Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

charlie elk
 
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Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

Postby charlie elk » March 26th, 2012, 2:19 pm

:o What the heck as of 12:45 Monday 3/26 there are 58,737 unsold permits/ tags available in units 1thru 5. :shock:
This is good news, maybe, for us hardcore hunters; BUT.....
Very bad for the long term outlook of WI turkey hunting.
:cry: Are WI hunters losing interest in turkeys?
Is it the economy?
The early spring causing hunters to think there is no point because the turkeys will be all bred by the time the seasons open? Especially the later seasons.
Who's got a theory?

Please refresh my memory- Why do we go through all the expense and hassle of drawing when there are so many leftover tags? Both in the spring and fall.
later,
charlie
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Brian Lovett
 
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Re: Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

Postby Brian Lovett » March 26th, 2012, 3:50 pm

This is the golden age of opportunity, isn't it, Charlie? Selfishly, I hope they never change a thing, because being able to hunt five consecutive weeks is incredible. Like you, though, I worry about turkey hunter numbers. Not sure where the solution lies.

charlie elk
 
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Re: Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

Postby charlie elk » March 26th, 2012, 6:16 pm

Yeah these are the WI good old days of turkey hunting for sure and I agree from a purely selfish stand point the tag system is great. 5 weeks of hunting in state traveling from the prairie, to the big woods, bluff country and ag fields surely provides a hunter with about everything he or she could want. Except mountains, but Wyoming takes care of that, love hunting in the shadow of Devil's Tower, but I digress.
What I fear from an unselfish stand point; that is - when I'm not Snoopy Dancing around my desk while buying all those extra tags for multiple units and weeks; Is the licensing scheme driving hunters away from the sport?
If I am not mistaken the number of turkey hunters is on the increase in other states that do not conduct drawings. After the spring season I am going to do some research and crunch the numbers on this.
Again from a purely selfish standpoint I am not sure I will push to change anything in WI either.
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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turkey junky
 
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Re: Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

Postby turkey junky » March 26th, 2012, 7:16 pm

dont think its the draw system chasing hunters away??? for me a guy that didnt apply & still ended up with a tag it was simple to either apply B4 & damn near be guaranteed a tag in certain units or just wait to buy a tag on-line after the draw was held??? i wish MN had the same system as WI & just left the old 2011 units/hunt areas the same!!!

i have seen guys from wisconsin in damn near every state i have hunted 2nd only to missouri boys while on out of state hunts & i have never hunted WI or MO B4 i think they may have had there fill with WI turkey seasons & just get the itch to head out of state after there initial turkey hunt in WI that season has ended??? or the wife puts the game face on & forces them to choose wear they want to hunt that season the hole PICK 1 STATE THING!!!??? & wisconsin is a great turkey hunting state but it doesnt have mountains & or other sub species to hunt... & maybe last seasons horrible weather finished off some of the half hearted turkey hunters that were only chase n turkeys in between shed hunts held at there QDM deer hunting grounds??? turkey hunting isnt for everybody & not as EZ as it looks on TV & DVDs so maybe last season was a rude awakening for many on what a spring turkey season can be like in the upper mid-west!!!??? weather & bird number wise???

but if all that was true i still would think many folks would of forgot about last seasons wicked weather with this 70 degree + weather we have had as of late!!!??? & wanted to go out & buy a tag???

hope wisconsin doesn't change a thing in the draw system??? & it may sound bad for the wisconsin turkey hunters future but great for some hunters this season especially if you don't like competing for birds on public lands this yr mite have us with less competition it sounds like???

