Top turkey hunting states

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RockyMtnGobblers
 
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Re: Top turkey hunting states

Postby RockyMtnGobblers » January 19th, 2013, 5:58 am

I'm always glad to never see Colorado on any top 10 list, that way there are more turkeys for me. :D
It aint the killin it's the challenge of the Hunt.

J Hook Max
 
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Re: Top turkey hunting states

Postby J Hook Max » January 29th, 2013, 12:11 pm

I live in South Alabama and have hunted here and in Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri for over 40 years. I have also hunted Rios in Kansas , but to me that just ain't turkey hunting. Hunting them is no challenge as compared to Easterns.
It would be hard to rank them, but I can tell you my experience.
1.Largest populations are in Alabama and Mississippi , but this is due to the vast amount of timberlands. That does not make it any easier to kill turkeys. Also, these are older, more established flocks and as such do not gobble as much as in other states. Public hunting in both of these states is very limited and very tough.
Bottom line: Lots of birds , tough hunting.That said, seasons and limits are very liberal.
2. Tennessee has very good hunting. Vocal birds and great habitat. Also some very good public hunting. Limit is four gobblers per season.
3. Missouri had fantastic hunting for quite a few years. However, the population dipped for several years due to poor reproduction. I am happy to report that things are improving there and the birds are making a strong comeback.
Missouri is blessed with very much public land , nearly all of it good hunting.

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turkey junky
 
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Re: Top turkey hunting states

Postby turkey junky » January 29th, 2013, 11:25 pm

mississippi dose not even rank in the top 5 of overall turkey population i dont even think its in the top 10??? MS 225,000 MO like 300,000-400,000 KS 300,000-350,000 WI 350,000 TX 450,000 PA 300,000 TN 300,000 CA 245,000 FL 230,000 GA 335,000 KY 225,000 MI 200,000 mississippi 225,000

i have herd the same thing all my life DOWN SOUTH BIRDS ARE HARDEST every other sub species or states turkeys are tame or EZ compared to south of the mason dixon line??? i have also talked to good ol boys from AL MS TN FL GA & they say they have tagged 3-5 birds a season in them AL/MS states??? AL MO KS WI PA GA MI all tag 30,000-40,000 each season so u do the math not every turkey in the south is a bad bird lol

i dont enjoy being kicked in the teeth by turkeys day in & day out so i go out west to hunt RIOs & MERRIAMs to hunt turkeys that act like they should turkeys that answer run to get killed by calling & good positioning & scouting... i dont like hunting MUTE turkeys & to be honest every turkey hunter owes it to themselfs to hunt turkeys that play the game...

more eastern turkeys get killed every year then any other sub species that dose not make them smart to me??? also go hunt a public land nomadic PRESSURED merriams or a PRESSURED public land RIO & see how EZ or how little a challenge they are to kill in that wide open prairie country yr in & yr out... to me using a guide is no challenge...

i grew up hunting easterns & there is places that each & every season we kill easterns just cuz its a good spot & it really is not challenge a 2yr old turkey is a 2yr old turkey no matter what state they live in they act the same to me... BESIDES SOUTH FLORIDA them damn birds are just EVIL & i swear they can read PRIVATE PROPERTY SIGNS OR NO TRESPASSING/KEEP OUT SIGNS!!! lol

both AL & MS have ample national forest lands to chase birds on & many SNOW BIRDS head down there each march & tag dixie easterns B4 there seasons at home start up in mid april i plan to do the same next season...

also i find it very hard to travel far from home to hunt easterns i have at home already??? dose not make sense to me... but each to there own its your money to blow on hunting hard head turkeys...

i hunt turkeys to have fun & to me turkey hunting out west is the most fun a guy can have turkey hunting room to roam, public land for a DIY hunt, beautiful country to camp in & plenty of birds to be hunted... i dont like thick thick swamps no see ems & mosquitos that can carry me away cuz there is so damn many... lol

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Chief Many Longbeards
 
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Re: Top turkey hunting states

Postby Chief Many Longbeards » January 30th, 2013, 9:57 am

i am a little surprised illinois doesnt make any top turkey state lists, but thats ok with me because out-of-staters have taken over most of the deer hunting.
theres plenty of turkeys after restocking took off in the 70s and 80s, but reasons illinois isnt a top state, i guess, would be i know a lot of guys who deer hunt but dont turkey hunt and so much of the state's best hunting ground is tied up year-round by deer outfitters and leasers.
i feel really fortunate to have several great places to hunt, thanks to longtime farmer buddies i went to school with. i will bump into or hunt with the landowners a couple times a season, but 90% of the time i have the whole woods to myself and almost always fill my permits.

J Hook Max
 
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Re: Top turkey hunting states

Postby J Hook Max » January 30th, 2013, 11:31 am

Turkey Junkey ,
I agree with much of what you say , but not all. I have hunted a lot , and I do mean a lot in both Alabama and Mississippi. Believe me , there are just as many birds in Mississippi as in Alabama. As for the harvest, neither state has a decent system to know how many birds have been taken. It is all guesswork. There are no tags.
In Alabama , they say they do surveys. However, I have killed over 100 gobblers here and no one has ever sent me a survey. They don't know if I have killed one or 100 or even more.
As far as hunters killing limits each year , there are many hunters here who hunt 30-40 days each season. Some even hunt every day. That said , it is still a tough task to kill a limit here.
I will say this as I found this out when I moved here 30 years ago. There are some of the best turkey hunters found anywhere around these parts. The reason is very simple. There have always been turkey here and there are thousands of guys who have hunted turkeys for 40 to 50 years. Many of them had Dads and Granddads were good turkey hunters. That would include me. I realize how fortunate I am in that regard. Now I am teaching my grandkids.
It's the same reason there are so many good duck hunters in Arkansas and Lousiana. They have hunted them since they were just young boys.

