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Management of Turkey #3178468
07/28/20 07:46 PM
07/28/20 07:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,202
Texas
J
Jstocks Offline OP
8 point
Jstocks  Offline OP
8 point
J
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,202
Texas
I didn’t want to hijack the limit thread, but did want to make a response that is somewhat related.

I would like to establish a couple of points. The first being that I think we can all agree that the hatch success of our turkey populations have a lot going against them. Any successful management proposal would have to clearly take this into consideration.

The other point is that flexibility is not common among state governments.

That being established, I will proceed.

I will not debate scientific or experimental data. However, I want to let you fellas know about factual events that I participated in in various stages of development of the experiments themselves. These experiments took place in several different regions in a well known southern state that has a high population of those pursuing our beloved wild turkeys.

The first experiment was on a lease that had close to 5k acres. The land was broken up into several different tracks, and it all bordered a well known wma that sees a lot of pressure. This is probably one of the most pressured wma’s in the state it resides. The experiment was several of us fellas that turkey hunted that had the two things you need to help any wildlife situation: (1) time and (2) means to which improve the land. Pressure was tightly controlled on this property. Potential members were screened and anyone who was a prospective turkey hunter was usually discarded from joining the lease. The mature pines on this timberland were burned annually. Multiple stages of timber were generally within 1/3 mile or so from any direction, and the blocks of any stage timber were not large, but usually at least several hundred acres. All habitat was connected by stream, road, or both. Food plots consisted of winter mix, with several larger plots being solely in clover. Multiple chufa patches were planted every year. Supplemental feeding with wheat grain and milo was done every year in the chufa patches. Any hunter caught hunting on a chufa patch was to be immediately expelled from the club. If you saw a man’s truck at a gate, by no means were you to park next to him or near him. No rules were made on harvest, but state law was expected to be followed. We always adjusted hunting as a group to leave at least one gobbling turkey per flock on the club. Without exception, this club always had turkeys in a county that is not known for its turkey populations. I have stood on a hill in this club and heard as many as 13 turkeys in all directions, all of which were huntavle to some degree from the property. As time went on, it became too difficult to manage the burns. Control from hunter numbers and pressure could not be held as leadership of the lease changed hands, this causing pressure to increase. The chufa planters and supplemental feeders resigned their membership. It only took about 2 seasons for this club to resume normal (piss poor hunting) status as far as turkey population was concerned.

The other 2 clubs/leases that I have knowledge of their management practices that were very successful employed the same tactics as above, but with an additional emphasis on predator control. This predator control was unrelenting and more of mass control than strategic. The results were no less than outstanding, and the members of these leases had some highly coveted properties to hunt.

Given the fact that most of us do not have the luxury to control large acreages, we have to adjust our management practices to managing ourselves. I encourage each one of you to consciously think about why you love to hunt turkeys. Give some deeper consideration for tomorrow as you hunt. We are at a point in time now where our hunter numbers are high, and our turkey populations are declining. Many factors assist in the decline.

I will only say this to the limit debate:

As hunters we have a responsibility to do all that we can to avoid state interference. Be mindful of your kills. Be thoughtful of our game. There are places in the state of Alabama that could use a little break. You know if you are hunting one of those places. Sometimes we can manage ourself a little better to keep the state from having to manage us all. You can do this and still chase your limit by moving along to a different area in the state if you know your area’s population had a bad hatch two years ago or is suffering from hard times brought on by disease or some other reason. Overarching statewide or regional changes are much less effective than us hunters controlling the situation ourselves to preserve the resource we have been blessed with.

Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3178682
07/29/20 05:06 AM
07/29/20 05:06 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,934
Turkey Town(Jackson County)
sj22 Offline
12 point
sj22  Offline
12 point
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,934
Turkey Town(Jackson County)



Good stuff, I know I’m more mindful of how many I take off a place than when I first started and trying to do some predator control as well.


"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Luke 6:45
Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3178736
07/29/20 07:44 AM
07/29/20 07:44 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,677
AL
B
BD Offline
10 point
BD  Offline
10 point
B
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,677
AL
Good Post

Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3178750
07/29/20 07:57 AM
07/29/20 07:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 55
Thomasville, AL United States
TDog93 Offline
spike
TDog93  Offline
spike
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 55
Thomasville, AL United States
Nice post - think that is called stewardship or being the proper game manager - leave place better than you found it is what I try to do

Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3178866
07/29/20 09:49 AM
07/29/20 09:49 AM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,385
Spanish Fort
TurkeyJoe Offline
8 point
TurkeyJoe  Offline
8 point
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,385
Spanish Fort
Good post Jonathan. Everyone that hunts turkeys can and usually does do a multitude of things that can positively impact the population.


