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Turkey Season in Jeopardy- Act Now!

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Very Important- Call your Senator

Guys, today May 5th, House Bill 172 made it through the House. This is a bill being introduced by a St Francisville Representative for a small group of old school hunters there. They want the state to open the South half of turkey season early March. This will devastate all progress made in repopulating St Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa, St. Helena, and Livingston Parishes. Gobblers will be killed before having a chance to fertilize hen eggs. Gobblers will also be severely henned up.

It will also cause a tremendous amount of opening morning hunting pressure in North LA, such as Tensas NWR and Big Lake.

The last two years since the State opened same day, the crowds have disappeared from Tensas & Big Lake, and the later season opener in Sth LA. also has produced many more poult hatchlings. I am a summertime counter for Mr. Savage. Poults that make it to adulthood rose significantly. STOP this OLD School nonsense. Ask your senator to vote NO on HB 172. GOGGLE " STATE SENATOR _________ parish, LA. The list will come up. Phone #'s, and E Mail click on icon.

It now goes to senate. PLEASE CALL or E-Mail your State Senator and tell him/her to vote NO for HB 172

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Look, I have turkey hunted the felicianas for 25 yrs. It used to open up there the 3rd weekend in March, which is usually around the 20th. I firmly support this bill from what i have seen since the season has been pushed back. First, now with the late opening, THEY HAVE BEEN HENNED UP like you mention, thats why we need to open it earlier. This yr., several of us think we missed the peak season all together. When you have 4 and 5 longbeards together with no hens the 1st week in april, only gobbling a handful of times NOT paying attention to your calling, and seeing lone hens on the roads with no gobblers, it is pretty clear they did their thing much earlier. I was hearing 6-8 every weekend just hammering starting the last weekend in february. Do you think those gobblers didnt breed for the 4 weeks we couldnt hunt them, gobbling their heads off??? I found a nest with eggs the 29th of March!!! Also, MS., only a couple miles north of the Fleiciana's opens up on the 15th along with Alabama, and they have way more turkeys than us, doesnt seem to be hurting them one bit!! Oh, you are still going to have huge amounts of pressure on OPENING mornings, what difference does it make if we have a season from March 15-april 20th as opposed to March 28th-April 25th??? Just opening a week earlier and close it a week earlier. Every one has their opinion.
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   Bucktail1
I disagree, turkey season is not long enough as it is...giving people more opportunities is a great thing. There's not enough turkey hunting pressure to decrease the numbers by any means.
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Do we have any data from the biologist?
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Any clue of a WEB site we can go to to read this house bill 172 ?
HB 231 is also for allowing turkeys to be taken with a cross bow. I found some information but nothing where we can read the bill ... help if ya know !!
thanks
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   Gerald
Here is a link to HB 172

http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/byinst.asp?sessionid=09RS&billtype=HB&billno=172

Did you know that you can watch and lessen to the meetings going on in Baton Rouge?

