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Thread: SCDNR turkey hunting survey

  1. #1
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    Default SCDNR turkey hunting survey

    Just got an email saying they’re sending out a survey tomorrow. I imagine to do with all the issues we’ve been pushing recently and hunter satisfaction. Based on the recent wild turkey science podcast with the Tennessee folks, I’m questioning the whole pushing season dates as they found no evidence with a very solid research project. They had one prior to that about lekking and found the whole “dominant bird being shot early” implausible that it would have an effect on hens being bred. It’s a conundrum!


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  2. #2
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    I received a paper one in the mail day before yesterday. It had basic days hunted, birds harvested, birds harvested within each 10 day window of the season, county(s) hunted and were turkey numbers in your area down, stable or increasing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXFowler View Post
    Just got an email saying they’re sending out a survey tomorrow. I imagine to do with all the issues we’ve been pushing recently and hunter satisfaction. Based on the recent wild turkey science podcast with the Tennessee folks, I’m questioning the whole pushing season dates as they found no evidence with a very solid research project. They had one prior to that about lekking and found the whole “dominant bird being shot early” implausible that it would have an effect on hens being bred. It’s a conundrum!


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    I told you what a big part of it is.... It's more birds being killed due to more people hunting. Look at the number explosion in non-residents that travel to hunt. That's not the whole cause but it's a big part of it. NWTF convention attendance continues to break records, social media, Pinhoti fan boys, etc. etc. From what I've seen in the last few years and just last week at the airport, the numbers have been steadily increasing. The bird is taking a hit and doesn't stand a chance if something doesn't change. Turkey hunting has turned into the old duck hunting...a fad that's cool at the moment. I wish they'd ban social media kill posts sometimes...

  4. #4
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    I had an interesting conversation with a well respected retired biologist at the SCDNR Waterfowl Advisory meeting about our turkey decline. Look up: LPDV, also known as Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus, is a disease that affects wild turkeys. It causes tumors to form in the internal organs of the bird, leading to symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, and disorientation.
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  5. #5
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    I'll fill out the survey and I'll continue to talk to and email my representative every time there's an opportunity but honestly I'm pretty damn discouraged after this last debacle with the season start dates.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FOWL MOUTH View Post
    I told you what a big part of it is.... It's more birds being killed due to more people hunting. Look at the number explosion in non-residents that travel to hunt. That's not the whole cause but it's a big part of it. NWTF convention attendance continues to break records, social media, Pinhoti fan boys, etc. etc. From what I've seen in the last few years and just last week at the airport, the numbers have been steadily increasing. The bird is taking a hit and doesn't stand a chance if something doesn't change. Turkey hunting has turned into the old duck hunting...a fad that's cool at the moment. I wish they'd ban social media kill posts sometimes...
    According to the podcast I referred to, they also said without a question predation was the leading decline. I seem to think people kill more, but have to remember there are things other than humans that can/will hunt and kill them 12 months/year.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXFowler View Post
    Just got an email saying they’re sending out a survey tomorrow. I imagine to do with all the issues we’ve been pushing recently and hunter satisfaction. Based on the recent wild turkey science podcast with the Tennessee folks, I’m questioning the whole pushing season dates as they found no evidence with a very solid research project. They had one prior to that about lekking and found the whole “dominant bird being shot early” implausible that it would have an effect on hens being bred. It’s a conundrum!


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    "The very solid research project" that you're referring to has not been peer reviewed yet, and from what I'm told it will be interesting to see in the end. So I wouldn't take that as gospel just yet. Yes it is indeed a conundrum though. We could talk it to death but it is most definitely a multitude of factors leading to a declining population. I support pushing the season and certainly don't think it could hurt. Mike Chamberlain's research on the dominant birds and breeding cycle is convincing and sound to me. Will it produce a significant, positive outcome in the end with our population?...We would just have to see.

