Michigan Sportsman Forum banner

1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
remington - turkey, grouse, woodcock, duck, goose, deer (and pheasant if any exist)
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
congrats to all successful turkey hunters!
but I am sure that those who were birdless enjoyed being outdoors with gun in hand
especially after all of this quarantine/closing crap!

I got mine in 42 minutes. the thrill of victory, momentarily until I realize that my season is over, as I leave the woods
I did try to help my partner get his that day, and the next

but I got to thinking.....
reading that there was 42% success in 2020, knowing the state wants to sell licenses, knowing the turkey population keeps growing...... might it be time to allow a 2nd bird (spring)?

some states allow 4. when might Michigan be at that point? (2)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Hopefully never.

Except for the last 7 years, I’ve lived most of my life in states that allow more than 1. And, most states are now seeing serious reductions in bird numbers and gobbling activity - and hunter satisfaction is also in decline.

One could argue that MI turkey hunting is so great because we only get 1 tag, which allows a larger number of adult birds to make it to 3-4 yrs of age.

If you still have the itch to hunt in the spring, consider getting an out of state tag for a neighboring state. In the big picture, non-resident turkey hunting is a bargain in most states and many landowners will grant permission to hunt turkey.

I’m going back to NY for 2 weeks in May, and license and tags will cost me $125. That’s not much more than my MI resident license and tags...


Sent from my iPhone using Michigan Sportsman
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,238 Posts
Hopefully never.

Except for the last 7 years, I’ve lived most of my life in states that allow more than 1. And, most states are now seeing serious reductions in bird numbers and gobbling activity - and hunter satisfaction is also in decline.

One could argue that MI turkey hunting is so great because we only get 1 tag, which allows a larger number of adult birds to make it to 3-4 yrs of age.

If you still have the itch to hunt in the spring, consider getting an out of state tag for a neighboring state. In the big picture, non-resident turkey hunting is a bargain in most states and many landowners will grant permission to hunt turkey.

I’m going back to NY for 2 weeks in May, and license and tags will cost me $125. That’s not much more than my MI resident license and tags...


Sent from my iPhone using Michigan Sportsman
^ Nailed it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Never—at least around here.
Turkeys on a serious downward slide in our area. Places flush w birds 8-10 years ago are largely empty now. Recent research findings make me question our long-standing desire to kill the “boss” tom knowing it could further reduce reproductive success as the pecking order is reestablished. Fall hunting now largely a futile effort where it used to be a virtual guarantee. Never felt like we overshot on our hunting areas, just a steady decline.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
140 Posts
Gotta agree with the above. Lack of control of nest predators, reductions in areas with good turkey habitat, among other factors like changes in precip events combined with multiple bird limits in many states are leading to crashes in turkey populations in many states to the south of us. Take Missouri and Arkansas both of which are considered premiere turkey destinations and have more favorable climates for turkey population growth than we do in MI who are seeing major reductions in turkey recruitment. They are actually considering reducing turkey harvests now to leave enough birds out there to level off or buffer some of the fairly drastic population declines their state agencies are seeing. I love turkey hunting as much as the next guy but I hope we don’t make the same mistake in MI and keep it at 1 bird.
 

·
Registered
remington - turkey, grouse, woodcock, duck, goose, deer (and pheasant if any exist)
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
TY all for the insight

I guess I am just lucky to have spots that seem overrun. my spot had a flock of 8-10 about 15-17 years ago, probably 3-4 toms. I have been culling one with a huge beard ever since.

two years ago I had to shoot the first of 6-7 toms, all monsters with 10+ inch beards, in self defense, as they had started coming down the narrow deer path I was sitting on, one after another single file, no place for them to go but right down my 3' wide path thru the thick brush, and the first was getting close to 10 yards.

last year got the biggest beard and spurs I think I have ever gotten. this year there we called in 24-28 (very hard to count, but I am using these numbers to not be guilty of embellishing), 10-12 toms and jakes (there was a 6 pack of toms all with upright tails walking as if they were one), all within shooting range, many large beards, with I don't know how many more up over the hills gobbling in quite a few different directions.

didn't know others were struggling or seeing less, as it seems like threads on here were reporting their harvest of big toms every few hours every day since the opener.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,579 Posts
My area is funny, didn't see a mature bird but I didn't scout as much as I normally do, need to take a few days off next year in the weeks leading up to the opener, I just assumed this year the birds would be where they always have been since my first spring I lived here in 2013.

