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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.
Sounds like you inherited some bad mojo!
It happens. Ten years taking both birds is a pretty good run. I bet it turns for ya next year.
 

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I did partly. I haven't even bought a tag the last two springs. I hunt public land for the big birds for the most part. The population is a little thin where I hunt, and you need some fairly tempered legs to go after them there. 400+ foot elevation range ain't for sissies. The bigger part of it this spring is that my mother has been in failing health and she has occupied part of every weekend for the last 3 months.
 

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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.
This explains why we haven't been hunting them. We live out there with them.(where they should be) We run 10 cameras. I am guessing 30,000 pics we look through in a years time, maybe double that. When you get one pic of a hen with two poults... once.... and you see no tracks...and your family bowhunts/rifle hunts a good 300-500 evening combined and you hear no turkeys fly up to roost or see none all fall it's not bad luck hunting. It's "they aint out there."

Now I have seen more in the last 5 months than I have seen in the 3-5 previous years combined. What is concerning is that almost all sightings have been gobblers.
 

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I know there was 7 Toms left around the Spot I hunt after tagging two. 3 of them were Juveniles. Should be plenty left to Seed if hens werent already.
 

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I did partly. I haven't even bought a tag the last two springs. I hunt public land for the big birds for the most part. The population is a little thin where I hunt, and you need some fairly tempered legs to go after them there. 400+ foot elevation range ain't for sissies. The bigger part of it this spring is that my mother has been in failing health and she has occupied part of every weekend for the last 3 months.
Prayers for your mom!!
 

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For sure @421sd prayers for your family, thats tough.
 
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Prayers for your mom!!
For sure @421sd prayers for your family, thats tough.
Appreciate that fellas. If you want to include in your prayers my cousin who was nearly killed in a 4-wheeler accident last week, he and his family need them really bad right now.
 

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Done.. when it rains it pours. Went to a visitation for a 21 year old that was killed in a motorcycle accident... someone pulled in front of him and he had to lay it down, went under. Bad deal..
 

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Filled my two tags this year with the only 2 mature birds on my place.....but before you think I made a mistake, 3 months ago I had 0. Mowing, clearing and planting plots pulled those 2 plus 8 jakes and 14 hens from the neighbors.....I expect next year to have at least 2 to kill and so on and so on......I`ve filled my tags for 34 straight years by doing the same thing.....sweat equity. I run 40 plus cameras and spent many mornings before season at daylight sitting at different spots on the farm watching and listening.....there were days when you wouldn`t think there was a bird on the place and there were days when they gobbled till they were hoarse......barometer is key IMO......is the population down, I say yes.....the neighbors hunt the surrounding farm (1000 acres of prime habitat) and killed one.....so, no, I did not lay off.....I do believe getting rid of fall season would help, but I also don`t think an all day season will hurt.......again IMO.
 

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Filled my two tags this year with the only 2 mature birds on my place.....but before you think I made a mistake, 3 months ago I had 0. Mowing, clearing and planting plots pulled those 2 plus 8 jakes and 14 hens from the neighbors.....I expect next year to have at least 2 to kill and so on and so on......I`ve filled my tags for 34 straight years by doing the same thing.....sweat equity. I run 40 plus cameras and spent many mornings before season at daylight sitting at different spots on the farm watching and listening.....there were days when you wouldn`t think there was a bird on the place and there were days when they gobbled till they were hoarse......barometer is key IMO......is the population down, I say yes.....the neighbors hunt the surrounding farm (1000 acres of prime habitat) and killed one.....so, no, I did not lay off.....I do believe getting rid of fall season would help, but I also don`t think an all day season will hurt.......again IMO.
14 hens! That is awesome. Two is the biggest flock of hens I have seen in a long time. If I had seen 14 hens I wouldn’t have even replied to this thread, and I would have went hunting with my boys. :D
 

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Sounds like you inherited some bad mojo!
It happens. Ten years taking both birds is a pretty good run. I bet it turns for ya next year.
It happened to a buddy of mine last year who is a better turkey hunter than me. I think he was up to 17 years in a row of getting a spring bird and he struck out.
 

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.I do believe getting rid of fall season would help, but I also don`t think an all day season will hurt.......again IMO.
Honestly, removing hens from legal list of birds to kill is all that's really necessary in the fall IMHO. I don't shoot at hens anyway, but people do, and like has been stated, dead hens lay no eggs.... It's a minor adjustment at most either way.

My personal observation, habitat really has not changed in my area. Pretty much the same it was 20 years ago.
Turkey numbers are still good around me, but not great like they were when I bought the place. I'd say they are about 50% of what it was back then around me. This is based on bowhunting observations in the fall, and listening to the # of gobblers in the spring as we all know I rarely kill one. :D There are also fewer people hunting by me as there was in the past. I assume that's because there just aren't as many birds.....
 
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Honestly, removing hens from legal list of birds to kill is all that's really necessary in the fall IMHO. I don't shoot at hens anyway, but people do, and like has been stated, dead hens lay no eggs.... It's a minor adjustment at most either way.

My personal observation, habitat really has not changed in my area. Pretty much the same it was 20 years ago.
Turkey numbers are still good around me, but not great like they were when I bought the place. I'd say they are about 50% of what it was back then around me. This is based on bowhunting observations in the fall, and listening to the # of gobblers in the spring as we all know I rarely kill one. :D There are also fewer people hunting by me as there was in the past. I assume that's because there just aren't as many birds.....
So its 20 years older, but it hasnt changed?
 

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This explains why we haven't been hunting them. We live out there with them.(where they should be) We run 10 cameras. I am guessing 30,000 pics we look through in a years time, maybe double that. When you get one pic of a hen with two poults... once.... and you see no tracks...and your family bowhunts/rifle hunts a good 300-500 evening combined and you hear no turkeys fly up to roost or see none all fall it's not bad luck hunting. It's "they aint out there."

Now I have seen more in the last 5 months than I have seen in the 3-5 previous years combined. What is concerning is that almost all sightings have been gobblers.
They are out there. I never get gobbler pics it seems, barely get turkey pics, but they are there in the spring. I saw 5-6 hens daily while hunting
 

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as Wings said......I hear much more gobbling both on roost and after flydown when the barometer is rising near 30
Noted. Never really thought about barometer with turkeys. I have many many times wondered why they talk one morning and not the next, en masse. Puzzling.
 
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