Why So Late?

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting General' started by oneshot 1, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. oneshot 1

    oneshot 1 Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    Why does the states around Missouri start before we do on Spring Turkey Season? Just seems the season should have started a week ago.


    :D The Big Grin likes it warm for Mouse Season.
  2. Chairman

    Chairman Senior Member

    Dec 2, 2002
    Henry County
    Supposedly, we schedule the season opener on the Monday closest to the 21st. And this year, well...it just so happens to work out this way...

    I agree ~ I feel like the season should already be open.

    But what do I know... :banghead:

  3. Roscoe Dog

    Roscoe Dog Active Member

    Apr 15, 2003
    Maryland Heights,Mo
    Ive had better luck when the season starts later. Most the hens have been had and the boys are still looking.
  4. riverbottomhunter

    riverbottomhunter Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Chariton Co.
    Sure seams late to me too. Also have you ever noticed that that missouri doesn't have any major hunting seasons during the main holidays (easter, thanksgiving & christmas). If they want us to better manage our deer herds I think gun season should run through thanksgiving weekend and there is no reason why turkey season can't run during easter weekend. Just my .02
  5. Woods

    Woods Cooyon, Back from NOLA

    MDC won't get $$ from me for Turkey season. Starts way to late for my tastes and on a Monday to boot.
  6. Longbow26

    Longbow26 New Member

    Feb 5, 2005
    Farmington, MO
    To me it seams logical to have it on the holidays since alot of ppl get off for thoe holidays already. I read soem where that mdc dint want to creat conflict wiht famillys having the terky season active threw easter. If that is true mdc neads to stick to animal control and not on spousel control worries. heck you cant hunt past 1 pm any eater dinner palnd will be later then that im shure time waise.
    My one friend goes hunting instead of staying home for his anaversery. I go hunting instead of selebrating my birhtday at home. It teh choise we make spouse and me.
  7. riverbottomhunter

    riverbottomhunter Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Chariton Co.
    Another feeling I have always got was that the mdc doesn't want to work on holidays.:peepwall:
  8. Rebel2

    Rebel2 Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2003
    Ozark, MO
    my 2 bits....

    I think its done so the higher ups get a fatter back pocket.. have thought this for years.. why??

    When the season starts later, it is sometimes harder for newbies into the sport of turkey hunting, as well as oldies alike, to bag as hended up tom. So, this results in a somewhat lower number of kills on a year to year basis. In the end, the turkey numbers grow, missouri touts off that we have 100 million turkeys, come and get em... and more and more people buy a tag... Right or wrong, thats my feeling about it..

  9. riverbottomhunter

    riverbottomhunter Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Chariton Co.
    Good point. Since Missouri has the largest turkey population, why is our season only 3 weeks and so late in the year? Correct me if I wrong but don't alot of states seasons last longer. Even up to a month long. Of course if the mdc was to extend it they would still start the last of april and just go to june when it would be impossible to shoot one.
  10. leaker19

    leaker19 New Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    Cooper County
    I agree about the holidays. In NY, firearms season falls during Thanksgiving. My fondest memories of Thanksgiving are of getting up early with my father and brothers and going hunting,
    coming in for breakfast, then back out and back in for dinner. Ah, those were the days! Here in MO . . . nothing. MDC is really missing the boat by not letting families and friends get together and hunt on the holidays. No offense, but there have probably been too many non-hunting, tree-hugging, bird watching, flower picking ladies from St. Louis and KC on the commission. We need five Teddy Roosevelt types (male or female) on there, then we would get somewhere. My .02.

  11. T- Bone

    T- Bone New Member

    Jun 18, 2003
    Wayne County Iowa
    Well we know they had the opprotunity to do it when they lenghten the season a few years ago they put it on the wrong end. I really think they want to get the hens bred early. Of course I can't wait for anything so starting early would be fine with me say the monday after youth season.
  12. coyotehunter

    coyotehunter PURE KILLER

    Jan 19, 2005
    hit right on in my opinion:bangin:
  13. Thayer

    Thayer New Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    Imperial, Mo
    Did they put the season in the turkey rutting period? Is this not a big time failure and how would you be able to predict the rut in turkeys?
  14. Whitemarsh

    Whitemarsh New Member

    Jan 1, 2006
    Greene Co.
    I received this in an email from Jim Lowe from MDC:

    JEFFERSON CITY-Last year Missouri's wild turkey flock had below-average nesting success for the third year in a row. Yet experts predict a harvest of more than 50,000 birds. How does the Show-Me State do it? Missouri's turkey biologist says timing is the key.

    Resource Scientist Jeff Beringer with the Missouri Department of Conservation predicts that Missouri's 2006 spring turkey harvest will not break the record of 56,882 set in 2004. He expects it to be closer to the 53,798 bagged during last year's three-week season. The actual harvest will-as always-depend heavily on weather, but previous year's reproduction also plays a role.

    Beringer says 2005 was not a banner year for turkey reproduction. He tracks turkey's nest success through a network of thousands of citizen cooperators. They record observations of hens with young turkeys, called poults, throughout the spring and summer. The more poults they see per hen, the better the reproduction.