http://www.legis.state.la.us/main.asp
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mega thanks Gerald
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The meat of the bill to to open the season every yr. on the 15th of March like MS. and AL. and guarantee it is open for 35 days, unless WLF sees it needs to be changed, which they can do in an emergency. Just to the north of the Felicianas in MS., it was open from March 15th - May3rd. We are open a month now anyways, so you will get roughly 5 extra days hunting each yr, which will usually fall on weekdays. I believe these turkeys are beeding alot earlier than people think. I hear them gobble several days while deer hunting, and know they were hammering from the last week in Feb to the 3rd weekend in March. I just dont see where it will put turkeys in jeopardy and increase pressure if they are breeding the 1st 2 weeks in March allready.
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   charter10
I have to agree with Tenderloin. I hunt MS and LA for turkeys. My primary location is MS which has a liberal season. Most years in MS we kill the majority of the birds the first and last week of the season, on average. I understand by the end of the first week hunting presure plays a part. This year I noticed by April 1st MS gobbling activity had decreased considerably during the day which was also the report I received from the LA location I hunt. Early season scouting in both states has shown heavy gobbling activity in early MArch depending on weather. I am a weekend warrior due to work so if opening the season earlier will allow me to hear more gobbles and maybe harvest more birds I would certainly support. I know Mr. Savage pretty well and be interested to understand the logic/data he has recorded but for now you have my "opinion".
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It came out of the House by a wide margin (87 Yeas and 11 Nays). I don't see it not passing the Senate. However, in my opinion, I know that Larry Savage bases things on empirical research. I hope it gets killed in the Senate, but I doubt it will. Of course, if idiots who kill over the limit would stop at the limit, it may not matter when the season opens. I can tell you this: I was out in the field every weekend and many weekday evenings from February 14th until the last day of the season. It certainly seemed like turkeys were with hens from the end of February until around the first of April. After that, the lull set in and never seemed to end. I know people who are already seeing poults. However, I do not believe the vast majority of hens have hatched their clutches yet. But I would say they are getting close based on the fact that the average date a hen begins incubation is April 19th. If you figure 28 days from that point, May 16th should be the average date that most hatches occur. Furthermore, a huge factor in the Florida Parishes has been destruction of habitat. Back in the 80's when turkeys were everywhere around here, the season opened the third weekend of March, and we had plenty until the warthead hit at the same time skidders rolled through here like a jaggernaut. Except for a few places around here, turkey hunting has been marginal. I don't know the outcome of this legislation, but I know that I will still take care of the turkeys I hunt and leave a few for seed by only killing the limit. I think that is the key to a healthy population.

LB2
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#1 Yall need to learn how to hunt

#2 You don't base life's decisions on what Smith & Jones are doing. That is sheep-like mentality. You be a leader and make command decisions based on biological data . You don't even give an ounce of consideration to what the neighbor states are doing. Anybody who does this should never, ever be put in a command decision position.

#3 You and the Feliciana boys are being greedy- to hell with the rest of the state. As long as yall can get out there amongst the gobbling. You throw terms around and do not know what you are saying. You throw terms like " henned up" around without really knowing. Later around March 28th, around 9am, the hens go set on nests so the gobblers have nothing to do. They usually are NOT interested in your calls because they already had their booty for the day. When you get some booty, and 5 minutes later another woman comes along hitting on you, I bet you ain't Mr. eager beaver either. TURKEYS GET HENNED UP EARLY IN SEASON, NOT LATE. Late ( March 28th) the hens go set on eggs by 9am, and the gobblers have nothing to do the rest of the day. YOU don't even know what you are talking about Tenderloin, NO wonder yall can't kill any turkeys.

That is the purpose I explained. The earlier part of the season the are guaranteeing that eggs get fertilized. No so if every Tom, Dic, and Harry is flushing them and shooting at them.

You in the Felicianas just do not care about the repurcushings of this. When Tensas NWR opens, yall WILL NOT be there. So the ol' " it ain't effecting me" mentality kicks in." I know 100%. We have had what, 2 or 3 years now of Statewide opening. I assure you, the crowds have dropped off big time at Tensas because they are back home on their own leases. This new proposed way, they hunt the first opener down Sth., then all flock up North. Nobody scores up Nth. then because the turkeys get bumped off one another and live another day. So the flock up Nth. does not work.

I think the people in Feliciana who are pushing this are old school, ignorant of biological data, greedy, and probably do not know how to hunt turkey.

Call your Senator. Tell him/her to vote NO to HB 172

LONGBEARD

I know exactly what you mean. This year, up at Tensas, I scouted all week b/4 opener. I saw alot of courting. I saw alot of everything. I stayed out all day with binoculars. I know what goes on. Opening morning, like clockwork, my gobbler put his hen to nest by 8:30 am, and he stayed on the road ALL day. Another one came by too. I called to him when he was close and he paid no attention to it, but when he was with the hen, I called too. He ignored that too, but did come back looking after putting his woman to nest. I killed him. I could have killed the other one easily too, but I chose to leave him back there to breed and live another day.

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I have no need for 2 gobblers. Those video tapes and cable tv channels are teaching new turkey hunters all the wrong ways and ideas. These new hunters really believe that it supposed to go down like on those shows. Absolute false assumption. I believe THAT is why those Feliciana hunters cannot score. They simply do not know how to hunt turkey.

