Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waters & Woods: W.Va.’s turkeys ‘at the mercy of nature’

With the 2011 Spring Gobbler Season less than a month away, this isn't the best thing to be reading. I know between trail cameras and early season scouting there are a decent amount of turkeys in the area I hunt to be successful, but it is not looking to be that way for some hunters in West Virginia. At least according to a post I read earlier this week (article below). This issue isn't due to over hunting or even poaching, but do to the fact of nature. With another storm or two in the forecast, lets hope it is the last of them and it starts to warm up for the sake of the young turkey poults this spring (and so that we can get some quality fishing in).

Image Taken from "Is it Turkey Season Yet?"

W.Va.’s turkeys ‘at the mercy of nature’

March 24, 2011 by John McCoy

West Virginia’s chief wildlife biologist isn’t sure whether to be optimistic or pessimistic about the state’s spring gobbler season, which opens April 25.

“I hear mixed reports,” said Curtis Taylor, an avid turkey hunter and a nationally recognized expert on the birds. “I hear people who say they see turkeys everywhere, lots of them. And I hear people who ask where all the turkeys have gone."

Taylor believes both camps could be right; that there are areas within the state where turkeys are abundant, and there are other areas where populations aren’t what they once were. The reason for the inconsistencies? Nature.

“We’re at the point where our turkey population is at the mercy of nature — the mast crop and the spring weather,” he explained. “I think [five low mast-crop years in the past seven] have had a negative effect on the population as a whole.”

He added, though, that “turkeys are tough.” To continue reading, click here...


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