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I still believe 88 to around 97 or 98 were the best years ever.
 
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Turkey Harvest & Year MDC Biologist Turkey Population

41,458 - 2020 350,000 to 400,000

48,374 - 2016 300,000 to 350,000

60,744 - 2004 600,000 to 800,000

55,302 - 2001 500,000 to 600,000

37,472 - 1995 370,000

35,618 - 1989 350,000 to 400,000

??,??? - 1979 200,000
 

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I can't remember what the % of spring harvest estimate of the population - I thought I read somewhere upto 17% Vangilder I think.
 

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When did you start hunting(I think you were a little later?)? My first bird was in 1998. Up until 2004 when I left for college, its crazy to think about how many birds I could hear from one location back then. Seemed to change around 2009/2010.
 

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I can't remember what the % of spring harvest estimate of the population - I thought I read somewhere upto 17% Vangilder I think.
If you notice the change over in the estimate , it used to be 15% average. Then recently they changed it to 11% average. If you applied to old formula to 2020 you get around 250 000 to 300,000.
 

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If you notice the change over in the estimate , it used to be 15% average. Then recently they changed it to 11% average. If you applied to old formula to 2020 you get around 250 000 to 300,000.
Thats because we kill smaller percentage of our birds over time. Hunter selectivity causes less harvest from more birds. You cant apply 2021 harvest patterns to 1970s hunters.
 

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When did you start hunting(I think you were a little later?)? My first bird was in 1998. Up until 2004 when I left for college, its crazy to think about how many birds I could hear from one location back then. Seemed to change around 2009/2010.
I know you asked Jeff, but my 1st year turkey hunting was 1998 as well! I was definitely late to joining the turkey party!
 

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When did you start hunting(I think you were a little later?)? My first bird was in 1998. Up until 2004 when I left for college, its crazy to think about how many birds I could hear from one location back then. Seemed to change around 2009/2010.
I killed my first solo spring turkey when I was 17, that would have been 2004. I got serious about it in college and it was tough. I can remember going with my dad when I was younger and not being able to decide which bird to go after because they were on every ridge.
 

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