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Lamplighter:
First of all, I have probably forgot more about turkey hunting than you will ever know. I started turkey hunting when I was 10, that is all we did. No deer hunting, rabbit, etc., just turkey. In my teens, i practiced my turkey calling yr. round. I was around when the disease hit in the early 90's in the feliciana's and watched the turkey population diminish right in front of me. We only had a few spots in west feliciana where you could here a handful of gobbles that time. Ever since then, my friends and I self imposed a one bird a yr limit in LA. I killed that one bird this yr. the first hunt I made. I am just stating what I see as someone who spends alot of time paying attention in the turkey woods.

Also, I do realize that not many places in the state used to have the jewel that we had in turkey populations. Where do you think the biologist relocated the turkeys all over the state from??? I can tell, you they trapped them with cannons off my grandpaws property, i watched it. Them removing the turkeys to relocate hurt us more than the disease in the early 90's. So you can claim we are greedy in the feliciana's, but the majority of the turkeys that were relocated to re-establish huntable populations around the state came from my family's land. Your welcome for that too, as we did not get paid a penny!! People like you insure that we will never make the mistake again of helping "spread the wealth" of turkey hunting. Some things are better left alone.
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I think you done fell out your hi chair and hit your noggin boy! How much pressure could you possibly get from the felicianas to affect YOUR TENSAS! If you dont like pressure you need to either go deeper or start leasing YOUR OWN property..... Everything has a price on it now days.. If you want it your way you have to pay!!! This world aint no Burger King!!! The season is the season! You make out of it what God sends. If the weather and temperatures are in your favor for a early sesason then it will be a good one if not then you wish the season would have opened later!!! Life is to short to cry about small stuff!

And your b|tchin about the OLD SCHOOL HUNTERS and in the same breath B|TCHIN about the new ways that CABLE TV shows people how to hunt! What School are you from? You dont need to worry about no body else. Truth of the matter is this:

A good turkey hunter can kill a turkey if he is gobbling or not.... If he is HENNED UP or not! Go back to the old school and learn how to hunt ya a turkey. Just cause its a little harder when their not vocal dont mean you got to go cry! These guys your talking about got this bill started with the same rights that you have in this country!! Dry your tears and go talk to your senator, maybe you can get a bill passed that will keep everybody off of YOUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE THAT WE ALL PAY FOR!!!
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Lamplighter:

To say the people in the felicianas (the heart of the Florida Parishes) don't know how to turkey hunt is not an accurate statement nor does it make for a very good argument to get folks on your side. The Florida Parishes have always been regarded as one of the few, if not the only, area in the state that has traditionally had a healthy population of turkeys. As far as tenderloin's claim that most of the restocking effort came from his family's land is certainly a point that is open to debate (although it may be accurate), but it really has no bearing on who gets to say when turkey season opens. I agree with Larry Savage's data; however, I spoke to a legislator (not the bill's author) this morning who told me there was not one peep of opposition to the bill from wildlife and fisheries. It won't affect the areas in north LA, nor will it affect public land. And again, if people like tenderloin and I keep to either a self-imposed limit of one or the state bag limit, there should be plenty of breeding opportunities. Personally, I wouldn't mind if they kept the season as it is, but if it passes, I will be roosting a turkey on the evening of March 14, 2010 and tossing and turning all night. By the way, they were gobbling their heads off Sunday morning, May 3rd, in St. Helena Parish, which is about what Mr. Savage said should happen. I fully expect this bill to pass easily in the Senate as well as another bill that allows the taking of turkeys with a crossbow. So, I hope everyone will be as smart as tenderloin and others who stay within the bag limits, self-imposed or state mandated.

