Population opinion after hunting

James Scott White

6 pointer
Oct 17, 2020
345
Rowan County
Numbers are way down in east-central KY. No doubt about it. I called a coyote in first morning out. Today is my 5th time out. I’ve seen 3 birds total this season. One was a hen and the other 2, I jumped while getting to a late morning spot. 10 years ago I’d passed on a small gobbler and several Jakes by now and likely tagged out. Not a gobble yet this morning. I think we gotta start killing predators and stop allowing hens to be shot in the fall.
 

EasyE

6 pointer
Nov 5, 2020
148
Breckinridge Co
I’m really close to a state wildlife biologist and I value his opinion. #1 killer is bad weather during the hatching period and until they have feathers. That period is about 3 weeks after hatching. Their odds of surviving go up a lot after that 3 week period, they can fly then and therefore roost. #2 nest raiders. Sure we have always had these animals but over the last several years there has been less interest in trapping and coon hunting. #3 good nesting cover. This has hurt the quail population too. Hens need thick cover to nest. I’m not ruling out disease but recent conversations with him,he hasn’t mentioned disease. Most people think as long as they have woods it’s good nesting habitat but that’s not always true. A good property needs to be diverse. Food water cover, and hope for some good weather. Might not hurt for us to knock down the coon,skunk,opossum,stray cat
stray dog,and coyote populations.
 

JR in KY

12 pointer
Jan 25, 2006
6,510
The Occupied South
I had Turkeys all winter cruising around the fields scratching the piles of cow crap. I have seen only 3 or 4 since the ice storm, but only one strutting.
I won't ever shoot a hen and only a Tom every few years. Two fellas hunted here and never fired a shot.
 

predator1

12 pointer
Dec 25, 2008
3,743
On top of a hill in Ky
Worst year I’ve had since I began Turkey hunting 28 years ago. Lowest amount of gobbling and sightings ever. It’s been on a decline the last 2-3 years. And I’m hunting about as prime of property as you could ask for. I used to hear 15-20 birds gobbling every morning, even late into the season. I never heard more than 3 all year on that farm. Idk if it’s all the wet springs we had ruining nest. Or predators. But the numbers have definitely declined.
 

Nock

12 pointer
Sep 9, 2012
10,308
Butler co
The days of 20 years ago sitting on the field edge watching 15-20 hens, 6-7 jakes, and 3-4 gobblers have been over for a while. Now, if I am lucky I see 3-4 hens, 1-2 jakes, and 1-2 gobblers. There was a time in the late 90s I watched 8 jakes take on 5 gobblers like a football game. The two groups would run at each other then run back and huddle up and then do it all again. That was the best day ever just sitting and watching that happen.
Long gone.
 

BucksnBeards3

6 pointer
Apr 9, 2014
445
edmonson county
Numbers are definitely down around my area. South central area.. I’ve got 150 acre farm to hunt and usually has birds in the fall not really much in spring for some reason but there’s usually some around the area not very far off but this year I’ve consistently heard one bird on my neighbor and that’s it. 3/4 mile down the road my buddy has a good farm for turkeys I’ve hunted it for 9-10 years straight and atleast been on birds every year. Used to it was nothing to hear 6-8 gobbling and have two decent sized groups on his place (and it’s small a total of 53 acres mostly cattle pasture though) over the years it’s lessened to one group of maybe two toms a jake or two and 6-8 hens which is still good hunting for my area. Out of those 9-10 years I’ve probably killed one bird off of it every year or could have, might of missed one or two. This year I’ve hunted it 5 times he’s been there 2 times and heard no birds on him or within 1/4 mile sounds like.. seen one hen total. Very odd for that place and I have permission to hunt a guys farm that backs up to drakes creek. 90 some acres mostly open maybe 25 acres of woods and some good roost trees it looks like. And seems like it’s be a great place been there twice this year and last year no birds seen or heard except one hen. Last year I did hear 3 gobbling close 7-8 days before season opening weekend wasn’t a bird to be found. Long post sorry but all in all last 5 years have been tough but this year takes the cake. Simply put my areas suck this year. People say ahh you gotta know how to hunt them. I say well you can’t kill what’s not there.
 

1badDart

6 pointer
Oct 30, 2012
229
W. KY
Two years ago I was hunting a large pasture field that was fescue and patches of sage grass. There were turkeys on top of one of the hills in the field. I watched a coyote sneak around a hill in and out of the sage grass to try to catch a turkey. He was unsuccessful as the turkeys flew up in some trees in the fence row when he made his charge. I watched the coyote search through the clumps of sage grass for 45 minutes before he made his way off. I think he had learned to look for nests after flushing turkeys, could be wrong but that's the only thing that made sense.

We have a bunch more crows than five years ago and I've wondered about them eating turkey eggs and young poults. I know they will raid bird nests and eat the eggs and young so it stands to reason they'd eat young turkeys too.
 

OLE RASPY

12 pointer
Sep 9, 2018
3,438
Barren county
Two years ago I was hunting a large pasture field that was fescue and patches of sage grass. There were turkeys on top of one of the hills in the field. I watched a coyote sneak around a hill in and out of the sage grass to try to catch a turkey. He was unsuccessful as the turkeys flew up in some trees in the fence row when he made his charge. I watched the coyote search through the clumps of sage grass for 45 minutes before he made his way off. I think he had learned to look for nests after flushing turkeys, could be wrong but that's the only thing that made sense.

We have a bunch more crows than five years ago and I've wondered about them eating turkey eggs and young poults. I know they will raid bird nests and eat the eggs and young so it stands to reason they'd eat young turkeys too.
Oh yea crows raid turkeys nest to. Killem all.
 


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