Pocono Birds Were are they - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Pocono Birds Were are they

Been hunting game lands in Poconos for last 15 yrs. The past three years are getting worse and worse for birds. I used to hear at least 15 to 20 different birds through out various game lands. This year so far had only heard one bird.

Been scouting since two weeks before youth day to try and find birds for the kids with no luck. Put on 8 miles first day with no sign or gobbles in a location that used to hear multiple birds.

Day two went to different location put on 6 miles with same results. no sign and no gobbling.

Talked to a hunter today at third location and he is seeing same thing with very little sign and no gobbling.

Is anyone else seeing the same results in the Poconos?
I heard west nile virus hit them hard along with the wet springs last yr?
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 10:43 AM
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Yep but there still are birds to be had, just not big flocks like several years ago.
I think its a combination of things, the wet spring of this and last season, and the winds. This season we don't have pools of standing water but lakes. I have noticed a increase in raccoons and fox and birds of prey. I also think the full days hunting in the second half of the month and the 2nd tag is catching up to us.

Was only the past 20 some odd years the numbers exploded, and opportunities to harvest them increased along with it.
If this current trend continues the PGC might have to get back into the turkey stocking program
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 11:30 AM
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I am experiencing the same as you in WMU 3D. Hunted Saturday, Monday and Tuesday without hearing a single gobbler. I covered many miles each day on game lands and hunted top and bottom of mountain. I did come across two hens on Monday. I saw some signs of scratch areas but was very clear it was from last Fall/Winter. One other car in the parking lot on Saturday, none Monday and Tuesday. Debating whether or not to try again this coming weekend same area or drive to a new location I've never hunted before. This seems to be the norm over past 5-6 years in the area I hunt.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:52 PM
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I have seen and heard the same thing, Friends hunt in the 3D area and 3 days and not a peep. Also in SE PA, where there are normally atleast a flock, it is also silence. Talking to land owner they said they are arriving late this year.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 05:37 PM
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Our birds also tend to stay quiet!
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 07:00 PM
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3C same thing birds are quite and I haven't seen a bird. A friend that hunts an old farm had a nice gobbler hang up about 75 yards out but same thing the bird started to come across a field hung up and never made a sound.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 07:36 AM
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Friends, I don't know the cause, but birds here in Eastern Pa, and particularly NE are on a sharp downward trend. I spent a lot of time the last couple decades in the Poconos and my local "Blue Mountain" and some places have all but dried up with turkeys. You always think, well, they probably haven't broke up yet...… they're not there to break up. I hope the PGC and the NWTF doesn't drag their feet on finding what's happening before they're nearly all gone, like the grouse. I know they're doing a "study" on west Nile, but I'm hoping for a solution.


It's also funny to note that how often I heard "wet spring last year" as a cause of vey few birds this year. I just got back from hunting Ohio and NY and they had the same "wet spring" that we had last year and I saw a phenomenal amount of jakes in both states.

GOBBLE THIS!!!
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 08:03 AM
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Birds where I hunt are lower in numbers, but I am also seeing more eagles. I believe a turkey in the open fields is an easy target for an eagle. The few turkey that are around my area seem to be avoiding the open fields. At one time a turkey that was out in the middle of an open field was safe from most ground predators, because the turkey could see a predator coming, now with eagles this will not be a safe place. Another thing I noticed is more killed by owls, while the turkeys are roosting. Two years ago we found 5 birds in two different roosting areas, that owls killed, these were adult birds in the winter. Then you have the increase in coyotes, they come running to a turkey call for a reason. And then there are now fishers. When you increase predator numbers, they increase their impact on prey. As for west nile, it also kills hawks, owls, crows , bluejays, and eagles, and all these predators seem do be holding steady or increasing in numbers. It seems odd that if west nile kills so many different species, why is it that the prey birds, like grouse, quail, pheasant, woodcock and turkey are dropping in numbers, and predator birds seem unimpacted. Could be all the predators are having an impact, they have to be eating something.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpottorff View Post
. As for west nile, it also kills hawks, owls, crows , bluejays, and eagles, and all these predators seem do be holding steady or increasing in numbers. It seems odd that if west nile kills so many different species, why is it that the prey birds, like grouse, quail, pheasant, woodcock and turkey are dropping in numbers, and predator birds seem unimpacted.

I've wondered that very same thing. Good point.

GOBBLE THIS!!!
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpottorff View Post
Birds where I hunt are lower in numbers, but I am also seeing more eagles. I believe a turkey in the open fields is an easy target for an eagle. The few turkey that are around my area seem to be avoiding the open fields. At one time a turkey that was out in the middle of an open field was safe from most ground predators, because the turkey could see a predator coming, now with eagles this will not be a safe place.

You're spot on with your observation about eagles. I've already been round and round with some on here about them so no need to rehash it, but if you live in eagle country and see them on a daily basis most would probably have a much different opinion about them. I've personally seen them attack fawns and turkeys. It baffles me why so many predators are state and federally protected when at one time in the not so distant past they had bounties on them. Its created nothing but an unnatural balance.
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