LB2
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LB2: I am sure not every turkey that went to the restocking came from family land, probably got a little carried away with my tempered flared. We used to have 2 flocks of probably 75 or more that they targeted, and i remember watching the cannon nets go off when the flock got close enough for them to fire it. They took mostly hens and a very few gobblers to release. (I would say they took max 10 birds from each flock), but the trapping effort did scare the flock enough to relocate on bordering property. (no hunting over there so guess it was best) Then the disease hit us shortly after that, so the flocks never re-assembled. The biggest flock i see now is 10-12 birds. I do know that the felicianas turkey population is as strong now than it has been in over a decade. We have places that held birds the last 5 yrs that did not have a track in the late 90's.
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My biggest concern is the overall health of the flock. Believe me, I saw the devastation of disease that was compounded with the absolute devastating timber harvests of the early 90's. It was insane how much timber was being harvested around here. We are now in a situation where we have good stands of timber again, and I have seen a marked increase in the numbers of turkeys in the past two years. Like I said before, I think if people are responsible with their game management the bill will not adversely affect us.

LB2
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Sneaky Snake writes,

" A good turkey hunter can kill a turkey if he is gobbling or not.... If he is HENNED UP or not! Go back to the old school and learn how to hunt ya a turkey. Just cause its a little harder when their not vocal dont mean you got to go cry."

and BEFORE he wrote that, I wrote,

" I know exactly what you mean. This year, up at Tensas, I scouted all week b/4 opener. I saw alot of courting. I saw alot of everything. I stayed out all day with binoculars. I know what goes on. Opening morning, like clockwork, my gobbler put his hen to nest by 8:30 am, and he stayed on the road ALL day. Another one came by too. I called to him when he was close and he paid no attention to it, but when he was with the hen, I called too. He ignored that too, but did come back looking after putting his woman to nest. I killed him. I could have killed the other one easily too, but I chose to leave him back there to breed and live another day. "

He advise me that I cannot accomplish a hunting method that, before he spoke, I ALREADY stated that I accomplished. This tells me he is responding with that raised blood pressure and that " I'll get him" mentality. You need to really read and comprehend what is written before responding.

Sneaky Snake also writes,

How much pressure could you possibly get from the felicianas to affect YOUR TENSAS! If you dont like pressure you need to either go deeper or start leasing YOUR OWN property..... Everything has a price on it now days..

Again, he responded with that raised blood pressure and did not think. First, he assumed I wrote the Felicianas would create Tensas pressure. If you go back and read, I said that opening the South early will cause the guys from the South to flock up North, them already having had an opener on their leases. They "double dip" so to speak. THAT is what WILL happen. It always happened until The state opened at the same time, THEN the crowd was instantly gone from Tensas. SO I KNOW- First hand. Nobody has any standing whatsoever to debate me on this issue. I WAS THERE. I SAW IT. To argue against me on this is like arguing if the sky is blue. There it is. No debate. So give up on this.

I would also advise to read carefully what I stae, because if you debate me and get it mixed up, I will catch you here on the forum.

So here we go, the last two years our turkey season has opened the same day Statewide. I always get my turkey. Why are the Feliciana hunters belly aching ? What is the problem in that area ? All my friends have great success.

This issue should be left up to qualified wildlife biologists, NOT politicans. I still think that whoever approached Representative McVea with this probably does not know how to hunt turkey, and is looking for that "shortcut in life" that has become an expectation in today's world. Lazy.

I say we will kill that bill. If it passes , I know of several legislators that will be looking for work next go-round. That, my friend, is the talk all around Tammany & Washington. So, Senators, beware. We are watching. We the people want to see NAY next to your name on HB 172. We are calling each other and keeping tabs .

