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.