old man river

DEC REGIONS 3--4--6A--6C--6G--6H + PART OF 7--- ARE YOU SEEING,HEARING, AND TAKING MORE MATURE GOBBLERS IN SPRING SINCE THE 2015 FALL TURKEY SEASON CHANGE STATEWIDE?

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Now that the 2019 Spring Turkey Season is over, I would like to read what Turkey Hunters in the areas, I have listed above in my title think about as far as hearing,seeing, and taking more mature Gobblers since the change to the Fall Turkey Season in 2015. Surely there must be a positive change with 4 solid Spring Turkey Seasons from 2016-- 2019. There has to be many more 2,3,+ 4 year old Toms out there after such a change to the Fall Turkey Season. In DEC Regions 3 + 4 for members + guests who don't know-- the 2015 Fall Turkey Season was slashed from 6 weeks to a Paltry 2 weeks and the Turkey Take was reduced by 50 percent from 2 wild turkeys to just 1 Turkey. That is if you could find that 1 Turkey as the Fall Turkey Season was started 2 WEEKS LATER to mid October from October 1st when many other Seasons open as well such as Pheasant Season.  The Fall Turkey Season in Western NY was already at 1 Fall Turkey as that area has been for many years. I will give all here reading this my personal views and conclusions as well. First though, I want members and Guests to go to www.Realtree.com  and read Author Steve Hickoff's  article of 6/11/2015-- and check out the map as well with Turkey takes and Season dates in 2014.His article is entitled-- Radical Changes Coming To The New York Fall Turkey Season. In it the DEC would be doing a 4 year research program. Ok-- that brings us up to the present-- 2019- with the Spring Turkey Season recently completed. When the results will be available for the public to read is anyone's guess.   My own thoughts and conclusions are many and, I can speak only as 1 Turkey Hunter who has an area up to 15 miles to the North, 15 miles to the South, and 15 miles to the East. Of course there are areas in between as well. These are all Public Areas as well as, I hunt many different areas in both Spring and Fall.  That is a 30 miles distance North to South.  The biggest Change that, I am seeing is ALOT MORE HEN TURKEYS. While this may sound good, my area had plenty of Hen Turkeys prior to the 2015 Fall Turkey Change. This past Spring Season of 2019-- Hens were very active all the way to May 31st . Plenty of Gobbling indicating high numbers of Gobblers also in my area. Many Toms had Hens with them right up to May 31st and, I was out that morning. I should point out that, I hike year round as well as some here already know. So, I am seeing alot more then the average Spring Turkey Hunter.  My 2nd conclusion to the change has not been a positive one ( for me).  I think, I have taken just 1 Fall Turkey in NY since 2014. The (why) leads to my 3rd conclusion.  Now that the Fall Turkey Season is opened 2 WEEKS LATER in mid October-- Seasonal Roosting areas for Flocks that took me years to find and we're like Gold Mines to me similar to finding areas where Woodcock fly into in October have resulted in empty woods with old wild turkey sign. All it takes is a few Squirrel hunters who go out early a few times to alter the Flock behavior. Pheasant dogs scattering Flocks of Wild Turkey from October 1st onwards can force the Turkeys far from where they were roosting on a regular basis.  Just the simple act of a Bow deer hunter walking in and climbing into his stand a number of days in a row from October 1st in my area will alter the Area where Turkeys will Roost and travel after fly-down. I have observed the exact same behavior in Spring Toms  . All it takes is more Hiking Pressure from April 1st onwards to move that Gobbler or Gobblers to a safer location on Public Land. With multiple hunting seasons opening at the same time-- October 1st-- there is plenty of shooting in all directions. Flocks of Turkeys get scattered day after day. Each time they regroup will be a much quieter affair and quicker as well. So those are my thoughts listed above. Henned up Spring Gobblers the whole month of May, Yearly Fall Roosting areas that hold wild turkeys in early October now yield weeks old Turkey sign and empty Hardwoods. Anyway, I would like to read your thoughts about your Spring Turkey Hunting from 2015 on and if you are happy with the 2015 Fall Season Change and if you are regularly taking that ( now) 1 Turkey. Understand that, I have nothing against any other hunters. I just wrote what, I am seeing from my observations. This Thread might make a DEC meeting this week as well.  I will respond to thought provoking positive replies. Anything sassy or one liners,etc, I will just ignore. Thanks for reading. This took a full 1 hour to write!

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here in WMU 4C it's hit and miss but not many birds overall.  just to the north in washington county there's tons of them. seems there's a lot more ag grain fields up there and down here. could be the reason.

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Orange County has a perfect mix of Farms, open hardwoods, and Mountains as well as wetlands and Swamps. There was an abundance of Turkeys Hens before the Fall change of 2015. I wrote the DEC during the public input during that Summer telling them that.   I personally think that if the DEC did not move the Fall Turkey Season from October 1st to a Full 2 Weeks later-- alot of Fall Turkey Hunters could live with that.  The problem is 3- fold. A full month slashed from the Season. A cut in take from 2 Birds to 1 bird. Ok-- most Serious Fall Turkey hunters could live with that if the DEC just left the same opening date of October 1st. Alot more Turkey-- Doggers would be able to have their Turkey Dogs flush undisturbed flocks of Turkeys. The chances for 2 or 3 people-- a youth perhaps in that party would be high. Same thing as a adult hunter taking a Youth out for Fall Turkey hunting if only the start date was October 1st again. That Youth stands a greater chance to take a nice Jake that is called in after a scatter then being bored in a Spring Turkey hunting Blind. 

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Quick break here. Added in to the 3 fold problem in my post right above is a 4th issue that will hold down the Fall Turkey Take as well as Hunters not taking some of the Excess Hen Turkeys.  Close to the same time as the Fall Turkey 3 fold change-- the Southren Zone Early Bowhunting was moved back a few weeks to October 1st. I am happy that the Bowhunters are enjoying their new longer Season.  The Fall Turkey Season opening day for this year is October 20th in my area and more then half the State!  A full 20 days later then it once was on October 1st!  All this adds up to is- again empty Hardwoods from Turkeys seeing people in the hardwoods during those 20 days before the Turkey hunters are finally allowed out during their late and short Season. And many Henned up Gobblers late into the Spring. This 2nd point  proved true in 2019. 

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I definitely noticed less gobbling this year. In the years past I would hear at least 5 gobblers every hunt, but this year it was maybe 1 -2 at most. Could be because they werent nesting where they usually did, or a decline in population. Time will tell

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Good post above. I can only tell others about my large Public area that, I travel around to and Hike year round. An excessive number of Hens. Now one County down in Rockland County-- the Wild Turkey Population has exploded. Spring and Fall-- Turkeys are seen all along the Palasades Highway. And this is in a County that one Spring had a total take of Zero. Thats correct-- Zero Toms taken one Spring. I still have the paperwork. In your area-- I can't say. When Toms are Henned up though--- they will stop Gobbling and Strut with spitting and drumming. 

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Holy crap, Bill....Changed your name AGAIN  ??...No offense, but may you be experiencing an IDENTITY crisis  ??

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In honor of our newly re-christened "old man river", let's hear a white guy belt out the song.  This dude gives the black guys a run for their money!

 

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Thanks for your response Greensider.  Turkey numbers should be much higher  after 4 years of the altered Fall Turkey Season starting in 2015.  My area-- right across the river from you is doing great Turkey Population wise.

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