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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Re: Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » March 26th, 2012, 9:30 pm

I think the biggest downfall about WI hunting is the zones. Your tag is only good for that zone period, if you want to hunt another zone then you need another tag, if there is any available. Where if your tag was good state wide like your deer tag is, I think more people would spend the money to hunt? Like if I hunted my area and wanted to go hunt with charlie for the weekend you could, but the way it is now you can't if you don't have another tag, and most people wouldn't buy a tag for a two day hunt. I think that is why you see more people dropping out, and if they can't find birds in their area they're screwed, they can't go anywhere eles, so they give up trying.
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Gopherlongbeards
 
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Re: Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

Postby Gopherlongbeards » March 27th, 2012, 5:34 am

Maybe Willowridge, but the WI system is still a lot more flexible than most. Another tag is only 10$, and the units are pretty big geographically. Maybe the hunter population is undergoing the same type of growing pains as the turkeys (turkeys filling new habitat quickly until its saturated, then numbers stabilize.) New hunters hear how great turkey hunting is, a lot of them decide to try it out. Some (weirdos) decide it isn't really for them and drop out. I would assume your hunter population also hits a point where it can't keep continually growing, this wouldn't necessarily be when the tags run out. If you did go to a statewide tag system, then you lose the ability to micromanage harvest in those smaller more marginal zones. Does that matter? I don't know, I'm not an upland biologist.

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Treerooster
 
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Re: Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

Postby Treerooster » March 27th, 2012, 10:13 am

I think the thing you first have to ask is how many actual hunters were there and how many are there now. When leftover tags first became readily available a lot of guys went overboard and bought 3 and 4 tags for one period. Some may of got a little giddy with the opportunity but unrealistic for a 5-day hunt. One or 2 tags a period is plenty, especially in the later seasons. I don't know if the DNR keeps track of how many hunters there are compared to tags sold. There is no limit of tags per hunter.

The past 2 winters before this recent one have seen some pretty good die offs of turkeys. In the area I have turkey hunted the last 7 years or so (extreme northern zone 4) has seen a significant decrease in the number of turkeys lately, while I have also seen a huge increase in the number of turkey hunters. I have only hunted 5th and 6th season in Wis but several years ago I could stand in one place and hear 5 or so gobblers at dawn. Last year, on public land, I did not hear 1 gobble on public land for the whole 2 weeks I was there. Not one in 2 weeks. There were some birds on private land next to the public I heard. I did try to hunt those birds one morning but so did 3 other hunters. I do see some sign of hens in araeas that held good hunting before, but no gobbler sign. The opportunity to have good hunting later in the season has been greatly reduced IME. The amount of pressure on public land I experienced last year was the 2nd worse I have ever seen. Only one spring in AR surpassed it. I have mentioned this before but felt I was just brushed off like I had no idea what I was talking about. There are areas in Wis that are going downhill as far as quality turkey hunting is concerned and I think more leftover tags could be the result.

Were it not for the T&TH hunt this spring I would have probably skipped Wis. I did get a leftover 4th season zone 4 tag (2 weeks makes the long drive more worth while) and will see how the hunting is around my cabin. Going to my cabin is part of the reason I like to turkey hunt Wis in the spring. But I don't plan to stay in the area if the situation is not improved. I will do some driving I guess.
As far as this turkey thing......I know enough...to know enough...that I don't know enough

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turkey junky
 
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Re: Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

Postby turkey junky » March 27th, 2012, 1:11 pm

treerooster most if not all unit 4 is outside of the traditional wild turkey range in WI & really not a high wild turkey production area of the state i mean its up north lakes & woods & that region can support wild turkeys just not at a very high number year in & year out due to the big woods & bad winters in the area there are pockets of agg fields in the region that support pheasants & wild turkey & but nothing like units 1 & 3... that northern regions bird numbers go up & down depending on winters & acorn production & wet cold spring weather not uncommon in the unit 4 region...

we all have to decide B4 we plan our hunts for the season if we want a EZ hunt close to home or a quality hunt but we have to drive a bit farther then we would of had to other wise??? i think with the good numbers of birds in the unit the T&TH hunt will be held in treerooster will change his tune on the number of WI birds going downhill...

was up deer hunting in WI in the unit 4 area around siren WI area & for the 1st time in that part of the state i herd a flock of 15-20 wild turkeys chat n it up all morning there was the same amount there the next day so i bet them birds in that part of unit 4 did quit well over the winter my cousin who lives in the area says there are more & more birds in that area each & every yr??? so like any wear i hunt turkeys the bird numbers are spoty depending on who you talk to...??? 1 guys season was the worst ever & another guy a few miles away mite of had the best season ever so???

