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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This info has been out since early January but it's the first I've seen it.
Highlights.
2022 Spring Turkey harvest up 27% from 2021
Hunter participation was up slightly
2nd license sales similar to last year
Turkey recruitment was up, WMU 2G was leading the State
Turkey Movement, leg bands and transmitters. One Jake traveled 25 miles
And much more.
 

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Recommend no Sundays if passed? What the ----? Make up whimsical bullcrap like that but they need 3 years to evaluate fall season results? I just don't get the turkey management of the past decade. It's mind boggling. Throwing spaghetti at the wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Of the 35,738 Spring birds harvested only 0.8% of the birds were bearded hens, that equals 285 bearded hens. Not that many hens statewide.
 

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I'm more concerned with where you're getting that the population was almost double. If you look on the PGC website at the population trend graph, the all time highest population estimate was 280,000 birds in around 2001. The next highest single year estimate was 260,000 in 2008. The long term average was 220,000 to 230,000 birds. The last year given was 2019 and the population estimate was 212,170. And since then we have had two pretty decent recruitment years. So how was the population almost double back then? If you double 212,170 you get 424,340 and the all time high of 280,000 birds is no where even close to that number.

No, 35,738 birds does not match the spring harvests of a years ago that exceeded 40,000 birds. I am not concerned. They couldn't be taken if they weren't there.
 

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I'm more concerned with where you're getting that the population was almost double.
Last population estimate I could find was 159,000 from 2021 with claims it was still declining, highest was 280,000 in 2001. Not quite double but 56% lower and we harvested a larger % of the overall population in the spring, about 15% in '01 to almost 23% in '22. I would think those numbers would trend together, instead the population dropped 56% and the harvest only dropped 13% from the peak to the valley. For reference most other states harvest about 10% of their population in the spring.
 

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This is just my thoughts, but I don't think the hunter harvest of spring birds has anything to do with a lower turkey population.
There has to be a percentage of population loss that is the tipping point between predation, harvests, disease, mortality, etc that recruitment can't sustain the losses. Harvests are really the only thing we can track and control who knows the real numbers of the others, but id guess they are more than we take. With hens averaging around 2 poults doesn't leave alot of extra birds to fill those gaps.
 

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she squawked : " Additional hen disturbance and accidental harvest during the early portion of the season have significant potential negative biological impacts."

WELL NO :poop:...but they still allow hens to be shot in spring!!!!!!!! SO IT ISN'T AN ACCIDENT, it is acceptable and YOU allow it....and those are ONLY the REPORTED ONES......hey MJ- how about you and your "staff" suggest the game commission to REMOVE that "bearded bird" clause from the comic book and make it MALE ONLY.
 

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There has to be a percentage of population loss that is the tipping point between predation, harvests, disease, mortality, etc that recruitment can't sustain the losses. Harvests are really the only thing we can track and control who knows the real numbers of the others, but id guess they are more than we take. With hens averaging around 2 poults doesn't leave alot of extra birds to fill those gaps.
My point is that to focus on hunter's take is a mistake. In my WMU we haven't had a FALL season for a long, long time.
We could stop ALL turkey hunting for good and our population still be going extinct. We need to quit focusing on hunting and find the real problem before it's too late.
 

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Since the WMUs vary so much in size, habitat types and values and also metropolitan influences I am always much more interested in seeing the harvest numbers in relationship to the number of square miles within the units. As far as the other values and variables everyone will need to draw their own conclusion about those factors.

Remember though that not just turkey numbers but also the variables of the habitats and hunting pressure will have some major influences on the gobbler harvests in some if not all of the WMU.

This is just for the 2022 gobbler harvests and arranging in descending order highest to lowest harvest per square mile. The statewide average per square mile is also included.

Ranking................WMU...............Harvest/square mile
...........Statewide average...................0.823
1.............................2E........................1.562
2.............................2A........................1.483
3.............................1A........................1.470
4.............................2D........................1.406
5.............................2B........................1.161
6.............................3C........................1.083
7.............................2C........................0.959
8.............................4E........................0.941
9.............................1B........................0.895
10...........................4A........................0.844
11...........................4B........................0.797
12...........................3B........................0.733
13...........................4C........................0.694
14...........................4D........................0.660
15...........................5A........................0.616
16...........................3A........................0.610
17...........................2F.........................0.574
18...........................2G........................0.554
19...........................2H........................0.470
20...........................3D........................0.425
21...........................5B........................0.351
22...........................5C........................0.268
23...........................5D........................0.089

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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Those rankings pretty much mirror everything I'm experiencing or hearing about. You do have to consider in the type of habitat and human population, but 3D is one WMU that I am particularly concerned about. It is extremely wooded and the heart of the Poconos and used to be thriving with turkeys not that long ago.

Huge difference between the top four WMUs and the bottom four WMUs.
 

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Recommend no Sundays if passed? What the ----? Make up whimsical bullcrap like that but they need 3 years to evaluate fall season results? I just don't get the turkey management of the past decade. It's mind boggling. Throwing spaghetti at the wall.
Ugh. . . . This is hard to defend. Statements like this are what causes consternation amongst hunters, and really works against the PGC as a whole.
I can almost buy the fall one, sure, under the guise of no regulatory changes. Sure maintain the continuity in an attempt to mitigate variable factors. It's quite a stretch but ok I can chew.
However, the spring season, no sundays to avoid additional disturbance of nesting hens. . . . . It would made more sense if the recommendation was no Sundays the second half as most hens are on the nest by then. . . One day of no hunters doesn't do anything for disturbance, turkeys are a prey species, and they're a ground nesting bird, we are in fact the least of they're worries. Show scientific data to support this theory.
I truly feel the PGC does alot of great work, but this kinda crap is what unravels all of the good they do.....
 

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My point is that to focus on hunter's take is a mistake. In my WMU we haven't had a FALL season for a long, long time.
We could stop ALL turkey hunting for good and our population still be going extinct. We need to quit focusing on hunting and find the real problem before it's too late.
100%, first with trapping dwindling, mammalian predators are experiencing a massive population boom. I'm seeing quite a few bobcats around me now, coyotes are everywhere and in big numbers, raccoons, opossums, and fox way up. Not to mention owls, raptors, and snakes. A large black rat snake will return to a nest until the eggs are gone. We can't do anything about the owls and raptors because of a unfettered love of non-game animals by non hunting types, not that the birds of prey don't have a place but they need to be managed like any other species. Plus the ferals, the darn feral cats near me are pretty bad and I once witnessed someone drop a box on the side of my road and drive off that had 9 kittens in it.
It's not enough to focus on hunter take.
 

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You do have to consider in the type of habitat and human population, but 3D is one WMU that I am particularly concerned about. It is extremely wooded and the heart of the Poconos and used to be thriving with turkeys not that long ago.
I agree. I hunt primarily in 3D and I don't care what anyone says, the numbers are way down.
 

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I also hunt mostly in 3D. Last year was bad. Not a single gobble the entire season. At that time, I was thinking more Gobbler to hen ratio. One area I hunt has been very good to me over the years. 2021 was a good year, not sure if the population would drop so suddenly.
 
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