Tell the DNR about the current state of Turkey Hunting in Georgia

hawglips

Senior Member
The Strategic Management Plan is a nice document.

The areas I typically hunt in Hancock Co have seen a big decline in birds the last few years. And I don't think it's a coincidence that clear cutting in the area has proliferated during this same time.

The reforestation that enabled the wild turkey restoration to be restored the 2nd half of last century is always cited as a reason for the success story...

By 1968, wild turkey populations were present in some counties in Georgia with isolated areas containing huntable populations. With forests regenerating following the major deforestation seen in the early part of the 1900’s, Georgia was primed for restoration of wild turkeys.
...but deforestation and the corresponding loss of mast and roost trees today is curiously almost never cited as a contributing reason for population decreases.

Habitat Goal: Increase and Maintain Wild Turkey Habitat Throughout Georgia.
Objective: Quantify current wild turkey habitat in Georgia and increase early successional habitat by 10% on WRD-managed lands.
Strategies:
1. Use various methods (remote sensing, staff surveys, etc.) to quantify existing wild turkey habitat on WRD-managed lands.
2. Use management techniques such as prescribed burning and thinning to improve and increase wild turkey habitat, with an emphasis on nesting cover and brood-rearing habitat.
3. On WRD-managed properties, biological staff will ensure long term plans, timber plans, and periodic reviews on state lands include practices that benefit wild turkeys.
4. Seek opportunities to assist other public land managers to conduct management practices that are beneficial to wild turkeys.
5. Continue to partner with conservation groups to promote beneficial management on public lands.
Objective: Promote habitat management practices that sustain or increase wild turkey populations on private lands.
Strategies:
1. Develop regional best management practices for wild turkey management for private landowners.
2. Promote and provide wild turkey management advice to landowners.
3. Update and reprint our Wild Turkey in Georgia book to distribute to interested landowners.
4. Provide accurate and timely turkey management information to various media outlets.
5. Develop a wild turkey management presentation to be used for regional program requests.
6. Provide the above referenced materials online via WRD’s social media and website.
7. Continue to partner with conservation groups and other governmental agencies to promote habitat management beneficial to wild turkeys on private lands.
8. Explore opportunities to hold workshops and outreach/educational events on managing habitat for wild turkeys.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
Let us have a select, heavily regulated, fall turkey season here in Georgia like we used to have. I miss those days badly.
 

hawglips

Senior Member
It is likely that a fall season would eventually mean a decline in the overall turkey population and thus would result in a significant reduction in spring hunting opportunity.
It didn't work. The decline has happened anyway.
 
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It seems one of the major factors is everywhere on a WMA I've seen. If they burn it it;s in April or May and the turkeys are already nesting by then. They need to be burning in February and March
 

hawglips

Senior Member
How do other states get away with fall seasons then?
VA has had an either-sex fall season for a long time and turkey populations and harvest in the spring are on the upswing. At one point they adjusted the fall season to minimize incidental kills of fall turkeys by deer hunters, but recently reversed that good policy. :crazy:

UT recently opened up very select areas to fall hunting where there are "problem" flocks in the winter. Their turkey flocks are still expanding in many place, declining in a few where spring gobbler hunting pressure is high.

NE has a very liberal fall turkey season and their population of birds is very healthy.

I don't really buy that killing gobblers has no real effect on the populations. I don't think it's quite that simple. I think there have to be a lot of other factors that come into play, and I don't believe we really understand all the dynamics. There hasn't really been a lot of studies done on such questions.
 
we need more hunting down here, the dang things have got to where they are a pest her. heck put corn out for the hogs and the turkeys beat them to it
 

DRBugman85

Senior Member
I emailed my comments also.Nothing wrong with the season or limit as for as I can tell,here in South Georgia anyway. We had a great year with a lot of birds gobbling. Plus lots of poults all summer.
 

M Sharpe

Senior Member
Let us have a select, heavily regulated, fall turkey season here in Georgia like we used to have. I miss those days badly.
I didn't think they ever had but one.

In GA, deer is KING!!! They are not fixing to interrupt deer season to bring you a fall turkey season, especially with the turkey population on the decline!!
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
I didn't think they ever had but one.

In GA, deer is KING!!! They are not fixing to interrupt deer season to bring you a fall turkey season, especially with the turkey population on the decline!!

Yea, wrong word placement on my post. How I meant it was I wish we had a season again, but heavily regulated so there would be no incidental kills.
 

M Sharpe

Senior Member
I wholeheartedly agree.
 
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