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You "may" have a valid point on saying no one can argue with you that the pressure will increase in Tensas if they open seperate dates, but why would anyone who has access to hunt land in the felicianas jump ship in 2 weeks to go to tensas to hunt? I am asking, cause i would believe there are more turkeys in the felicianas than in tensas NWR or public land up that way? Hell, I can assure you i am not going to leave our private land or hunting club land to go hunt public land that opens 2 weeks later, but maybe people do, i cant comment on other folks. Maybe we should all open up on the 15th?? (again, not best interest of North LA, too early in my opinion, see below)
Also, Mr. McVea has met several times in the past years with the bioligist to ask them to consider moving back to 2 seperate opening dates, their "data", while may being correct for the north, was not taken from the area we are talking about, so actually, the bioligist are correct presenting the data it needs a later opening date for the north, but maybe not for the south?? Also, Mr. McVea is not uninformed by listening to a select few turkey hunters in the feliciana's, he is a huge turkey hunter that has been turkey hunting since LA had a season, and has done more for our local NWTF chapter than anyone. He sees what we other hunters see and agree, we need to open earlier (at least in the felicianas). It is not like we are going to kill off the species, i think i can speak for "almost" all turkey hunters when i say i beleive they are the most conservation minded group of hunters, that actually care for the species, especially those of us who have been hunting a long time and experienced the disease kill off in the early 90's.
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I remember the disease of the 90's. I hunted heavily the Greensburg, Kentwood, and montpieler areas.

I do not think that any Feliciana hunters would leave their land. But McVea is asking for the whole South to open early. He should seek just the Feliciana area. Those other South hunters even people down the road from me here in Abita Springs will pile up inthe North. Lord we definitely don't need a 15th opener in St Tammany. We are just now seeing the benifits from the later season.

McVea screwed up by not limiting it to the Feliciana area.

It can be done. Point Coupee got their 6 pt. or better on deer. They can just open the Felicianas. But the bill is not written like that.

By the way, I am getting good E Mail feedback from our senators. The dagger is drawn back. :.)
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you may be getting good feedback from senators, but i learned a long, long time ago, what politicians say and what politicians do can be COMPLETELY different!!!!! We will see how the voting comes out.
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I think that bill will pass.

LB2
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lamplighter -- stay out of my woods bro...LOL
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that we keep tabs on them. We''ve ousted a few. They'll vote no. There will be no 15th opener so get it out of your system. It worked out perfect this year. I love the 28th opener. Perfect.

I mean really. Have yall heard how many people are running around with mouth calls ? They sound like crap. They watch that fake TV stuff and honestly, really believe all that. THEN, when the turkey gobbles back at them, THEY KEEP CALLING ! Can you believe it ? No wonder they are looking for a scape goat. The season opens too late. MAN! if they go in the woods with all that racket you see on TV, they will never kill one.

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Tenderloin:

You are right about politicians. However, I don't think it is always a situation of speaking out of both sides of your mouth. There are multiple sides to every issue, and many times elected officials do try to balance the good and bad objectively for the good of all. I think McVea's bill is intended to reflect the majority of his constituency in the Florida Parishes. I do believe in the end that if there is a big push by wildlife and fisheries a compromise will be made, maybe the third Saturday of March instead of the fourth. Who knows. Don't get me wrong, I know there is corruption in politics, but sometimes I think the general public is too cynical of the process, and that is understandable. I guess my point is that I agree with your words about sometimes what a politician says and does are two different things, but sometimes those reasons are because he or she has weighed the options and tried to compromise to do something that each side of the issue can live with. From Lamplighter's perspective I can understand a big push against this bill in his area. The devastation of Katrina is still an issue in the areas further to the east in the Florida Parishes, specifically Washington and St. Tammany Parishes. Most of these guys in the legislature have no real interest in the turkey season one way or the other. So if a Rep. lobbies for a bill he authored or co-authored and there is no major opposition, I would imagine they are receptive to a Yea vote for something like this.

LB2
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Lamplighter:

You do have the option to stay out of the woods until the fourth Saturday whether it passes or not. LOL. Just kidding. There are a lot of goof balls out there trying to call up a turkey based on a television show. They pack around the two-headed Peep'N Tom, pockets full of calls, and a Peacock call. I was in Cabela's awhile back and saw that there was only one Peacock call left on the rack. Anyway, I don't know when the bill is up for a vote in the Senate, but it will be interesting to see the outcome.

