Almost time to get into the turkey woods

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(Jerry Davis)

Today, says a fact sheet from National Wild Turkey Federation, between 6 million and 6.2 million wild turkeys call the U.S. home, which is down about 15% from a peak population a few years back.

Wisconsin spring turkey hunters have been saying this for the last several years, but no one really knows for sure whether the state’s turkey population has actually shown a decline.

The four facts that researchers say may be the cause of a drop in turkey numbers in other states boil down to production (recruitment), not predation, as driving turkey populations. Carrying capacity and habitat may come into play, too, because they impact reproduction.

While the declines may not be long-term, there would be no harm in monitoring populations.

Instead of staying home and foregoing a license, it seems hunting the birds this spring (close monitoring) might be the best way to determine if there actually is a decline in areas you hunt and maybe add some other anecdotal information.

Keep hunting. Whether you chamber a round and pull the trigger is still up to the hunter, but at least you will have the beginning of an assessment of birds in your area. More importantly you’ll have been in the spring woods.

Hunting a turkey in autumn may be a point worth considering, however.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Turkey

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