Lowest harvest totals in last 12 years

hollandhunter

12 pointer
Feb 11, 2008
3,462
Holland Kentucky
Does anyone have the license sales compared to birds harvested? Im prolly late to the conversation and im sure this has already been covered somewhere. But I got a feeling the number of hunters in the woods is alot more now then 10 years ago too. I know since covid in my area I see way more hunting then i use too it seems. Eitherway the numbers are awfull in atleast alot of areas in the state. I didnt kill one this year and wont next year. Unless a miracle happens and since its only been getting worse over the last 5 yrs I dont expect it. Kids only. An they will be on 1 bird limit. Its harcd when joe bob on all 4 sides is killing what few we got but I cant control them. Only me....
 

JR in KY

12 pointer
Jan 25, 2006
5,804
The Occupied South
I had a few Turkeys this year but I didnt kill one, mostly for the simple reason.i don't much like to Eat Turkey. Numbers have decreased over the course of the Winter, and I do hit the Predators pretty hard but still the numbers drop.
No one has hunted them, I'm pretty sure as I only have one neighbor kid that is half way interested. And I told him I did not see Any on my land when he asked.
Tame turkeys are hard to raise, so the Wild ones may be getting some disease also.
Mom Turkey is a very poor Mom anyway.
 

WaterDog88

12 pointer
Jul 28, 2008
2,011
Kentucky
Does anyone have the license sales compared to birds harvested? Im prolly late to the conversation and im sure this has already been covered somewhere. But I got a feeling the number of hunters in the woods is alot more now then 10 years ago too. I know since covid in my area I see way more hunting then i use too it seems. Eitherway the numbers are awfull in atleast alot of areas in the state. I didnt kill one this year and wont next year. Unless a miracle happens and since its only been getting worse over the last 5 yrs I dont expect it. Kids only. An they will be on 1 bird limit. Its harcd when joe bob on all 4 sides is killing what few we got but I cant control them. Only me....
I’d like to know that too. I can look back on telecheck and see that starting in about 2001 or 2002 harvest numbers started to increase by quite a bit. If I recall correctly that’s about when all day hunting and weekend openers started?? Wonder what the license to kill trend has been?
 

1badDart

6 pointer
Oct 30, 2012
214
W. KY
What turkeys we have are in scattered pockets. The places I used to kill turkeys have none, not even any sign there for years. One of the farms I hunt had two gobblers taken this year, there was another one there, but I didn't hunt him. I'd watched him enough I think I could've killed him, but I just left him alone. That same farm does have a bunch of jakes this year, so I'm hoping they'll disperse to the surrounding farms.

Turkey tag soup this year. LOL
 
Conservative estimates place wild turkey numbers at around 10 million birds when European settlers arrived. I’m gonna take a stab at it and guess that the varmint population was at an all time high as well. So, if both existed in great numbers then, what is the difference now? Habitat loss? I’d think that would affect the varmints too?
 

shaman

10 pointer
Before we all go wringing our hands, let me just throw some ideas out.

First off, let me throw out that I missed most of the first week. I had a diagnosis of cancer and got thrown into chemo mid-season. However, I did hunt the Opener. If I remember correctly, Opening Week was a somewhat brutish affair with rain and cold and wind. I managed to get back out on Friday and nailed a nice gob. Since then, there were rainy weekends. I was dealing with chemo, but I do remember thinking I'd rather be in a nice warm recliner with an IV in me than some of the weather I experienced transiting to the hospital.

I'm also wondering if we didn't have a higher than average number of weather-related wimp-outs this year, with guys staying on the couch.

From my vantage in SW Bracken, I can say the turkey numbers themselves seemed to be in line with what I'd expect. However, when it came down to it, we had only a few days and a few gobs where somebody brave wanted to hop down off the roost and walk in front of gun barrel. Most of our exploits involved early lockjaw after flydown. The weekends before season were anything but that; the birds were calling themselves silly.

The last thing I can tell you is that the number of shots we heard over the course of the season was dramatically diminished. The Opener itself was rather dead in that regard.
 

Jack Ryan

Spike
Apr 6, 2007
62
SW Indiana
With lots more hunters and those long range snipers loads!
It's easy to see we have a problem, now what are they going to do about it?
Especially when they are probably killing 1 or 2 more that get away to feed the coyotes than they EVER check in. Shooting them all day and all night off the roost, over corn piles, and baiting them in for the coyotes and bob cats, running atvs through the nesting season all over the place.

Yep this is what "ya get when" you beg every one on the planet, we need more hunters, to just come and "hunt". They'll kill'em all soon, its been done before.
 

PUBLIC RAT

10 pointer
Feb 18, 2014
1,426
Good video on decline of turkey population. Narrated by Grant Woods. Sounds like there reason is lack of trappers,not enough land burns of ground clutter, plus lots of other minor reasons.
 

EasyE

Spike
Nov 5, 2020
94
Breckinridge Co
Need to open up furbearer season longer , make bob cat season open all year like coyotes, and need to go down to 1 bird per person. I’m glad fish and wildlife are at least closing fall hunting and going to 1 bird per wma. It will help but not fast enough IMO.
Sorry but I disagree with lowering the limits. Males are needed for breeding by the time season comes in the hens don’t really need them anymore. They have enough semen for a clutch of eggs. Now not allowing any harvesting of hens would help, but honestly until sportsmen remove nest raiders and improve habitat not much will change.
 

EasyE

Spike
Nov 5, 2020
94
Breckinridge Co
I talked to my Aunt a few weeks ago, she was complaining about how much she pays someone to mow for her. She’s trying to keep it the way her late husband kept it. She said no one use to mow around their barns, and fence rows. I kinda chuckled to myself and thought yeah it’s really changed a lot over the years. Everyone wants this manicured farm that a lot of people thinks looks good. Most of my family can’t stand my farm because it’s grown up thick and nasty.
 

rockhousehunter

12 pointer
Oct 18, 2013
2,060
West Liberty, Ky
Then why in the hell aren‘t you turning them in? Turning your back is only slightly better than being the poacher. One phone call and you could stop it.
I'll jump in here, one phone call doesn't do anything in most of the state. In fact, I've called twice, talked to different wardens and even sent them proof with pictures of things that went on during deer season and they didn't do shit about it. Of course I'm not talking about them all but I'm just giving my personal experience.
 

mudhole crossing

12 pointer
Aug 20, 2007
8,176
East ky
Unfortunately we can’t have enough COs to do what needs to be done. They rely heavily on hunter info and leads. Can’t speak for the rest of the counties but I have had great response from my COs. I wish we could have 5 per county but that’s just not feasible. I encourage everybody to get to know their officers and the best way to contact them.
 


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