Since the first hunt ended I have seen three nice birds, one each in Leelanau, Grand Traverse, and Benzie close to or on state land. Plenty of nice birds deep in areas with no public land nearby. I know there are way more than that but I ussually see them and know I have a shot at one on public land, fingers crossed for next year.

I still plan on getting a fall tag and see how it goes but I might be avoiding my usual spots and trying somewhere new a couple counties over. Hopefully find a place that is overrun with birds like I have seen in Leelanau county just a few years ago, give me a backup spot to hunt until my usual spots close to home get good again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,042 Posts
i gotta say, I possed this questions a couple years back and the response was about the same. I felt it might have been okay for a 2 bird season. that said, this year I have bot seen many, and have not been successful yet, good luck all
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
I spent Sat. 24th - Monday 26th in area K at my cabin. With poor weather and no preseason scouting, I was pretty discouraged to say the least. It's been a few years since I've spent the time that I used to scouting/ hunting the area. I only found birds or sign of birds at the private farms I have permission to hunt. My perennial spots were void of any sign or gobbling. It seemed as if there really wasn't even a huntable population in my neck of the woods. We were 0-3 with no shot opportunities. I sure am glad I held off for 234 as the areas I hunt down in SE Michigan are overrun with birds. I could be wrong, but once again I'm wondering just how (if at all) the MDNR is managing wild turkey in the northern lower?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
I hunt the same public area I've been hunting for the last 12 or so years. This year it seemed like I just wasn't hearing the same number of turkeys that I did last year, that's for sure. I put in a lot of time pre season scouting. There were still plenty around, but there has also been a lot more trucks in the woods the last two years as well. I hope Michigan sticks with one bird for the next few years.
 

·
Registered
remington - turkey, grouse, woodcock, duck, goose, deer (and pheasant if any exist)
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
trying to help my partner get his (we only take one per year from our honey hole), and when he tried alone, we/he never got one to gobble after 930am. this has clearly been the case since the opener went to Saturday from Monday. during the Monday opener years, we could get responses all day long.

now with the Saturday opener, the dirt bike/atv pigs awake from their drunken stupors and start down the trails reliving the days when they didn't own a bicycle - 90% of beer cans thrown in the woods by these pigs are bud light or bush, btw

I understand multi-use, but us turkey hunters would have way more success on Monday. I know guys who work (the few that are left to pay taxes - haha) prefer Saturday, but I spent my entire life taking opening Monday off. it is not hard. you can do it
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,539 Posts
I hope never...... for all the above reasons, honestly I don’t need a turkey and I get the same amount of satisfaction if I call the bird to the gun for my wife or son. My wife shot a bird Sunday so my season is complete weather I am successful or not. But I believe being able to shoot more than one bird would ultimately put us in the same situation as a lot of southern states .
Flight
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,906 Posts
I wouldn’t mind two in the spring if they did away with the fall season.By me in fall you can buy a license a day starting august 31 until they run out.Plus shoot hens.All you need is some one to take advantage of it and they can do serious damage to the turkeys.Get a greedy person or farmer that hates turkey they could almost wipe them out in some areas.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
140 Posts
TY all for the insight

I guess I am just lucky to have spots that seem overrun. my spot had a flock of 8-10 about 15-17 years ago, probably 3-4 toms. I have been culling one with a huge beard ever since.

two years ago I had to shoot the first of 6-7 toms, all monsters with 10+ inch beards, in self defense, as they had started coming down the narrow deer path I was sitting on, one after another single file, no place for them to go but right down my 3' wide path thru the thick brush, and the first was getting close to 10 yards.

last year got the biggest beard and spurs I think I have ever gotten. this year there we called in 24-28 (very hard to count, but I am using these numbers to not be guilty of embellishing), 10-12 toms and jakes (there was a 6 pack of toms all with upright tails walking as if they were one), all within shooting range, many large beards, with I don't know how many more up over the hills gobbling in quite a few different directions.

didn't know others were struggling or seeing less, as it seems like threads on here were reporting their harvest of big toms every few hours every day since the opener.
Oh man, this year there’s been lots of folks posting (here and on FB) about struggles hearing birds even but I’m not sure if it was due to the turkey population or just how the birds have been acting for the first few weeks.

