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  • Turkeys


    I know It's early, but is anybody thinking about turkey hunting? Or maybe a better question would be, does anybody have any birds left to hunt? I see one here and there, but our population around home anyway, is at a low that I haven't seen since I started hunting them. Fields and woods that have held birds for years, are for the most part, empty. I can drive a 40 mile loop in good turkey country in the spring and I'm lucky to see one Tom with a hen or two.

    I still get out hoping to hear a gobble and or, call in a bird, but they're few and far between. I haven't shot a bird spring or fall, for three years now, hoping it will help, but I don't see any more birds for it. It's a depressing situation, for somebody that enjoys hunting them as much as I do.


  • #2
    Had a flock of about 30 right here at the house. The other night I watched one tom all by himself roost. Not another bird anywhere around. We have way to many coyotes but it seems nobody cares to eleminate them. They will end up history just like the grouse.

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    • #3
      We have too many coyotes, too. Also fisher and bobcats in the central part of the state, now. Then there's the disease, I can't think of what It's called right now, that's shown up all throughout the east. Are you in NY, Jason?

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      • #4
        I’m seeing more birds lately than I have in some time. They’re stacking up on food sources, mostly fields and around uncut corn.. We had a lot of rain this summer leaving the low spots too muddy to get on. Combine that with no mast crop to speak of and it’s brought the birds out of the woodwork so to speak.

        Will be a busy spring for me as both kids will be hunting this year starting with the youth season, my daughter’s first. The boys killed three so far so she gets priority.
        Last edited by fitch270; 01-11-2019, 04:15 PM. Reason: Reword

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SingleShot View Post
          We have too many coyotes, too. Also fisher and bobcats in the central part of the state, now. Then there's the disease, I can't think of what It's called right now, that's shown up all throughout the east. Are you in NY, Jason?
          No southwest ,pa

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          • #6
            Originally posted by fitch270 View Post
            I’m seeing more birds lately than I have in some time. They’re stacking up on food sources, mostly fields and around uncut corn.. We had a lot of rain this summer leaving the low spots too muddy to get on. Combine that with no mast crop to speak of and it’s brought the birds out of the woodwork so to speak.

            Will be a busy spring for me as both kids will be hunting this year starting with the youth season, my daughter’s first. The boys killed three so far so she gets priority.
            I'm glad to hear that you're seeing more birds, fitch. I hope things turn around here at some point, too. I'm looking forward to seeing some pics this spring. I love to see kids into the outdoors. Good luck to you all.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JasonT View Post

              No southwest ,pa
              Thanks Jason. I hunted turkeys in northern PA a few times, years ago. We still have some grouse here and I'm not sure if there's less now than there was years back, or I just don't walk as far as I used to hunting them.

              Good to hear that you're seeing some birds. Good luck with 'em.
              Last edited by SingleShot; 01-12-2019, 12:01 PM. Reason: Stupidity

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              • #8
                I lost my primary "turkey" spot, so now I'm on the prowl for another spot.
                Couple of mornings down at "Hop & Sack", the local farmers favorite watering hole will hopefully produce. LOL!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can relate.. I lost my favorite spot this past fall. No more walking out the door and hunting. It was my favorite deer hunting spot, too. It would have been 30 years this spring that I hunted it. Oh well, things change. I've noticed It's not usually for the better, though.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I meant to add that if It's the place you're trapping hogs, it wouldn't be hard to figure out where they roost.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SingleShot View Post
                      I can relate.. I lost my favorite spot this past fall. No more walking out the door and hunting. It was my favorite deer hunting spot, too. It would have been 30 years this spring that I hunted it. Oh well, things change. I've noticed It's not usually for the better, though.
                      Developed or simply new owners?

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                      • #12
                        No turkeys here (sigh!). I'm looking out the kitchen window at two feet of packed snow on the garage roof ... and winter isn't half over yet. Turkeys and quail are the two birds still on my bucket list (hint). Come to think of it I didn't see any turkeys in Montana this past fall. No surprise. Pheasant population was the worst I can remember. Only saw one covey of Huns in six weeks. A couple of places I hunt are always good for at least three coveys. Zip last year. It was weeks before I saw a sharptail. Eventually I did find a few more when deer hunting but I chose not to shoot any. Okay to hunt pheasants when their numbers are down because I can identify the males and one rooster can service dozens of hens in the spring. Can't ID sex of Huns or sharpies so I passed on them. I presume the same terrible winter that wiped out the small game birds did a number on the turkeys as well. Some places there had sixteen foot drifts! More than a thousand power poles were knocked down between Shelby and Glasgow. Havre was without power for four days. Not good in the middle of the winter! My buddy had a pellet stove and gas range so he was better off than most. Consequently he also had a dozen extended family staying in their tiny house during the blackout. He saw a few turkeys in the Missouri Breaks when deer hunting. Very surprising. They must be a tough bird to survive in such rough country through a winter like that one!
                        Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 01-14-2019, 09:22 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Stick with it, SS. Our woods here in the stretch from Syracuse-Ithaca-Binghamton were hit pretty hard by the downturn a few years ago, but they've been coming back in fits and starts. Keep looking. In my area, the fields five or six miles away are typically filled with good-sized bunches every afternoon (according to the paper-delivery guy I know), while woods and fields nearby are pretty empty. They're coming back, but it's localized.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SingleShot View Post
                            We have too many coyotes, too. Also fisher and bobcats in the central part of the state, now. Then there's the disease, I can't think of what It's called right now, that's shown up all throughout the east. Are you in NY, Jason?
                            I know that right now DEC is studying West Nile virus in grouse and turkeys. With the annual grouse-hunting log, they actually sent out a full sample-collection kit for feathers and blood. Myself, I don't think the fishers are much to blame for the turkey downturn. No doubt they'd take the opportunity, but by and large, a big bird isn't their preferred prey. (Yeah, I've heard the guys who talk about one fisher going up a tree and plucking roosted hens one by one. Nonsense. One turkey on a roost gets the slightest bit disturbed and the whole bunch goes nuts. Fishers are efficient killers but even a turkey that takes a full load of shot in the head typically flaps around a good bit.)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
                              No turkeys here (sigh!). I'm looking out the kitchen window at two feet of packed snow on the garage roof ... and winter isn't half over yet. Turkeys and quail are the two birds still on my bucket list (hint). Come to think of it I didn't see any turkeys in Montana this past fall. No surprise. Pheasant population was the worst I can remember. Only saw one covey of Huns in six weeks. A couple of places I hunt are always good for at least three coveys. Zip last year. It was weeks before I saw a sharptail. Eventually I did find a few more when deer hunting but I chose not to shoot any. Okay to hunt pheasants when their numbers are down because I can identify the males and one rooster can service dozens of hens in the spring. Can't ID sex of Huns or sharpies so I passed on them. I presume the same terrible winter that wiped out the small game birds did a number on the turkeys as well. Some places there had sixteen foot drifts! More than a thousand power poles were knocked down between Shelby and Glasgow. Havre was without power for four days. Not good in the middle of the winter! My buddy had a pellet stove and gas range so he was better off than most. Consequently he also had a dozen extended family staying in their tiny house during the blackout. He saw a few turkeys in the Missouri Breaks when deer hunting. Very surprising. They must be a tough bird to survive in such rough country through a winter like that one!
                              Season runs May 1’st-31’st if you’re up for the trip. Only allowed to hunt until noon so I suggest you bring a fishing pole or two.
                              Won’t promise a bird but we can give it a try. Seriously.

                              Comment

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