in predators? I've seen a lot less turkeys here and coyote populations have increased over the past few years. (Also raccoons, hawks, etc.)

From: Olink
10-Jun-22
This isn't a just Nebraska issue, the turkey population has been on a serious decline in a lot of areas of the country. Here in PA, there are areas of the state where the turkey population has already declined 95% or more. The state Game Commission is finally starting to make season adjustments, but it is too little too late.

10-Jun-22
In my opinion, and given the current status, one male turkey annually per hunter per state is enough.

From: lineman21
10-Jun-22

lineman21's Link
Good read on the subject with some of our game and parks guys contributing.

From: Scrappy
10-Jun-22
This is an alarming trend in several states now.

Here on the Refuge in Utah the turkey number are way down. We only allow youth hunters here so hunting isn't the issue. I have no real evidence but my gut tells me something else is going on with the turkey populations.

From: pav
10-Jun-22
I've made the drive to Nebraska for early archery turkeys twice. Filled all three tags both trips (one public land hunt, the other on private land). I would make that drive again with two tags...but not likely if it ever drops to one tag.

Most recent trip was 2019...and there was no shortage of birds. Arrived mid-day, notched the first tag that evening. Notched the second tag the following morning. Passed a half dozen birds over the next day and a half...hoping for one with white tipped feathers...and that happened the third morning. I can't even imagine what it was like during the "peak years"!

From: Habitat
10-Jun-22
In Kansas ours started going down all the sudden late fall. We noticed when shed hunting as we were finding turkeys either dead or dying.I called F&G and they said they didn't know of anything but this was on more than 1 property.There had been 200 birds on this place the previous winter.That spring we saw 1 bird.This year seemed like they had rebounded and we saw turkeys everyday.

From: SBH
10-Jun-22
Remove "Beav" and his crew. You'll see populations rebound shortly thereafter.

From: t-roy
10-Jun-22
^^^^^^THIS!!! Zach just moved to Alaska. That should help dramatically!! ;-)

From: Bent arrow
10-Jun-22
Need to look. At farming practice. Many of the products used to controll weeds and inhance crop growth are contributing to this. Turkeys eat newly planted corn and bean seed. Coated w/ toxic stuff. State wildlife controllers don't want to point fingers. We need farmin but it is harming our wildlife. No leopard frogs in creeks and muskrat population is way down. All sprays run into water. Well water same way.

From: Beav
10-Jun-22
I hope they consider regional management. Several areas have experienced a drastic decrease in numbers while other areas have remained stable or even increased. I'm not against their proposals but hate to see a decision across the board as far as management.

From: SIP
10-Jun-22
Reduced the fall season from October 1 to December 31? Reduced? Lol

From: JohnMC
10-Jun-22
I have turkey hunted western NE for years. This year there was a very noticeable difference in turkey populations.

From: Dale06
10-Jun-22
I’ve also bowhunted turkeys in western Ne. Had two tags and filled one. I’d go again but not if the bag limit is one.

From: cnelk
10-Jun-22
Maybe the NEB Parks&Wildlike should start an ‘Earn a Turkey’ program.

Bring in a coyote tail and get another tag

From: JohnMC
10-Jun-22
Brad Colorado could try that with elk tags and wolf tails.

From: cnelk
10-Jun-22
My point being is that many have taken advantage of Nebs liberal turkey permits without helping predator reduction

From: Robear
10-Jun-22
I hunted Ohio and Kentucky. I quit hunting after a few days in Ohio. I decided not to shoot one even if I could have. Here on the farm there weren’t enough birds to justify killing one. Ky was the same. I heard 3 birds in 7 days. Everyone I talked to reported the same results. This was in The Daniel Boone National Forest. I have an outfitter buddy In SE Kansas who didn’t book any turkey hunters because of lack of birds in his area. A friend hunted SW Nebraska and had trouble finding birds. Whatever is happening is very widespread. It must be a disease of some sort. I have been told that Ohio and some other states a doing a joint study to try to figure it out. Of the three hens I have seen this week, three were not any poults with any of them. Pretty discouraging.

10-Jun-22
About 8-10 years too late, same for Oklahoma.

From: Sivart
10-Jun-22
I agree with reducing tags. But more importantly, would like to know why the numbers keep dropping.

From: JohnMC
10-Jun-22
Where I live here in Northern CO they have exploded over the last few years. 2.5 hours from where they are down in NE???

From: speedgoat
10-Jun-22
In the areas i hunt, NW Nebraska, black hills of SD, central KS, the best predator numbers are way up. Raccoons, skunks, etc are up because there is very little fur market and few people trapping any more. numbers are definitely down.

From: speedgoat
10-Jun-22
In the areas i hunt, NW Nebraska, black hills of SD, central KS, the best predator numbers are way up. Raccoons, skunks, etc are up because there is very little fur market and few people trapping any more. numbers are definitely down.

From: t-roy
10-Jun-22
The nest robbers are certainly a factor, but there seems to be a lot more to the widespread decline than just that, IMO.

Even if they drop the tags to just a single bird, I’d still hunt Nebraska. It’s just too much fun not to.

From: Thornton
10-Jun-22
Good deal. All us hunters are doing is killing off healthy populations. One state runs dry, and all the hunters flock to where ever the populations are good.. We will not be conducting our yearly pronghorn hunt this year in NM due to dry conditions and poor numbers.

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