That being said I think it’s pretty common for folks seeing lots of deer and turkey on the land they hunt to think that that is the case everywhere. Turkey populations statewide cannot be managed based on a single habitat area (like the one you describe) that are super productive for turkeys. For example, in some areas people do a lot of habitat work and management of nest predators where in others there is almost no management. MIDNR can’t just say well this area is doing well so we will allow two tags statewide because pops in unproductive areas will crash hard. Heck you even say in a later post that you only take one bird out of your honey hole each year, so it’s clear you are doing your own managing of harvest to keep the hunting in that area excellent which is similar to what MIDNR is trying to do. It may even be the case that due to your limited harvest in that particular area (not bringing in lots of their folks to shoot turkeys there) you may be bolstering turkey pops in your area.

MIDNR’s challenge though is that they have to consider areas that don’t have excellent turkey habitat as well as northern climes that have more than their fair share of winter mortality. Turkey pops are way more fragile than people realize and states that used to have monster turkey populations are now seeing massive declines in numbers. Overharvest while the turkey population struggles with declines in habitat, increases in nest predators, among other factors seem to be the straw that is breaking the camels back in those states.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
30,863 Posts
Here's some great information if you're interested.
I know it's focus is on the South, but a lot of great "universal" info is shared.
Enjoy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,135 Posts
Seeing the length of the above video, I did not watch it. Did it mention coons destroying nests as 1 cause of the decline ?
The following article does:

15 years ago we would see a good number of hens with small poults on our properties spreadout over 4 sections by mid-June. Later in the summer the number of poults per hen would be reduced, but still most hens would have poults. We had lots of turkeys. Now it is rare for us to see any poults at any point during the late spring or summer. Something is destroying the nest......we point to coons as enemy #1. I'm sure possums & skunks will also eat all the eggs, but the coon population is so darn high we think they are the biggest problem.

L & O
 
  • Like
Reactions: 12Point and Dish7

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,906 Posts
Seeing the length of the above video, I did not watch it. Did it mention coons destroying nests as 1 cause of the decline ?
The following article does:

15 years ago we would see a good number of hens with small poults on our properties spreadout over 4 sections by mid-June. Later in the summer the number of poults per hen would be reduced, but still most hens would have poults. We had lots of turkeys. Now it is rare for us to see any poults at any point during the late spring or summer. Something is destroying the nest......we point to coons as enemy #1. I'm sure possums & skunks will also eat all the eggs, but the coon population is so darn high we think they are the biggest problem.

L & O
I agree for sure now I see at least 80percent of hens with no plots only thing keeping turkey numbers up by me is we got lots of hens.Can’t imagine how many turkeys we have if it wasn’t for all the predators. One good thing is by me least amount of coons I’ve seen or got pics of so maybe it will mean lots of poults.This year seen most toms but hardly any jakes which is bad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
The harvesting of more gobblers in April is a major factor hurting nest success as hens really aren't setting until the first week of may or later. Which leads to early June hatches. We harvest lots of our best genetic males before hens are setting. Lots of breeding going on in April. DNR wants to keep moving more hunters into April in the south skewing that harvest more. Hope it doesn't come back to bite us in the rear. Nest predators are a big factor. Area K is largely unchanged in structure of season and a large decline has been happening since the big winters of 08 and 09. Too many predators as the numbers have not bounced back. Another issue that is affecting numbers is a hesitancy from folks on trying to help a few birds out in the winter with feeding in some areas. Controversial but, with CWD restrictions people are afraid to have a run in with DNR over deer feed. Messy bird feeders are about all that is allowed. We may be at a new normal level of birds in the north. Predator control is about all we can do to increase nest success and to keep fighting this DNR push to increase harvest in April. I do believe we had a poor hatch last year as not seeing many jakes in area K. Lots of rain the first week of June last year is a killer. Just my 2 cents.


Sent from my SM-G950U using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top