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How is it possible to have so many people relaying very few turkeys this year when the population is “just fine”?
 

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Five birds were taken off my main hunting farm. Yesterday morning, in the thunder, there were at least seven birds gobbling. The farmer told me at Church this morning that there was a bird strutting within 10 yards of where we took a bird Saturday. Point is, no matter what your population is, if there are any hens around, the toms will be there. If you killed every single tom on a property, the next year, there will be more. They will fill in from neighboring properties. I have seen it and done it for a long time. I am not discounting some of you guys devastating population losses. I have experienced that on my own home place in Louisiana.
But, not shooting gobblers with the season structure Missouri has, is just not going to have an impact, IMO.
 

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We haven’t hunted them on our farm for about 7? years? Nothing out there to hunt. Very very very few sightings or tracks to be seen.
This year seems to maybe have had a few more birds but still not what I would call huntable population.
 

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I’ve had the best turkey hunting years of my life recently.
This year I hunted 2 days and tagged out.
I have seen plenty of birds on both properties in separate counties that I hunt. I’m hopeful the population continues its current level!
 
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How is it possible to have so many people relaying very few turkeys this year when the population is “just fine”?
Because they just don’t understand what they heard or didn’t hear in the woods or what they saw or didn’t see in the woods! They are just very uninformed;)
 

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I had one longbeard and two jakes running on my place since last fall and I killed the longbeard the first week of season. I saw the two jakes this past Saturday but I don't shoot jakes so they got a chance to grow up. I hunted several days each week on three different farms seeing (and hearing) only two other longbeards and three jakes and my cousin killed one of those longbeards. I would have shot a second bird if I could have found one but there isn't any around. Lowest number of birds I've ever seen in my part of the world.
 

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Because they just don’t understand what they heard or didn’t hear in the woods or what they saw or didn’t see in the woods! They are just very uninformed;)
I had some very quiet mornings on farms I know have birds on them. If was was new to these farms, I'd not have nearly the patience I do and even then it gets to be a bit of a grind on days when they are silent. I have 12-15 hens around currently, and I can only recall hearing 2-3 series of yelps all season other than the yappy one I struck up Saturday. The best gobbling I heard was in the snow on the second day of season and the late morning bird the last Saturday who only gobbled twice roosted and not another peep til about 11am & he gobbled his head off til I killed him.
I'm not discounting what is being said above, obviously if you don't have birds... thankfully I still have what appears to be stable to even growing numbers where I hunt.
 
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The boys shot a few in Iowa, and one in MN. We didn't hit it very hard, population is still coming back in MN. It is pretty solid in Western IA
 

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I had some very quiet mornings on farms I know have birds on them. If was was new to these farms, I'd not have nearly the patience I do and even then it gets to be a bit of a grind on days when they are silent. I have 12-15 hens around currently, and I can only recall hearing 2-3 series of yelps all season other than the yappy one I struck up Saturday. The best gobbling I heard was in the snow on the second day of season and the late morning bird the last Saturday who only gobbled twice roosted and not another peep til about 11am & he gobbled his head off til I killed him.
I'm not discounting what is being said above, obviously if you don't have birds... thankfully I still have what appears to be stable to even growing numbers where I hunt.
Absolutely spot on. Again, I am not discounting guys who legit have no birds (I have been there as well). But, you can't judge what is there by just hunting when the season opens. I start listening in March before pecking order is established. Once season opens, about the only way to duplicate that early gobbling is to kill the dominant bird in the area and it will start all over...probably the best way to insure a great season.
There were many mornings of hearing one or two birds this season and then, after killing five off the farm, there were still 7 (At least) that gobbled Saturday morning in the thunder.
You have to do your homework and know what is on the property. Like you said, if you know they are there, it will givevyou patience and patience is what kills turkeys.
 

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I did not " lay off" the birds. I used common sense and moved on when I felt I put enough pressure on a specific farm. Spreading the pressure out is more important than any other aspect of turkey hunting imo.
 