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dewey
 
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Re: Top turkey hunting states

Postby dewey » January 30th, 2013, 11:51 am

J Hook Max wrote:Turkey Junkey ,
I agree with much of what you say , but not all. I have hunted a lot , and I do mean a lot in both Alabama and Mississippi. Believe me , there are just as many birds in Mississippi as in Alabama. As for the harvest, neither state has a decent system to know how many birds have been taken. It is all guesswork. There are no tags.
In Alabama , they say they do surveys. However, I have killed over 100 gobblers here and no one has ever sent me a survey.


I understand that different states have different rules but it surpirses me that all states don't require hunters to register their turkeys. If nothing more than to get an exact count on where, when and how many turkeys are being harvested. I guess if they are not worried about the population then maybe it isn't needed. I guess me being an engineer loves to see numbers :D

What are the bag limits in MS and AL? How long does the seaon last down there? The thought of there being snakes around while I am hunting gives me the heeebie jeeebies. :o

Dewey
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." --Mahatma Gandhi

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."--F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer

       

J Hook Max
 
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Re: Top turkey hunting states

Postby J Hook Max » January 30th, 2013, 12:35 pm

The Alabama season opens March 15 and stays open until April 30th. The limit is five gobblers. Mississippi season is very similar and I think the limit is four. However, jakes are not allowed in Mississippi.
One thing about both states is that they are very poor. The state governments have very little money and do not have the Resources to maintain a tagging sysytem. Luckily, there is so much habitat and much of the management falls on private landowners and the hunters themselves. Many of them are very knowledgable about turkey management and many take it very serious.
Many landowners will allow people to lease their property for deer hunting, but will not allow anyone to turkey hunt.

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dewey
 
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Re: Top turkey hunting states

Postby dewey » January 30th, 2013, 1:18 pm

J Hook Max wrote:The Alabama season opens March 15 and stays open until April 30th. The limit is five gobblers. Mississippi season is very similar and I think the limit is four. However, jakes are not allowed in Mississippi.
One thing about both states is that they are very poor. The state governments have very little money and do not have the Resources to maintain a tagging sysytem. Luckily, there is so much habitat and much of the management falls on private landowners and the hunters themselves. Many of them are very knowledgable about turkey management and many take it very serious.
Many landowners will allow people to lease their property for deer hunting, but will not allow anyone to turkey hunt.


Thanks for the information about the states and their financial situations. Crazy but up here you can turkey hunt on private land by asking pretty easy but deer hunting is virtually impossible.

Dewey
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." --Mahatma Gandhi

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."--F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer

       

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turkey junky
 
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Re: Top turkey hunting states

Postby turkey junky » January 30th, 2013, 2:45 pm

i think i only hunt 1 or 2 states that make you register your turkey MN & WI all others i have hunted they do not make you even register your bird after harvest & a few dont even issue real tags or transport tags!!!??? many states rely on the # of tags sold & 50% if not more of there hunter surveys & us hunters give n accurate numbers... like J HOOK said i have only been asked to report my harvest 1 time in like 14-15 yrs of hunting my dad who has turkey hunted 36-37 yrs has been asked to report damn near every yr we live at same address??? i am not happy with the not having to register your turkey thing as it promotes poaching in my eyes cuz it tells many hunters basicly we dont care about the turkeys here in X state...

MT,OK,SD,WY,NE,KS,FL, are all palaces i hunt or will hunt this season that do not make you register a bird... i always wonder how they guess there harvest success also J MAX...

if a turkey could live more then 4 yrs i would agree that them are the smartest birds around but when there is a 3-5 year turnover rate in turkey then i say that a 2 yr old is still going to be dressed up with no place to go come hunting season & a few nice yelps will have that 3/4 inch spured 2 yr old in real trouble... i think its more to do with the sheer amount of turkey hunters in AL/MS each season that makes the birds as hard as they are??? same with florida dont allow hunting a few yrs & see how dumb birds get...

yes up north its reversed J MAX dont ask to deer hunt anybodys land cuz they will laugh u off there property!!! but if you want to chase turkeys go ahead have at it unless they have a family member or friend hunting later in the season witch is becoming the case more & more in MN in my experience lately...

i am with chif many longbeards it is really sad how these RICH OUT OF STATERS & GREEDY LANDOWNERS are buying up all the land for deer hunting & even turkey hunting in places like FL KS OK NE SD they only allow a few number of hunters at a high price big $$$ & let the rest beg for permission... they maybe hunt the land 5-14 days a season & it sits idle the rest of the season but hay SD pheasant hunting has been that way for years PAY TO PLAY if you want to hunt... god im happy we have public lands & national forest left to hunt...

J Hook Max
 
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Re: Top turkey hunting states

Postby J Hook Max » January 30th, 2013, 3:02 pm

Turkey Junkey,
I agree with everything you just said. I grew up in Tennessee and started hunting in the 1960's. Back then , we could only kill one turkey per season. By t 1980, that became three birds and is now four. They have always had a tag and check sysytem. It showed when things were slow and when turkeys had bounced back.
I moved to Mobile in the early 80's and they never had anything. I know guys who used to kill 10-15 turkeys per season. Most all were baited. The lack of a tagging sysytem was mostly responsible for this. Today, things are very different. It is no longer acceptable to be an outlaw, especially when it comes to turkey hunters. I still would like to see a check sysytem.
The right thing to do is to limit your harvest. I mostly guide these days and when a client or friend kills a gobbler on property where I have permission, I take it off my limit. That way, we will not overharvest. It is somewhat like bass fishermen practicing catch and release. If they didn't , nobody would be catching any bass. Good luck this spring where ever you hunt.
Good Luck this spring and

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