Where are all the birds in the Pocono Mountains - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Question Where are all the birds in the Pocono Mountains

Over the past 5 years the bird population has been decreasing and decreasing. Last yr I put in a lot of hours hunting and scouting moving to new locations. I only heard 3 birds before season and only 2 during the season. The sign was no were to be found.

Over the last week with all of the restrictions going on I have been out scouting for sign on game lands. I have been on 4 different game lands in Monroe County spending multiple hours walking new and old areas and no bird sign any where. I know the birds are gobbling in the morning in Luzern county but have not heard a bird in Monroe county yet. This is not a good sign.

I also talked to guys who hunt near Francis Walter dam and they are in the same situation of not hearing any birds or sign for the past two yrs.

I think the Game commission needs to do something like no second tag or even cancel the seasons in this area. 5 to 6 yrs ago I could hear 12 to 20 birds in a 8 mile drive now nothing.

Anybody else seeing this same thing in Monroe county on the mountain.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 02:40 PM
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They were looking at west nile, but I believe that they did not find that to be the problem. Probably just simply the increases in predators, more raptors, coyotes, fisher, and bobcat. The more predators you have the more they eat. Start in the spring with nest raiders that get eggs, then the poults are hunted hard by those small hawks that raid bird feeders, as well as fox and coyotes getting the small poults. Then if they are lucky enough to get to a size where they roost in the trees the owls start on them, and continue to kill even adult birds, at least hens. As for poults the most I have ever heard of being killed by an owl in one night was three poults about the size of pheasants, two with just the heads removed and a third that was eaten on a little bit. I had a few hens nest at my house, and most young, that hatch, never make it past the sharp shin hawks and cooper hawks to get eaten by anything else. But they are surrounded by electric fence.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 03:44 PM
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Cold wet springs are brood killers.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Kudu338 View Post
Over the past 5 years the bird population has been decreasing and decreasing. Last yr I put in a lot of hours hunting and scouting moving to new locations. I only heard 3 birds before season and only 2 during the season. The sign was no were to be found.

Over the last week with all of the restrictions going on I have been out scouting for sign on game lands. I have been on 4 different game lands in Monroe County spending multiple hours walking new and old areas and no bird sign any where. I know the birds are gobbling in the morning in Luzern county but have not heard a bird in Monroe county yet. This is not a good sign.

I also talked to guys who hunt near Francis Walter dam and they are in the same situation of not hearing any birds or sign for the past two yrs.

I think the Game commission needs to do something like no second tag or even cancel the seasons in this area. 5 to 6 yrs ago I could hear 12 to 20 birds in a 8 mile drive now nothing.

Anybody else seeing this same thing in Monroe county on the mountain.
Yep, seeing the same thing in Monroe and Pike. So much so, that I don't hunt there anymore. I have two good turkey killing friends, one hunts the Carbon/Monroe area and the other hunts Pike. Both hunted nearly every day of the season last year and hardly heard or seen a bird and very, very little sign.

Something is up and I'm not convinced it's hunters doing much damage to the population.

GOBBLE THIS!!!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 04:32 PM
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I am just east of you across the Delaware. Numbers are definitely down here also. The large winter flocks started breaking up over the last couple of weeks and birds should start dispersing and arriving in new areas soon. Hopefully some move in by you.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 05:03 PM
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We are experiencing the same decline trends in this part of the state as well.

Most likely the reason for the decline is from the result of the many consecutive years of wet spring and early summer weather. With the extremely wet weather the hens will frequently lose the majority of their poults from hypothermia.

If that happens one year hunters might notice a slight decline for a year or two but the population quickly recovers. But, we have had about five or six years of back to back wet spring conditions. That results in a compounding decline effect. Simply put the turkeys that should have been nesting a producing the young turkeys the past few years didn't exist because they died of hypothermia within weeks of being hatched.

To recover from a compounding decline we need to have some back to back good reproduction years to get that compounding effect going in our favor.

Dick Bodenhorn
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 06:43 PM
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The population is decent in my part of Pike County.

The gobblers have been real active the last 5 days.

Had 2 of them this morning having a gobbling contest right by the house.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 06:50 PM
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I just took this video 5 minutes ago. 4 miles due east of Del Water Gap.

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Last edited by 35 whelen; 03-23-2020 at 08:31 PM.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Most likely the reason for the decline is from the result of the many consecutive years of wet spring and early summer weather. With the extremely wet weather the hens will frequently lose the majority of their poults from hypothermia.

If that happens one year hunters might notice a slight decline for a year or two but the population quickly recovers. But, we have had about five or six years of back to back wet spring conditions. That results in a compounding decline effect. Simply put the turkeys that should have been nesting a producing the young turkeys the past few years didn't exist because they died of hypothermia within weeks of being hatched.

To recover from a compounding decline we need to have some back to back good reproduction years to get that compounding effect going in our favor.
Interesting, when I mention the same thing about the grouse populations, it gets dismissed as we have to follow the narrative of WNV being promoted by LW and the game commission. I have never heard bad spring weather mentioned for the decline of the state bird.
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Plenty of scouting and good habitat makes for a great hunt.

Jeff
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 09:35 PM
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Interesting, when I mention the same thing about the grouse populations, it gets dismissed as we have to follow the narrative of WNV being promoted by LW and the game commission. I have never heard bad spring weather mentioned for the decline of the state bird.
I don't think anyone dismissed the effect of the weather on current grouse populations.

There is no doubt that the same wet springs that have undoubtedly effected turkeys have also effected the grouse populations. But, there is also not question, because it has been scientifically proven, that west nile is also effecting grouse populations. That is probably why grouse populations are in even worse decline than turkey numbers.

But, at this point I wouldn't entirely rule out west nile effecting turkey populations either. So far there is no scientific evidence of it but I don't think we can completely dismiss the possibility just yet either.

There is no doubt though that both grouse and turkey would benefit from a few years with good spring weather conditions. Hopefully we get to see that happening. If it does then perhaps we can better evaluate the difference between poor environmental conditions verse west nile effects.

It simple doesn't have to be one effect or another, it really can be the results of several different effects.

Dick Bodenhorn
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