Harvest Down 16%

charlie elk
 
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Harvest Down 16%

Postby charlie elk » June 14th, 2011, 5:58 am

Our turkey harvest was down 16% from 2010 spring season. 
Some say-
The bad weather during all the seasons kept hunters from hunting as much.
Winter Kill
Low 2010 nesting success
Change in farming practices due to high grain and hay prices.
What do you guys think caused this decline?

Here is a link to the official WDNR press release
http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_article_Lookup.asp?id=1805
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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joeturkey
 
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RE: Harvest Down 15%

Postby joeturkey » June 14th, 2011, 8:56 am

HEY CHARLIE;
YES THE WEATHER REALLY SUCKED, BUT I THINK MOST HUNTERS STILL
HUNTED AS MUCH AS ALWAYS, I KNOW I DID[:)]. PLUS IT SEEMS MORE YOUNGER HUNTERS ARE POPPING UP EACH YEAR.
I DO THINK THE 2010 NESTING SEASON AND WINTERKILL HAD A BIG IMPACT THIS YEAR[:'(]. IT SEEMED LIKE VERY FEW 2 YEAR OLDS WERE AVAILABLE THIS YEAR, BUT LOTS OF SMART,TOUGH,HARD TO FOOL TOMS
WERE ANSWERING THE CALLS!! GOOD NEWS IS I DID SEE MORE JAKES THIS YEAR THAN THE PAST SEVERAL SEASONS[:)][:)]
NOT SURE ABOUT FARMING PRACTICES YET,BUT CHANGES IN SETASIDE
OR MANAGED FOREST AND FOREST CROP LAWS WILL DEFINITELY HAVE A BIG IMPACT IN THE FUTURE[:@]         GOOD LUCK AND GOOD HUNTING JOE
"You need to drink a few large glasses of beer tonight. That is the only solution. "

Ben Franklin

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charlie elk
 
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RE: Harvest Down 15%

Postby charlie elk » June 14th, 2011, 10:44 am

joeturkey I agree this year's weather was consistently some the worst spring hunting weather ever but like you I did not miss a moment of hunting time.  It is all good.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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Brian Lovett
 
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RE: Harvest Down 15%

Postby Brian Lovett » June 14th, 2011, 11:06 am

This is bound to be a hot topic for a while, Charlie. As the biologist quoted in the DNR news release said, the widespread decrease in Midwestern harvests indicates that weather is likely a big factor. I'd agree. Winter flocks were slow to break up this spring, and poor weather seemed to stifle gobbling many days early in the season. I'd guess the cold, wet conditions probably reduced hunter effort somewhat, though I doubt that serious turkey hunters -- guys on this site -- hunted less. I didn't.
Wisconsin experienced relatively poor hatches in 2008 and 2009, and I think we're seeing the effects of that, too. Like Joe, I saw quite a few jakes this spring, though, so I'm optimistic for next year. I think that if we see average recruitment in 2011, our Spring 2012 and 2013 seasons will be better harvest-wise. I don't know that we'll shoot 52,000-plus birds again, but I'm confident that we'll reverse the decline.
Some well-intentioned folks asked for hunters to restrain from shooting gobblers this past spring. Their hearts are in the right place, but there's no biological justification for this. Male turkeys are polygamous, mating with several hens per breeding season. If the dominant bird in an area is killed, another gobbler capably takes its place in the breeding game. Killing some male turkeys won't affect recruitment or long-term turkey numbers.

charlie elk
 
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RE: Harvest Down 16%

Postby charlie elk » June 14th, 2011, 3:42 pm

Some well-intentioned folks asked for hunters to restrain from shooting gobblers this past spring. Their hearts are in the right place, but there's no biological justification for this.

Yikes now that would have been a hard sell to me.
I have been hearing rumblings about urging hunters to not shoot hens this fall.  Does this have any merit?
WDNR does not think so and at this time I plan to hunt this fall as I always do.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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Brian Lovett
 
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RE: Harvest Down 16%

Postby Brian Lovett » June 15th, 2011, 4:13 am

Yep, I plan to hunt just as I normally would, Charlie. We take so few hens in fall -- like 4,191 in 2010, I think -- that it won't hurt overall turkey numbers or the long-term well-being of the flock. I'd definitely put that new turkey dog to work!

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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RE: Harvest Down 16%

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » June 15th, 2011, 6:13 pm

I'd have to agree with Brian for the reason of a lower harvest, that and the bad windy days we had this spring. The average joe didn't spend as much time in the woods sitting in those rainy, high windy days and not hearing or seeing birds. This year I saw more jakes than I've ever seen, at least on the lands I hunted.
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yankee gobbler
 
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RE: Harvest Down 16%

Postby yankee gobbler » June 17th, 2011, 6:07 am

I hunt NW and WC Wisconsin and the fact is we had a severe winter and with that a large winter kill of our wild turkeys. Many of us reported finding turkey carcasses in large numbers. I would estimate that I came across at least 3 dozen dead turkeys, below roost trees. The last heavy snow and ice storm did them in, as we saw the large flocks days before the storm.
This is the first year in my 17 years of turkey hunting in Wisconsin that I did not fill a tag, and I had 5 of them to fill. I hunted as hard and diligent as always.
Rod

charlie elk
 
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RE: Harvest Down 16%

Postby charlie elk » June 19th, 2011, 5:23 am

This year I saw more jakes than I've ever seen,

Interesting- glad you brought this up Scott.
I saw fewer jakes than ever during this season, to the best of my recollection only 2!  Which I think would indicate a very poor recruitment in the spring of 2010 and/or significant winter kill of young birds.  I did find a lot of dead turkeys in March and mostly they appeared to be young birds.
My poult sightings this year are well below what I normally see. This could be due to unusually thick cover.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

charlie elk
 
Posts: 1090
Joined: August 7th, 2009, 4:50 pm
Location: Wisconsin

RE: Harvest Down 16%

Postby charlie elk » June 19th, 2011, 5:25 am

I'd definitely put that new turkey dog to work!

Will do!  Plus the grand kids are planning to help.  Truly the makings of a grand fall hunt.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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