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What happened to all the birds?
Posted: 30 April 2016 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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After hunting 4 different places in the North 1rst and 3rd seasons I can tell you the Turkey population is not even close as what it was say 10 years ago. Saw and heard 1 gobbler in two weeks, use to be tons of birds at these places, they are not there anymore, if I was looking for a place to come Turkey hunting Illinois would be close to the bottom of the list.

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.  Albert Einstein

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Posted: 30 April 2016 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Every place I ve hunted this season, the population was up substantially over previous 2 seasons. Their behavior has been off. They gobbled alot early April. Now they re silent. Just got back from Nebraska, the same goes there. Guessing weather(wind) has the tight lipped.

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Posted: 30 April 2016 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I found the turkey population up in the areas I hunt - sorry to hear of your misfortune however we had a fantastic season and would rather out our property in IL than most places - nice age structure, and many birds. Had 8 different birds going 2nd season - 4th season very few gobbles, but they were just quiet, focused on areas hens feed and found the toms.

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Posted: 01 May 2016 08:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Just got back from hunting my central Wisconsin property, my hunt only lasted 3 hours as a flock of 9 birds came in (5 hens, 1 jake, and 2 mature toms), and I dropped the largest Tom with a 32 yard quick kill shot.  My observations are that the turkey population in my area has never been higher in the 6 years I have owned the property, possibly due to the mild winter experienced there.  Birds were very vocal yesterday, especially during the first hour of legal hunting.  Happy about the success, but ended way too soon!

Did something a little different during yesterday’s hunt, as I have in the past used a hen and jake decoy, but felt the turkeys were either disinterested or spooked by them.  So yesterday I put out only the hen decoy to change things up.  The flock came over a hill from about 150 yards away, and the hens very slowly worked their way to the decoy, feeding during their way in the clover field.  The toms of course followed behind the hens.  I did not call at all.  Not sure if this is a proven strategy or just luck, but I’m excited to see if it works again and thought I would throw it out if others are getting frustrated with decoy shy birds like I was.

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Posted: 02 May 2016 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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In NW IL., I’ve been hearing and seeing more birds in the past 4 years than ever before.  In the last two years, my first season hunts have lasted 3 hours and 1 hr. 35 min., respectively.  Last years bird was 24 lbs., with a 9 1/2 beard and this years was 28 lbs., with a 10 1/2 inch beard.
This year, I had non stop gobbling all the way around me from 10 minutes before shooting time until I gathered up my gear and got out of the timber.  Even had another big tom attack my bird in it’s death throes.

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Posted: 02 May 2016 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I don’t know about low numbers, but the birds out there seem to have low IQ’s!! My ground blind got hunted 3 days, for a total of 5 hours and ended up with 4 very nice gobblers taking a dirt nap.  My dad and I doubled day 1 during first season (3 hours of hunting), another hunter got a real nice one he is mounting during 3rd season (1 hour) and I had 2 big gobblers charge the decs this last Saturday at 6:45am, one of which will be turkey jerky.  Really a fun season, but seemed too easy this year.  They definitely don’t all go that easy and I am sure next year I will be paid back with repetitive toms hanging up at 70 yds.

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Posted: 19 May 2016 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Glad you all had a good season, I hunt in west central il Greene and Morgan counties, believe me the Turkey population is way down compared to 10 years ago or even 5 years ago, the numbers are in and both counties are down from last year once again, my season wasn’t a total loss did manage to call a jake in for my son youth season so happy about that.  try again next year.

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.  Albert Einstein

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Posted: 09 June 2016 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I scored on a Nice Jake the 2nd Season. I didn’t do any scouting but sat by the field I was gonna hunt.
I saw a Jake and a Hen early in the morning.
I figured it was the Jake I shot. A hen came thru first making all kinds of noise and then this guy a few minutes later.
I didn’t hear any other gobbling besides him in the short time I was hunting.
Two other Turkeys were shot down our club, maybe around the 5th season

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Posted: 18 June 2016 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Haha, pretty cool page in the magazine Jeff!!! Crazy birds.

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