Micah 6:8
Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3179063
07/29/20 01:30 PM
07/29/20 01:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 187
Montgomery, AL
T
Treelimb Offline
3 point
Treelimb  Offline
3 point
T
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 187
Montgomery, AL
I agree with all that have stated: GREAT POST!!

Even as recently as late 90's to 2000's I can remember going on properties that had decent populations of birds and thinking we're set for the season.
But after 1-2 birds realizing they need to be left alone to breed and keep the flock numbers up. Move to another property or call for someone else on their property.
However, if it was a lease/club I was hearing those birds on, there was always that one hunter who felt like he needed to annihilate every bird that would gobble.

Seasoned/Aged hunters, as myself should look at being good stewards of the land first and setting that example for newbie or young hunters. Only then will we see a culture change.
Not to toot my horn, but that's the training I practiced with both my son and daughter when raising them. Son gets and practices it. Daughter, well she is OK with most game, but does...let's just say she's a stoned cold killer....LOL or a work in process. yeah WIP!!!

Again Great Post on Hunter Stewardship and benefits it can have on the turkeys we love to hunt.

Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3179131
07/29/20 02:54 PM
07/29/20 02:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 28,099
Clanton, AL
Out back Offline
Grumpy Old Man
Out back  Offline
Grumpy Old Man
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 28,099
Clanton, AL
It's there a cliff's note version?


My opinions and comments are my own. They do not reflect the position or political opinions of Aldeer or any of the Aldeer administration.
Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Out back] #3179138
07/29/20 03:06 PM
07/29/20 03:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 728
Lamar
F
Fishduck Offline
4 point
Fishduck  Offline
4 point
F
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 728
Lamar
Originally Posted by Out back
It's there a cliff's note version?


Don't kill all the boy turkeys and kill everything that eats turkeys.

Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Fishduck] #3179156
07/29/20 03:21 PM
07/29/20 03:21 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 28,099
Clanton, AL
Out back Offline
Grumpy Old Man
Out back  Offline
Grumpy Old Man
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 28,099
Clanton, AL
Originally Posted by Fishduck
Originally Posted by Out back
It's there a cliff's note version?


Don't kill all the boy turkeys and kill everything that eats turkeys.

There it is! That makes sense. 👍
By the way, does this make it okay to shoot my neighbors?


My opinions and comments are my own. They do not reflect the position or political opinions of Aldeer or any of the Aldeer administration.
Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Out back] #3179161
07/29/20 03:26 PM
07/29/20 03:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 728
Lamar
F
Fishduck Offline
4 point
Fishduck  Offline
4 point
F
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 728
Lamar
Originally Posted by Out back
Originally Posted by Fishduck
Originally Posted by Out back
It's there a cliff's note version?


Don't kill all the boy turkeys and kill everything that eats turkeys.

There it is! That makes sense. 👍
By the way, does this make it okay to shoot my neighbors?



Guess I should have seen that coming rofl.

Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Fishduck] #3179312
07/29/20 06:54 PM
07/29/20 06:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,267
Berry, AL
BigCountry062307 Offline
8 point
BigCountry062307  Offline
8 point
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,267
Berry, AL
Originally Posted by Fishduck
Originally Posted by Out back
Originally Posted by Fishduck
Originally Posted by Out back
It's there a cliff's note version?


Don't kill all the boy turkeys and kill everything that eats turkeys.

There it is! That makes sense. 👍
By the way, does this make it okay to shoot my neighbors?



Guess I should have seen that coming rofl.

rofl


No good decision was ever made from a swivel chair.

Gen. Patton

I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Jeremiah 17:10
Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3179357
07/29/20 07:33 PM
07/29/20 07:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 7,188
blount county alabama
jwalker77 Offline
Pumpkin
jwalker77  Offline
Pumpkin
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 7,188
blount county alabama
I agree with everything except not hunting over the chufa, but to each his own.

Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3181444
08/01/20 10:30 AM
08/01/20 10:30 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,927
Sylacauga, AL
poorcountrypreacher Offline
14 point
poorcountrypreacher  Offline
14 point
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,927
Sylacauga, AL


I will add a few things to consider in turkey management of properties the size most of us can hunt. Research has shown that a spring gobbler has a range of around 2500 acres on average. I have seen figures a little higher and lower, and don't know what the latest estimate is, but I think that's close. But one point to keep in mind is that no 2 gobblers have the exact same range. Another point is that the ranges of many gobblers will overlap. So even if you control 2500 acres, there probably won't be a single gobbler who stays exclusively on your land. That makes gobbler management very difficult for most of us.