i have never hunted turkeys in wisconsin B4 but i will be this season & i know i have to go down in the bluffs & coulee country of the drift less region to get on solid numbers of birds yr in & yr out that is traditional turkey country/habitat & can support high numbers of birds... same with unit 3...

i dont think the lack of birds in the state wisconsin is the reason for hunter numbers drop n or the reason more folks are just not applying & going the OTC route... its just more simple to do so & like gopherlongbeards said turkey hunting leaves a sour taste in some peoples mouth for what ever reason & its not as EZ as they thought it should be or was on TV/DVDs so they dont apply & or even buy a tag the next season???

charlie elk
 
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Re: Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

Postby charlie elk » March 27th, 2012, 2:53 pm

Treerooster wrote:I think the thing you first have to ask is how many actual hunters were there and how many are there now. When leftover tags first became readily available a lot of guys went overboard and bought 3 and 4 tags for one period. Some may of got a little giddy with the opportunity but unrealistic for a 5-day hunt. One or 2 tags a period is plenty, especially in the later seasons. I don't know if the DNR keeps track of how many hunters there are compared to tags sold. There is no limit of tags per hunter.

I have been tracking the number of turkey licenses sold each year, they peaked about 6 years ago and have been declining each year resulting in a loss of about 35,000 hunters. (this from my memory I would have to look up the exact number.) The actual license sold would represent one hunter with one permit. The total number of available or sold permits is meaningless for calculating the number of actual turkey hunters.

Treerooster wrote:The past 2 winters before this recent one have seen some pretty good die offs of turkeys. In the area I have turkey hunted the last 7 years or so (extreme northern zone 4) has seen a significant decrease in the number of turkeys lately, while I have also seen a huge increase in the number of turkey hunters. I have only hunted 5th and 6th season in Wis but several years ago I could stand in one place and hear 5 or so gobblers at dawn. Last year, on public land, I did not hear 1 gobble on public land for the whole 2 weeks I was there. Not one in 2 weeks. The opportunity to have good hunting later in the season has been greatly reduced IME. The amount of pressure on public land I experienced last year was the 2nd worse I have ever seen. There are areas in Wis that are going downhill as far as quality turkey hunting is concerned and I think more leftover tags could be the result.

You are correct regarding winter kill particularly in northern 4. Last year southern 4 and northern 1 had a winter kill of about 30%, this is my estimate determined by dead birds I found equaling my gut reckoning. I know; not scientific but I am out there a lot more than most including WDNR personnel who mostly dismissed my kill reports.
The other thing affecting turkey nesting areas is the rapidly changing face of farming in WI. Where there were CRP lands, grassland, pasture or hay fields there is now corn. Corn fields are poor turkey habitat without a bordering mature woods and many farmers are bulldozing these for a few more acres of corn. Plus the WDNR is mandating hardwood clear cuts to increase deer in some areas but this destroys what was once prime turkey woods.

Treerooster wrote: I have mentioned this before but felt I was just brushed off like I had no idea what I was talking about.

Hope I didn't give you the feeling of the brush off.

Treerooster wrote:Were it not for the T&TH hunt this spring I would have probably skipped Wis

A potential lost hunter sorry to hear that. WI is a big state with many other good turkey areas.

Treerooster wrote:I did get a leftover 4th season zone 4 tag (2 weeks makes the long drive more worth while) my cabin is part of the reason I like to turkey hunt Wis in the spring. But I don't plan to stay in the area if the situation is not improved.

Last spring weather improved in the end so I hope the turkey numbers are up.

If you would like to discuss some potential hunting areas drop me a line.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

TurkeyTom
 
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Re: Land of Many Tags - The Whole State!

Postby TurkeyTom » March 28th, 2012, 3:52 pm

I think a lot of the turkeys in places that are close enough for people to get to easily (primarily in zone 2) are being scared off public land by all the yahoos during deer season. Although this is only my first year hunting, i have heard more stories than id like about half drunken guys poppin shots at turkeys from their tree stands in my area. For those that arent real turkey hunters, driving up to zone 3 or canvasing for private land permission isn't all that appealing. May account for the drop in turkey hunter numbers but i could be dead wrong. just speaking from what i know
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