Contributors to this thread:
Not sure I've seen a decline in turkey numbers. Anyone else?
no decline in SE where we are
I have seen it. I usually have about 15 hens and four or five Toms and Jakes N. Of Wichita and has been pretty standard for the past 20 years. Two years ago those numbers were about half. Last spring one Jake and two hens. I doubt I see any this year. To the South of Derby with a mile of River Bottom I have yet to see any Turkeys last spring we didn't even buy tags due to the lack of birds. Time will tell if they will be back this spring. Cheney, Marion and Kanopolis seem to have less and less every year. I'm sure if you wanted to really hunt Turkeys hard you can eventually find some. We hunt them Generally on a spur of the moment when time allows.
I’d like to see who these hunters are that can’t seem to kill a turkey.
I didn’t kill a buck 3 years ago. Must have been because the deer population was way down?
Numbers need to be lower in my opinion. Leave the Fall season alone.
Certainly less birds on the main spots I hunt, Americus/Neal to be more exact. That said, I'm not sure too many folks take, or even hunt them in the Fall. Did anyone here take a Fall bird? Just curious.
I had chances to but did not harvest a turkey this year. Was trying to take a bird with a self bow and stone point but just didn't work out.
Seen a flock of more than thirty this fall must have been all hens, i never see them mixed up in the fall
Didn’t hunt Fall this year... I have in the past. Don’t know many that do. Really don’t think eliminating it would have an impact on bird populations.
I’ve got trail cam pics of 80+ birds that you can see in the frame. Toms, jakes, hens all mixed in.
As in all cases of game management, but rarely practiced in this state, it needs to be a unit by unit decision.
I have not hunted SEK since 2016 but from 2010 up til then they were down big time. 2014 they seemed to have been bouncing back. Populations were unreal through the 2000's but around 2010 a big drop off. Several years there that I did not see a jake. Western Kansas seems to be pretty good. Frank I see groups of 200 in Nebraska.
I’ve seen a grand total of zero this winter around my hideout south of Manhattan. Used to be a couple large groups I’d see regularly, one upwards of 150 birds. Last winter that group was probably closer to half. Spring of ‘17 I remember seeing exactly one jake, and this last spring very few again. I suppose the drought in this area has resulted in very little feed through the non irrigated corridors and a couple poor hatches for some reason is definitely showing some affects. Will be interesting to see what filters back in this spring.
I generally don’t make much of an effort in the fall season, but have picked up a tag the last few, until this one. Only took one tom on those tags and one or two way back in the day out of a tree stand.
I always get a tag, usually just in case I see one while deer hunting...but I hunt a couple days in Dec for them as well. I've only taken a few in the Fall, and I found a good sized flock this year but couldn't seal the deal(stalking them). Fran, they "flock up" in the Fall, much like deer "herd up" and at times the groups can exceed 200. Lots of times, in fact more than often, the toms in one flock, hens in another, and sometimes jakes in a third.
I'm not suggesting closing the Fall season, I really doubt it would have any impact. They'll come back, has more to do with weather and Spring burning than anything else in my opinion...oh, and baiting ;?)
Just quit letting people shoot hens. Seems like a easy fix to me.
I see as many as I have for the past 15 years in SEK. Have had a flock of ~100 coming into my bird feeders a few times a week. I spend a lot of time up around Manhattan, they're thick around there too.
This year the numbers were way down around me. Haven't seen the large flock that usually winters about 2 miles up the road. Miami county.
I have seen the numbers stay consistent where I hunt in Sumner County. Couple birds taken in the spring but, none in the fall.
i always heard 80 percent of quail die every year without being hunted from winter die off and pred. is there anything like that with turkeys. I know spring weather has alot to do with hatch
Pretty good estimate for us is about 70% on our Pheasants die or get eaten. Right after the beans get cut we see on average about thirty birds out in the fields. However by the time the end of January arrives we see maybe 5-6 hens and a few roosters. Quail are difficult as we have four different covey's normally spread out in the plumb thickets and Crp. We trap and shoot hard but being along the Arkansas whatever predators you kill there seems to be new ones migrate in. Crop rotation from Beans to Wheat and Wheat to Milo may help out this year if the weather is decent.
Numbers in the NE part of the state are down. Talked with the local wildlife biologist and he had some great observations as to why. Based solely on cameras and observations from the stand, numbers look slightly better than last Spring.........
Jon, what were his "observations as to why" if you don't mind sharing?
In our particular area we had some extremely late spring storms with rains over 6-8" within a 24-36 hr time frame about 3 yrs ago. He felt like those poults struggled to survive that type of moisture (body temps, lack of mobility during that stage of development, etc.) which resulted in that yrs crop " not making it". In turn that, in his opinion, directly effected last yrs. crop. Which kinda made sense to me since that would have been your group of 2/3 yr old tom-which by nature are normally the birds you end up killing.
Interesting, thanks! Here's part of a report in the most recent F&S mag...
Thanks for this Sito need to re up many subscriptions I have let go.
Habitat is key for quail production. I've seenthis over and over on my farm and I have had 2-3 coveys for 9 years and I never kill any of the numerous possums or raccoons that travel up my creek. I have found turkey eggs carried and eaten from nests that I assumed were predators. Several years I have noticed fewer turkeys but there are still more than when I bought the place.
Several years ago I jumped a hen off a nest looking for sheds, she had 12 eggs in the nest, I stole six, a week later it had 12 eggs all broken. Asked a biologist about the deal. He said probably a coyote ate all 12 eggs and probably the yote followed MY tracks to the nest. Need to do more yote huntin??
I hunted a place in central KS that had over 700 birds according to the farmer that counted them moving from one field to the other. KDWPT came in and trapped a bunch of them. I had 386 birds go by my blind in late December one time. Then the drought of 2011 and 2012 hit and the biggest flock I have seen since is less than 40 birds.
It is incredible how loud 500+ turkeys can be!
Dave, gotta ask...what did you do with the eggs? Are you a juggler?
See ya soon brother!
We have hundreds of birds on our Reno Co. property as usual. No changes from years past.
Had an interesting encounter on Sunday. Walked to 3 feet of this bearded hen. She was in poor health and seemed lethargic. I'm fairly certain it was Avain Pox, because her head and legs had quite a few open sores. Was going to take more pics, but naturally my phone died. This is the second bird I have seen that has had this since 2016. Our bird numbers have been down in an area that historically had some very large groups.
I had a similar experience a couple of years ago. I had been out fishing and saw a turkey. Figured I would try to sneak up on it. I got as close as I thought I could with the cover available and decided to rush it to see how close I could get before it left me in the dust. I took off sprinting at it and damn near tripped on it as it didn't move. Turns out the only turkey I can sneak up on is one that is almost dead. I left it where it was (as I didn't have a tag for it) and didn't know what exactly to do, but it was obviously not well. I would be surprised if it made it through the night.
Maybe you’re joking... You can legally scramble wild turkey eggs?