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Turkey report


Guppy

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Congrats on your bird! I know they don't come easy around here in the fall.

Just returned from a combo deer / turkey hunt in the Northern Black Hills. Turkey tags are virtually unlimited. This was the best week I have ever had here. I shot turkeys with my bow 3 days in a row, including one big tom. I added another nice tom later in the week (with my shotgun) and a decent 8 pointer to boot!

Gotta love this time of the year! grin.gif

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I understand hens are legal in the fall but....my opinion is let 'um go. Is there a 1 1/2" spurs to display? 10" Beard (probably not although we had 3 bearded hens at our feeder all last winter).Other than to say you killed something, I just dont see it. Kinda like shooting a hen mallard. A hunter shoots one bird but how many did you actually kill? 6-10 Chicks from next year that will not be born and so on...I'm not trying to pick on your hunt but when you think about our total turkey population is about what Missouri harvests a year seems to me we need all we can get. Now, I also know the landscape and weather overall is more condusive to birds farther south and we are at records populations here but why do al the can to keep the population going strong? JMTC....Lets all pray for dry weather for these poor farmers!!!

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Congrats on your bird. What are you planning to do with it. Last year I smoked mine and brought it up to deer camp. They are going to disappointed I'm not brining one this year.

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Harvesting a few hens in the fall don't seem to be hurting the population. They breed like rats. Look around you. There are 50 times more turkeys here now than there was 10 years ago.

Turkey hunting was originally a fall sport. Some still think there should be no spring season.

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No spring season??? Why would that be? 1 Tom can take "care of" many hens (just like phesants). "A few hens" I wonder how it would work if everyone that hunted in the fall would shoot a hen? I'm guessing it wouldn't, for long anyways..... Like I said MTC. "50 Times More" maybe a slight embellishment but if it was true, what's wrong with 100 times?

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The decision to take a fall hen is under the discretion of the hunter, so long as it's legal for the state/permit-area being hunted. We all have our reasons for hunting these birds, and I'm of the opinion that if it's legal and in-focus, take the shot. The wild turkey is a great eating bird, and the spring season often seems far too short.

Biologically speaking I've been told by wild turkey biologists that there is no reason not to take a fall hen, given the overall low number of fall permits available (many permit areas go undersubscribed), spread throughout the wild turkey's range in MN. Permit areas are managed according to carefully measured wildlife counts to assure overharvest is not an issue.

Should a bad winter, disease, or other malady inflict MN's flock as a whole or partly, wildlife managers will restrict permits for coming seasons to minimize the impact of hunting mortality. Regarding everyone taking a hen, there are many folks uninterested in turkey hunting unless they can shoot a tom or jake, and harvest rates for hens reflect that. I think even if taking a fall hen were promoted, few more people would actually do so.

That said, I understand the argument NOT to shoot a hen, at least anecdotally. Providing you don't need or care for the meat, or for some, the thought that a fall hen is less challenging or less of a trophy, I think it's a good idea for one to pass. Some folks that are seeing fewer turkeys in a specific area might also decide to pass, specifically in those areas heavily targeted in recent trapping efforts for transplant.

I've taken a fall hen before and had no issues.....moral, ethical, or otherwise. Should you decide not to, for whatever reason, I'll support you as a fellow turkey hunter also.

Joel

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Guppy:

Good work out there!

DonBo:

Sounds incredible.....most folks who chase turkeys with stick and string consider one bird every couple of years successful. A couple birds with bow in one trip, and you must've been ecstatic! Must've been really dialed in too; they're a smaller target than most people think.

Joel

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Joel, yes it was great! When I first started turkey hunting all I used was a bow. I shot 10 in about 20 years of trying. Then I got a shotgun and had fun getting even. Now I am back to the bow most of the time and have shot 4 in the last two years along with some others with the gun. Either way it is a great sport, and as you said, any legal bird is a true trophy.

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1runhotshot

"any spurs to display?...Other than to kill something, I don't see it."

How about the meat? I like to eat what I shoot, not just "Trophy hunt".

"...our turkey population is about what MO harvests in a year..."

DonBow said "black hills hunt", as in Dakota.

I'm glad you have your morals, one of mine is to not bash another hunter that is proud of his legally taken game.

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I guess when I said MTC, I should have said "My Two Cents".I'm not sure how sure how that was "Bashing". I used Missouri as an example of a great trukey population, The comment was directed towards shooting egg laying hens in any state. That being said I wouldn't shoot a hen Mallard either (even though it's legal). For me doing whatever I can personally do to make more birds for the next year (and so on) is a higher priority. just MTC

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1runhotshot

Sounds like you are more about status to have to display spurs or beard.That is a bonus,being out hunting good enough for most and if you do get to harvest a Hen or tom that even better.I'm thinking more about the stomach at that point Turkey cubes wrapped in bacon oh so good.There is nothing wrong with taking a hen.Being able to have the beard and spurs of a Tom would b nice sometimes it does not work out that way.

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Easy does it. Let's stay away from going after each other.

All of our opinions have validity here.

Joel

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Quote:

Turkey cubes wrapped in bacon oh so good.


Try soaking meat in Italian dressing overnight, then wrap in bacon and put on the grill just till the bacon is done. OOOOOOOOhhhhhhhh my, is that ever good! grin.gif

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I sure wish there was a fall season in my zone. I've seen turkeys the last 12 times I've been bowhunting!

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Got a bunch in my hunting area smile.gif If they venture too close to the bow stand arrows will be flung. Might even break out the shotgun one afternoon. Didn't bust, but somewhat separated a flock on Sun while bowhunting. One bird in particular did not enjoy being on its own and the kee-kee's, whistles, and yelps were cool to hear.

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Quote:

Got a bunch in my hunting area
smile.gif
If they venture too close to the bow stand arrows will be flung. Might even break out the shotgun one afternoon. Didn't bust, but somewhat separated a flock on Sun while bowhunting. One bird in particular did not enjoy being on its own and the kee-kee's, whistles, and yelps were cool to hear.


I always carry a call with me for just such an opportunity. I have shot turkeys while on deer stand that I have called in. A couple already this year in So. Dak.

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