Turkey Management Meetings

charlie elk
 
Posts: 1127
Joined: August 7th, 2009, 4:50 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Turkey Management Meetings

Postby charlie elk » April 22nd, 2012, 11:25 am

WDNR is conducting meetings around the state to gather input to update Wisconsin's turkey management plan. During turkey season is a terrible time to hold them, even us special interest turkey hunters won't attend if hunting is available. I attended the one last night in Eau Claire, only because I filled my first and only tag for week 2 on Thursday. There were only 3 turkey hunters in attendance, 1 CO, 1 reporter, 1 UW wildlife professor, Scott and Krista the presenters.
This spring if the preliminary numbers hold there are only 100,000 spring turkey hunters left statewide in Wisconsin. Down from the peak of 160,000 5 years ago. Which means we have lost 20,000 hunters since 2011. Each year about 25,000 hunters who were drawn do not buy a license so you can't look at the available and sold permits to determine hunter participation. (these numbers are from my memory of last night's meeting and are rounded estimates from Scott Walter) Very bad long term news for the future of turkey hunting.
Very good news for hunters like me who love to hunt and are willing to pay to hunt, by that I mean buy a lot of OTC permits for each week in 3 units. In spite of all those purchases by us hardcore turkey nuts there is still thousands of OTC tags left. Meaning the turkey population can withstand a lot more hunting.
May I humbly suggest as we enjoy our turkey hunts we give this hunter decline some very serious consideration. Over on the Journal Sentential there are anti hunters posting about there is no need to kill turkeys. This is the first time I have seen antis active against turkey hunting.
The fall season hunter participation is worse there are only about 12,000 active turkey hunters, that is those who go out to hunt a turkey rather than those who just have a license in their pocket just in case a turkey presents an opportunity.

Our sport/way of life is dying right in front of our collective faces. Now the question is what do we do about it? Are we willing to accept change to the season scheme to make it more open and inviting to the not so dedicated turkey hunter? At this point would any change bring back the casual turkey hunter?
If you don't like the sound of casual turkey hunter, remember we all started out learning somehow.
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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Gopherlongbeards
 
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Joined: March 16th, 2011, 4:03 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Turkey Management Meetings

Postby Gopherlongbeards » April 22nd, 2012, 5:23 pm

Not a great idea to have those meetings during season. They couldn't wait until June? Not sure what I think about these declines. 100,000 is still alot of hunters. As far as how to get more hunters into the sport? I think stuff like the youth hunt Scott participate din are prime examples.

charlie elk
 
Posts: 1127
Joined: August 7th, 2009, 4:50 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Turkey Management Meetings

Postby charlie elk » April 23rd, 2012, 7:48 am

Here is a link to the same presentation given at the meeting-
http://dnrmedia.wi.gov/main/Viewer/?pei ... 3858c40d84
Link to complete the survey online-
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RDFF2S5

At the meeting the presentation is stopped to give participates time to complete that area of the survey after getting the background info.
The survey is open to everyone; residents and nonresidents, landowners or any other non-hunting interested person. It is all open until June.

Gopherlongbeards wrote:Not sure what I think about these declines. 100,000 is still alot of hunters. As far as how to get more hunters into the sport? I think stuff like the youth hunt Scott participate din are prime examples.

The decline could just be a reflection of the general hunting population decline, however the WI turkey hunter decline has been much larger. To put the 100,000 hunters in perspective; spread over the entire state's turkey habitat that is about 1 hunter per 2 square miles.
I don't know what the optimum number of hunters would be, I am open to suggestions there.

A good friend tries to convince me there are too many hunters and we need to lose the non serious ones because there is not enough places to hunt. He also believes there is no reason to give any group a special season including the youth seasons. He feels it reinforces the attitudes of entitlement. Needless to say we have very lively fireside discussions. He is a longtime firearm safety instructor and deputy sheriff giving him a very different perspective.
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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