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@Hooks The sahara transitioning took several hundred centuries. Most of the folks I hear talking about turkey numbers being lower are talking about over the last 5-10 years. Habitat changes in that time no doubt, but enough to cut turkey numbers by 1-2/3rd? Ozark oak/hickory climax, glades, etc where farming doesnt encroach much hasnt changed much in a very long time on the Ozark plateau, an area that easterns are VERY well acclimated to. The birds are still there, nobody I know minds working harder... just curious how/what has happened.
I understand. It is very frustrating how turkey populations can fluctuate so wildly. I saw a devastating population decline on our home place in Louisiana after i graduated from College 30 years ago, and it has never rebounded and very likely never will.
 

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I understand. It is very frustrating how turkey populations can fluctuate so wildly. I saw a devastating population decline on our home place in Louisiana after i graduated from College 30 years ago, and it has never rebounded and very likely never will.
Turkey populations have always oscillated where we are. Ups and downs are to be expected for sure.
What we are seeing is a steady decline over the past 5-8 years without the "up" we used to see. Spring gobbling, sightings, AND declining winter flocks... winter flocks have always been a good indicator where we are. I'm sure some of it is habitat but I'm hesitant to blame it solely on habitat. Turkey abundance has ALWAYS been a combination of things... habitat, predator density, weather, etc. Some of those factors are more important than others but for someone to say one or two will make zero difference if adjusted just doesnt make sense to me and many others here.
I know lots of folks who are implementing a holistic strategy, focusing on improvements in all of those areas (not much we can do about weather) and an approach like that is far from a waste of time.
But then again, I have never been a "it wont help so not even worth trying" type person. I think folks learn from actual trial and error more than book learning in a lot of cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Turkey populations have always oscillated where we are. Ups and downs are to be expected for sure.
What we are seeing is a steady decline over the past 5-8 years without the "up" we used to see. Spring gobbling, sightings, AND declining winter flocks... winter flocks have always been a good indicator where we are. I'm sure some of it is habitat but I'm hesitant to blame it solely on habitat. Turkey abundance has ALWAYS been a combination of things... habitat, predator density, weather, etc. Some of those factors are more important than others but for someone to say one or two will make zero difference if adjusted just doesnt make sense to me and many others here.
I know lots of folks who are implementing a holistic strategy, focusing on improvements in all of those areas (not much we can do about weather) and an approach like that is far from a waste of time.
But then again, I have never been a "it wont help so not even worth trying" type person. I think folks learn from actual trial and error more than book learning in a lot of cases.
Please show the research on predator density impacting turkey population in quality habitat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Turkey populations have always oscillated where we are. Ups and downs are to be expected for sure.
What we are seeing is a steady decline over the past 5-8 years without the "up" we used to see. Spring gobbling, sightings, AND declining winter flocks... winter flocks have always been a good indicator where we are. I'm sure some of it is habitat but I'm hesitant to blame it solely on habitat. Turkey abundance has ALWAYS been a combination of things... habitat, predator density, weather, etc. Some of those factors are more important than others but for someone to say one or two will make zero difference if adjusted just doesnt make sense to me and many others here.
I know lots of folks who are implementing a holistic strategy, focusing on improvements in all of those areas (not much we can do about weather) and an approach like that is far from a waste of time.
But then again, I have never been a "it wont help so not even worth trying" type person. I think folks learn from actual trial and error more than book learning in a lot of cases.
Did you listen to the podcast?
 

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Missouri’s wild turkey population has plummeted in recent years, alarming hunters and scientists alike.
Now, with production of young turkeys at near-record lows, researchers at the University of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation are launching new studies to pinpoint possible reasons for the decline.
Missouri’s wild turkey was once a conservation success story, a species brought back from the edge of statewide extinction through decades of targeted habitat restoration and captive breeding, beginning in the 1950s.
Though it’s nearly impossible to count the exact number of turkeys statewide, MDC estimates the population peaked at about 600,000 birds in the early 2000s and has since shrunk by nearly half to about 350,000.
The number of young turkeys counted per mother hen, known as the poult-to-hen ratio, has also dwindled — from 4.6 at itshighest point in 1971 to 0.8 in 2016, thelowest ever recorded.
In other words, said MDC resource scientist Reina Tyl, each female is producing less than one baby turkey per year on average.
“They're not reproducing well enough to even replace themselves,” said Tyl, leader of the state’s wild turkey research program. “That’s the big concern.”
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Missouri’s wild turkey population has plummeted in recent years, alarming hunters and scientists alike.
Now, with production of young turkeys at near-record lows, researchers at the University of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation are launching new studies to pinpoint possible reasons for the decline.
Missouri’s wild turkey was once a conservation success story, a species brought back from the edge of statewide extinction through decades of targeted habitat restoration and captive breeding, beginning in the 1950s.
Though it’s nearly impossible to count the exact number of turkeys statewide, MDC estimates the population peaked at about 600,000 birds in the early 2000s and has since shrunk by nearly half to about 350,000.
The number of young turkeys counted per mother hen, known as the poult-to-hen ratio, has also dwindled — from 4.6 at itshighest point in 1971 to 0.8 in 2016, thelowest ever recorded.
In other words, said MDC resource scientist Reina Tyl, each female is producing less than one baby turkey per year on average.
“They're not reproducing well enough to even replace themselves,” said Tyl, leader of the state’s wild turkey research program. “That’s the big concern.”
After emailing Reina she was misquoted in that article. They are replacing themselves, just not in one year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Did you parents replace themselves? Was it necessary for them to do it with twins?
@Black Legend Gauge ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·

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No. That should read poults not hens. There would be @ 135 hens and 135 males
So, 100 hens over 3 years have 135 hens.

How many of those poults survive?

How many of those hens survive to actually have 3 years of offspring?

With the poult to hen ratio as bad as it is, per above source, % of poults that are hens, poult and adult survival rates, I cant fathom how turkey numbers can NOT be on the decline. Or am I missing something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
So, 100 hens over 3 years have 135 hens.

How many of those poults survive?

How many of those hens survive to actually have 3 years of offspring?

With the poult to hen ratio as bad as it is, per above source, % of poults that are hens, poult and adult survival rates, I cant fathom how turkey numbers can NOT be on the decline. Or am I missing something?
The source was misinterpreted.

PHRs are determined after most poult mortality has happened.

Most hens live 3 years at least.

Turkey numbers are declining, but its not due to nests getting raided.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
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