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#7141288 - 04/14/18 10:22 PM Turkey numbers down
JMalin Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 883
Has anyone noticed a decline in the number of birds where they hunt? I had hens daily last year visiting multiple feeders on the ranch, jakes occasionally on camera, and a longbeard or two most days (hard for me to positively ID different individuals). This year, the amount of gobbling is down, trail camera photos are down, birds aren't hitting certain feeders that they did last year, and jakes are few and far between. 460 acres near Rocksprings. The birds never seem to roost on my place, but have always been close, 200 or so yards onto the neighboring ranch. Another roost existed across the highway near a windmill on a high fenced pasture, but I haven't heard them this year. Then again, I haven't been out there on an ideal, calm, cool morning that would have them gobbling from the trees. I harvested three toms in 2015, two in 2016, 3 in 2017, and three have been taken so far this year. I'm pretty sure that there isn't much spring hunting pressure around and that birds that do get killed are usually be deer hunters in the fall.

It's the strangest thing because I'm actually starting to see and hear quail for the first time in ten years.


Edited by JMalin (04/14/18 10:25 PM)

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#7141351 - 04/15/18 06:57 AM Re: Turkey numbers down [Re: JMalin]
Gamblinman Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 980
Loc: Yantis, TX
Nesting habitat, food, and water are the main ingredients in having good turkey numbers in the spring. If any of these change, so will the turkeys.

Turkey number do vary from year to year, and even change during the season. This year, we are blessed with lots of gobblers.
_________________________


" I don't hunt turkeys because I want to, I hunt turkeys because I have to."

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#7141399 - 04/15/18 08:26 AM Re: Turkey numbers down [Re: JMalin]
hawk Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 1047
Loc: San Angelo, TX
Plenty of hens and gobblers here this year. However, I haven't seen even one jake. That's unusual.


Edited by hawk (04/15/18 08:27 AM)

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#7141455 - 04/15/18 09:39 AM Re: Turkey numbers down [Re: Gamblinman]
JMalin Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 883
Originally Posted By: Gamblinman
Nesting habitat, food, and water are the main ingredients in having good turkey numbers in the spring. If any of these change, so will the turkeys.

Turkey number do vary from year to year, and even change during the season. This year, we are blessed with lots of gobblers.


Two adjacent pastures are overgrazed, but obviously have permanent water. Weíve got lots grass and shrubs/cover. Itís great in that you can set up almost anywhere and move in on gobbling birds because of all the lower persimmon/agarita growth, but certainly to the point where I believe it would be detrimental to birds. No coyotes or bobcats and for whatever reason, there always seems to be more hens than toms/jakes. Iíve got a water trough in camp that is supplied by a 500 gallon tank that stays full year round, and four other 270 gallon totes with troughs that we try to keep going year round and typically only go dry for a few days in the heat of July when we simply canít get out there more than once every two weeks. Pretty sure most of the surrounding hunters let their feeders run out after deer season as well. I just figured numbers at feeders would start picking up with how dry itís been out there lately. We were pretty green for the month of March with a good, heavy rain in late February, but nothing measurable since.

Iím almost reluctant to hunt the only gobbling bird Iíve been able to find since the three other toms were harvested. The biggest group of toms I saw preseason on camera was a group of five.


Edited by JMalin (04/15/18 09:45 AM)

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