I've seen people say that you have to really limit the harvest on smaller properties. Suppose you have an 80 acre tract you can hunt. Some would tell you without seeing it that you should only take one gobbler from it. But the thing is, the gobbler doesn't know or care that you only have 80 acres. He roams over his entire range without regard to property lines. And even though you only have 80 acres, there may be many gobblers whose range includes your 80. On good land, you might have 10 to 15 gobblers who will be on that 80 at some point during the season. When you consider all of this, it seems to me that setting harvest goals on the basis of the property size is somewhat futile.


All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.
Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3181445
08/01/20 10:39 AM
08/01/20 10:39 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 31,864
N. Bama
257wbymag Offline
Boo Boo Head
257wbymag  Offline
Boo Boo Head
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 31,864
N. Bama
He’s right you know. thumbup


Quietly killing turkeys where youre not!!!
My tank full of give a fraks been runnin on empty
I'm the paterfamilias
Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3181477
08/01/20 12:06 PM
08/01/20 12:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,145
LASW
turkey247 Offline
10 point
turkey247  Offline
10 point
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,145
LASW
When only the very wealthy upper class hunters finally control the majority of private land during turkey season - you can have that elusive turkey hunting utopia.

I kinda hope poor folks still get to hunt for me and my kids sake. With a five bird AL limit and some practical common sense management. Turkey are WAY more adaptable than most experts even believe. They have proven that time and again.

Re: Management of Turkey [Re: turkey247] #3181481
08/01/20 12:15 PM
08/01/20 12:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,927
Sylacauga, AL
poorcountrypreacher Offline
14 point
poorcountrypreacher  Offline
14 point
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,927
Sylacauga, AL
Originally Posted by turkey247
When only the very wealthy upper class hunters finally control the majority of private land during turkey season - you can have that elusive turkey hunting utopia.

I kinda hope poor folks still get to hunt for me and my kids sake. With a five bird AL limit and some practical common sense management. Turkey are WAY more adaptable than most experts even believe. They have proven that time and again.



Indeed, they are adaptable. I became convinced of that back in the 80s hunting the Coosa WMA. It was a zoo, with several hunters calling to almost every gobbling bird, and yet they survived and even thrived. I hate to see us losing so much WMA land too. But the best turkey land has always been private. Even back when the Creeks controlled most of the turkey hunting in what is now AL, they would scalp you for killing a turkey. wink


All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.
Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3181689
08/01/20 06:17 PM
08/01/20 06:17 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 55
Thomasville, AL United States
TDog93 Offline
spike
TDog93  Offline
spike
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 55
Thomasville, AL United States
Yea - really hate losing the WMAs - made it hard - Hunting has gotten so hard over the years - so many hunters and spots hard to get - WMAs sold - I don’t have lot of land or birds to hunt. I use to could hunt Kinterbish WMA and take multiple birds/year but that WMA got sold - unbelievable!! I had tagged out on that combined with dead lake WMA walk in before - Some guy purchased 11 acres to block the Dead lake WMA walk in entrance at Demop - it’s not convenient anymore anyway but unavailable by walk in - just hard to find good spots. I would hav thought WMAs never get sold but that is way wrong

Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Jstocks] #3181696
08/01/20 06:28 PM
08/01/20 06:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 28,099
Clanton, AL
Out back Offline
Grumpy Old Man
Out back  Offline
Grumpy Old Man
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 28,099
Clanton, AL
Take a kid golfing.... We need to promote more activities that keep people out of the woods. 👍


My opinions and comments are my own. They do not reflect the position or political opinions of Aldeer or any of the Aldeer administration.
Re: Management of Turkey [Re: TDog93] #3181772
08/01/20 08:10 PM
08/01/20 08:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,145
LASW
turkey247 Offline
10 point
turkey247  Offline
10 point
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,145
LASW
Originally Posted by TDog93
I would hav thought WMAs never get sold but that is way wrong


Kinterbish and Scotch were and still are privately owned. I don’t know details of KB getting out of the WMA system, but I do know what happened with Scotch.

Re: Management of Turkey [Re: Out back] #3182019
08/02/20 09:20 AM
08/02/20 09:20 AM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 7,188
blount county alabama
jwalker77 Offline
Pumpkin
jwalker77  Offline
Pumpkin
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 7,188
blount county alabama
Originally Posted by Out back
Take a kid golfing.... We need to promote more activities that keep people out of the woods. 👍

I approve this message


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