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Absolutely spot on. Again, I am not discounting guys who legit have no birds (I have been there as well). But, you can't judge what is there by just hunting when the season opens. I start listening in March before pecking order is established. Once season opens, about the only way to duplicate that early gobbling is to kill the dominant bird in the area and it will start all over...probably the best way to insure a great season.
There were many mornings of hearing one or two birds this season and then, after killing five off the farm, there were still 7 (At least) that gobbled Saturday morning in the thunder.
You have to do your homework and know what is on the property. Like you said, if you know they are there, it will givevyou patience and patience is what kills turkeys.
I hunted our farm enough to know that I only saw one or two hens each sit and not too long ago we would see easily double that.
I had 3 mornings where there were ZERO gobbles... like at all. I understand this happens, sometimes birds are vocal and sometimes not. But this also is very uncommon. I hunted a lot this year for me, and certainly enough to get a handle on whats going on population wise, and stayed til quitting time 8 out of 11 hunts. I was there... people attemtping to explain whats happening were not.
I only had 2 mornings where there were birds on the property that sounded like they might work. I got close on one of them, just ran out of property and I cannot hunt the neighbors. Its an average size farm for the area, 200 acres, 15% tilled, 35% pasture and the balance is typical oak/hickory climax you will find in the ozark plateau. Now, I'm not the best turkey hunter and I'll admit that readily but I remember seasons in the not too distant past where you could count on at least one gobbler and likely a couple roosting there. It is awesome roosting/brooding/rearing habitat and has ALWAYS held birds. Winter flocks last fall fell to about 1/3rd of what we normally see.

I'm not complaining and I'm also not really concerned. I'm just curious how things changed so drastically so quickly.
I've killed birds these past two years and previous years. I just hunt our farm anymore. I used to hunt another farm up north and they told me dont even bother. I'm not so crazy about it that I beat the pavement looking for birds to kill so that factors in. I just dont have the time to do it. I freely accept all of the above, no problem.

Bottom line... nobody can tell me that the population hasnt changed in the last 5 years. The last three years in a row were no fluke. We farm only 30 acres of about 220 and we have not encroached on habitat one bit in the last 15 years.
What I take issue with is people telling me (not you but a few others, even in this thread) that our habitat is crap without having ever seen it, or that the population is somehow my fault, OR that there are more birds there than I think there are. Some people here are unable to divorce themselves from a petty multi-year argument... an argument that they are so invested in that they cannot see any other point of view and refuse to accept first-hand accounts... or worse yet, call you a liar and demand proof.
Someone posting a chart from a computer in Kansas City doesnt change whats going on in Crawford county.
 

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Everybody besides me that I know fairly close seemed to have an easy season. I saw one hen all season and had two toms gobble right at the property border for about 10 minutes before they moved off to the neighbors. I heard plenty of birds gobbling the first week so I know there were birds around, but nothing was coming my way early or late for me to actually hunt. The weekend of youth season, dad said they saw 14 bearded birds (toms and plenty of jakes) on the main property I was hunting. They scattered all around the farm within the following week. It's the first time in a decade I didn't fill both tags much less kill at least one. I'm not sure I've ever had such bad luck with birds not coming to the properties I can hunt. Some years it's a late morning deal, but something would nearly always show up at some point.
 

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Everybody besides me that I know fairly close seemed to have an easy season. I saw one hen all season and had two toms gobble right at the property border for about 10 minutes before they moved off to the neighbors.
I could have just said this. lol
 

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Work kept me away from trying more than anytning else. Had a jake at 15yds Friday morning, passed on him cause there was a longbeard another 100 yds back that then decided to give me no love.... I have had what I believe to be the same three gobblers roaming my place since last fall, used to be there would be a lot more than that in my area. Had 3 different birds gobble within ear shot friday morning. Used to be, it was not unusual to hear 10 or more.
 
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