    Over the past 10 years, the number of poults per hen has averaged about 2. The ratio dropped to 1.6 for 2003 and 2004. Last year it fell again, hitting 1.2 poults per hen.

    Beringer attributes last year's turkey reproduction fall-off to a week of wet, unseasonably cold weather during the incubation period. Poult-to-hen numbers rebounded during the summer. This led him to believe that hens that lost clutches during the spring had tried again, making up some lost ground.

    "Honestly, I thought they would do better than we ended up seeing," said Beringer, "but when we ran the numbers at the end of the season it was still pretty low."

    After three years of below-average reproduction, you might expect hunting to be poor. Beringer says this is far from true.

    "What you have to remember is that Missouri starts every year with a very large flock," he said. "We estimate a total statewide turkey population of 600,000 birds. About 60 percent are hens, and if each of those hens produces 1.2 poults, that's 432,000. We can have a poor hatch and still make a lot of birds."

    Another factor in Missouri's favor is the way the Show-Me State sets its turkey season. The opening day of the spring turkey season is the Monday nearest to April 21. The formula is intended to start the season at the point where nearly every hen has had an opportunity to mate with a gobbler and is sitting on a nest. This reduces the chances of hunters accidentally killing hens.

    Missouri's spring turkey season framework also keeps hunters out of the woods during the time when hens first become receptive to gobblers' amorous advances. Mature gobblers-those two years and older-are particularly vulnerable to hunters during this flurry of mating activity. Hunting them then would disrupt nesting activity and increase the number of mature gobblers shot by hunters.

    Under Missouri's turkey management plan, hunters harvest 30 to 50 percent of mature gobblers each year. In states with earlier season openers, the mature gobbler harvest sometimes exceeds 70 percent.

    "If we opened our season two or three weeks earlier we could have fantastic hunting for a couple of years, until we burned through our mature gobblers," said Beringer. "After that, the quality of hunting would be much poorer, and each year's harvest would depend much more heavily on the number of jakes-male turkeys hatched the previous spring. I'm pretty confident that if we had a tradition of an early-April opener we would not be harvesting 55,000-plus turkeys following three years of poor hatches."

    Missouri's late-April opener puts hunters in the woods just when hens become unavailable to gobblers. This period sees a second peak in gobbling activity as gobblers compete for the few remaining receptive hens. The flocks seen earlier in the spring have broken up.

    Beringer said he expects the number of two-year-old gobblers to be down slightly this year due to the smaller-than-average 2004 hatch. He said the number of jakes, which usually make up one-fifth to one-quarter of the spring turkey harvest, will be a little lower, too. However, compared to other states, Missouri will continue to have superb hunting.

    "There are only a handful of states that have turkey harvests anywhere close to ours," he said. "The fact that we could still break 50,000 after three poor years of reproduction tells you something about the stability of Missouri's turkey flock."

    Spring turkey season opens April 24 and runs through May 14. This is the latest possible timing under Missouri's formula. This and the warmer-than-usual spring may cause turkeys to mate and nest a little earlier than usual this year. However, Beringer said the wild turkey's breeding season lasts much longer than most hunters realize.

    "The most intense mating occurs from late March through early April, but mating continues on through May. Hens that have nests destroyed by predators or bad weather renest and mate again. The last time we had an April 24 opener we also had a record harvest."

    - Jim Low -
  15. hunter7x

    hunter7x New Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    Well there you have it ! Sounds like the guy knows what he's talking about.
  16. JMAC

    JMAC Senior Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    Cole County
    Yeah, it sounds like he does. Although it is an inexact science for sure.
  17. rat

    rat Legbone

    Dec 13, 2005
    Best explanation I have heard yet. It's tough to balance great hunting with good resource management.. Mo Con is doing the best they can I guess.. there will always be criticism no matter what...:)
  18. hunter7x

    hunter7x New Member

    Oct 22, 2002

    Exactly ! I wouldn't want their job, no way to make everyone happy and REALLY manage the wildlife resources.
  19. Hannibal

    Hannibal Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2004
    Greene county
    the other side of the coin on holiday huntin would stink also. i cant hunt i have to go with the wife and kids to the in-laws in kansas,etc......and there are alot of hunters that have to do the family thing on holidays.
  20. Wooddust

    Wooddust Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2003
    I have to agree we have had less than a steller success on hatch for the last few years. Numbers are sure not up.

    Regarding the date, the MDC has explained this about a million times...the regs are to open relative to the 21st and the opening day based on calendars will swing as late as it is this year and in other years it can open like the 18th or some such date.

    For my money, its not a bad thing to have a year when we can have a great hatch and restore the numbers back up. And I never have understood how every issue regarding hunting seasons, dates and regs somehow gets people to point to MDC and income. I'm just too simple minded to understand that.

    No state in the country can point to equal success as what we have had in Missouri with our birds. They have done it right for a long time.

    Im probably one of those people who likes traditions to stay in place. I think no afternoon hunting is a GREAT thing. And Monday opener is no big deal when we have a 3 week season.