LB2
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Well, I don't have one, but what's wrong with someone having a peacock call as a locator call? Do you know from personal experience that they don't work? Are people who have crow calls, owl calls, coyote calls are doing it wrong also. Maybe a hunter just wanted to try one to get something else in their "bag of tricks" Just my .02.
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I think I'd like to see it pass. I'm chomping at the bitt by that time of year to get in the woods. I'd assume youth weekend would move up a week also. The kids had taken 3 last season for youth.. The handfull of good hunters all bagged two, and moved onto Mississippi, Texas, etc., or went home... I myself was happy with one and didn't hunt the last two weeks. (that's just me)
We watch our limits close..but that doesn't say much for what happens around us..
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Vince:

No, I don't necessarily think anyone is doing it wrong. I just think it is funny when people walk up and down a trail or road on public land blowing on a locator call like it is a musical instrument. It is an indication that they do not know what they are doing. At times, a turkey might gobble at just about any loud noise. I have heard them gobble at screaming kids, but I wouldn't recommend walking through the woods screaming like a child. My point is that in most cases, I find that there are enough crows and owls out there making noise that I can focus on being quiet and listening. About the only time I owl hoot is if I am trying to get a better course on a turkey that has gobbled on the roost, and I only do that if he is not gobbling good enough on his own to let me course him. I don't want to get too close and bump him or lock him up, but sometimes it happens that you get a little too close anyway. I don't walk around blowing a locator call. In my opinion, those who do are clueless, and they are many and often owners of peacock calls.

LB2
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and of the six or seven people I spoke with who I consider to be very well versed in all things turkey, most are against the bill. All these guys are from East Feliciana or St. Helena--none own a peacock call--JK, and generally, they like the season the way it is. As I have said before, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. But, I tend to lean toward leaving it as is. Most of these guys cited their reasons as giving the birds in the area a better shot at successful breeding. They tend to agree with Mr. Savage's recommendations. They have noticed upward trends in the area over the past couple of seasons and attribute it to the later starting date. However, a few said they would like to see five days added to the season, but put them at the end. Of course, at that point it would not be detrimental to breeding success because hens should all be setting by the last week of April anyway.

Just thought ya'll might be interested in that little tidbit, and I am very much aware that the few folks I spoke with are not enough to give anyone an idea of the overall thoughts of most. But I figured I would put it out there.

LB2
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Now that was a very nicely stated piece of info.. I wish I could be that tactical and not insult people. I spent 10 years in green and gray, and what I saw internally just made me on the defensive. Do a goggle search of Frank Serpico and you'll see what my forum name means.
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I agree that someone who continuously walks around blowing one every 50-100 yards is pretty clueless and annoying, but I do think they deserve their place in a hunter's vest especially if someone's hunting a piece of property they've never hunted or haven't really had time to scout. I know alot of boys from Mississippi that use em (owl & crow)and they ALL can't be wrong. But this is getting off the track of what this original post is about, good to see that someone is keeping track of the new (or proposed) turkey regs.
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Lamplighter:

I did the search. I like that.

Vince:

Part of the peacock call also happens to be the brunt of a running joke. Since peacocks are not creatures that roam the woods of LA and SW MS, a few of us joke around when we hear or see a peacock call. But that doesn't mean that I think everyone who owns a peacock call is an idiot. Believe me, I have bought some stupid gadgets myself. The dumbest of which was the Mad Dead Silence (Dog Whistle), which I promptly trashed soon after I bought it. But at least no one could hear me blow it.LOL. So, another running joke I have is that I am a two-time world dog whistle blowing champion. The only time I used it I blew so hard that air came out the opposite end from my mouth and the call. My brother and I laughed until we almost cried out there. But it was something new, and I just tried it to see if it worked. It didn't.
LB2
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LB-2 i have to give my 2 on the peacock call while i agree with most of what u say about locators(i do not carry a owl or crow)but do owl at first light a few times with my mouth.and more so if trying to cource 1 thats a good ways away...but to the peacock i too thought they were crazy for using them.2 seasons ago i was hunting a particular gobbler in kisatchie and he stayed fairly close to a small farm on the edge of kisatchie and every time the peacock would call hed gobble his head off..prob was the peacock only called 2 or 3 times every morn..and the gobbler would never be roosted in the same place..so i bought a peacock call used in later in the morn at about 9:30 and he answered it blew it once or twice more to get closer to him and set up and called him in...he came in silently..had a 10.5 beard and 1 and an eighth spurs...havent made one gobble with it since though(also havent went back to the woods around that farm house either)also had some birds in texas this year that gobbled every time the neighbors jackazz started braying but i just cant bring my self to buy a jackazz to bring hunting with me..would cut down on the walking though...LOL
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This is the response from one of the MS. Turkey Biologist when asked his opinion. This is just some interesting info. to me! I also no MS. is not LA., but the area's we are talking about are bordered by MS to the North