  8. #8
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    Default SCDNR turkey hunting survey

    Dominant male turkeys play a huge part in the pecking order and breeding cycle, as efficient as we’ve become at killing and the tactics we have at our disposal we have made it MUCH easier than we had in the past which is a detriment to early breeding and nesting success. I feel the decline is a multifaceted issue, but there’s not a doubt in my mind we are more efficient at killing turkeys that normally wouldn’t be killed. I see it on social media daily and watch videos that show it as well.
    Last edited by ccleroy; 05-16-2024 at 03:49 PM.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccleroy View Post
    Dominant turkeys play a huge part in the pecking order and breeding cycle, as efficient as we’ve become at killing and the tactics we have at our disposal we have made it MUCH easier than we had in the past which is a detriment to early breeding and nesting success.
    No doubt in that, but to say a less dominant bird won’t breed her after the dominant Tom is killed has not been proven and the expert seemed to think it would not.


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  10. #10
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    Dead gobblers don’t breed hens. A later start date certainly won’t hurt.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXFowler View Post
    No doubt in that, but to say a less dominant bird won’t breed her after the dominant Tom is killed has not been proven and the expert seemed to think it would not.


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    Oh, they’ll breed, once the social dynamic and dominance has been restored. Hens pick specific gobblers to breed, there is a courtship process. Once the dominant turkey is removed it starts over, thus delaying the process of further breeding and nesting.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PharmHunter View Post
    "The very solid research project" that you're referring to has not been peer reviewed yet, and from what I'm told it will be interesting to see in the end. So I wouldn't take that as gospel just yet. Yes it is indeed a conundrum though. We could talk it to death but it is most definitely a multitude of factors leading to a declining population. I support pushing the season and certainly don't think it could hurt. Mike Chamberlain's research on the dominant birds and breeding cycle is convincing and sound to me. Will it produce a significant, positive outcome in the end with our population?...We would just have to see.
    Can’t disagree. I believe it is a little bit of everything as you said. And moving the season back will certainly not hurt, but it will take time to see if that pays dividends as or not. Tennessee proved otherwise, but they also only studied 4 years and most of that time they had great nest and poult success, if I am remembering correctly, so there’s that…


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccleroy View Post
    Oh, they’ll breed, once the social dynamic and dominance has been restored. Hens pick specific gobblers to breed, there is a courtship process. Once the dominant turkey is removed it starts over, thus delaying the process of further breeding and nesting.


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    I’ll agree with that point. But does it have such an impact that said he. Doesn’t choose another Tom before she is infertile, month + later? If she does breed later, what does that nest/poult success look like (would think it may increase with more vegetation growth but no biologist)


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coastal Woodie View Post
    Dead gobblers don’t breed hens. A later start date certainly won’t hurt.
    Definitely can’t hurt. If we kept you out of the woods, the population would definitely grow…I know that’s a fact!


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  15. #15
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    From DNA testing that’s been done most clutches of eggs represent multiple males. And let’s not forget that hens are capable of storing sperm
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  16. #16
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    One podcast said the nest survival rate was like 6-7%, but a burned forest had a nest survival rate in the mid 40’s. They found less predators for at least six months after the burn.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXFowler View Post
    Just got an email saying they’re sending out a survey tomorrow. I imagine to do with all the issues we’ve been pushing recently and hunter satisfaction. Based on the recent wild turkey science podcast with the Tennessee folks, I’m questioning the whole pushing season dates as they found no evidence with a very solid research project. They had one prior to that about lekking and found the whole “dominant bird being shot early” implausible that it would have an effect on hens being bred. It’s a conundrum!


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    I listened to the podcast. But have also read a lot of other data supporting the opposite about dominant birds and pushing the season. I think the TN study will be picked apart and discredited.

    If you don’t believe that taking a dominant bird out of a flock affects things, go find a flock of chickens with multiple roosters. There will always be a boss rooster or two. Kill him and watch what happens with the other roosters. Ever seen a non dominant rooster try to breed a hen with the dominant bird around?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwmetz View Post
    One podcast said the nest survival rate was like 6-7%, but a burned forest had a nest survival rate in the mid 40’s. They found less predators for at least six months after the burn.
    They’re working out the kinks with finding, but are soon planning to start a project to find out if predator control or habitat management would decrease predation numbers more. I think habitat management is the obvious answer.


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  19. #19
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    It’s all of these things.

    Large properties that trap, manage habitat and have reasonable take don’t have a turkey problem.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterjw View Post
    It’s all of these things.

    Large properties that trap, manage habitat and have reasonable take don’t have a turkey problem.
    I would imagine property’s that are burnt routinely only don’t have a problem, but again, none of these things are going to hurt.


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