I'm not up-to-date on all the happenings in Louisiana, but biologically speaking, I do not think that a March 15th opener should be of great concern. Your biologist is spot-on with that initiation date; nearly every turkey study that has been conducted in Mississippi has found an average initial incubation date from April 14 - 20.

I am trying to understand your concern, and it seems that you are afraid that some hens may not be bred due to heavy early-season gobbler harvest. Is this the question? If so, my response is that it should not be a concern for several reasons: (1) gobbler harvests, even in heavily hunted areas, rarely exceed 25-30% of the total male population, so even with the earlier opening day there should still be plenty of birds around; (2) a single gobbler can service many hens, so it only takes a few males to get the job done; (3) hens have the ability to store sperm in their oviducts, so a single copulation in March can be used to fertilize eggs in mid-April.

In most states, the primary argument against opening the season early relates to illegal hen harvest, but I do not think this concern applies well to MS and LA. The logic is that with large hen groups around, hunters will be more tempted to shoot a hen, and more hens will be accidentally hit when hunters are shooting at nearby gobblers. However, most of the supportive research for this theory comes from Midwestern or Northeastern states that have historic fall either-sex seasons where hunters have some experience with legal hen harvest. In the MS and LA we do not have that tradition, and here hens are typically regarded as sacred creatures that must be protected. Our research also supports this; illegal hen take has not been problem in any radio-telemetry study in MS.

Personally, I prefer to hunt in March because of the scenery, cooler mornings, lack of mosquitoes/snakes/ticks, and most of all because suicidal 2-year-olds are more common at that time (it takes them a few weeks to figure the game out). However, during that stretch from March 15 - 20, the weather can be pretty finicky since Old Man Winter is still trying to hang on.
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Tenderloin:

I am glad you posted that. It makes sense. I do have many fond memories of hunting turkeys those last couple of weeks of March for all the same reasons cited in your post. I don't know if there is a way to make everyone happy when it comes to hunting seasons, bag limits, etc. But that post cooled any concerns I had about the potential change. Thanks.

Gobblercrazy:

Don't get the jackazz call. LOL. But like I said, I don't think everyone who owns a peacock call or does things differently from me is an idiot. The peacock call itself just happens to be the one I make fun of the most. Hey, I actually bought that Dead Silence years ago. I just laugh when people seem to feel the need to fill every moment of silence in the woods with some sort of sound. The only locator call I own is a crow call, which I rarely use. But do owl sometimes to course a turkey after he gobbles on his own. But that is just what works for me.

LB2
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good info tenderloin ...LB 2what part of the state do u hunt
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Gobblercrazy:

St. Helena, East Feliciana, and on some years I go up to the Homochitto. It is only about 45 minutes from the house. But I haven't hunted in MS in about three years.

LB2
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there seems to be a strong turkey hunting tradition from that neck of the woods...glad to see we are getting a strong flock in central louisiana again.......
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you had better get on the horn and tell your senators to vote NO to HB 172. Trust me, I talked at length with Mr. Savage the turkey study leader. I am a poult counter, we get the data sheets from Larry to count hens with poults or without from June to August. I count in St Tammany. Larry is dead opposed to this bill. They Rocket netted approx. 500 gobblers in Washington Parish alone over the past few years and leg banned them. I found the rocket net up at Tensas a couple years ago in Feb. Feathers and soybean all out front. Killed a big one that year with a leg band.

With respect, you cannot use the opinion from another state bio. Our State has unique hunter habits, different forestry practices at different levels of logging, hurricanes, floods, and on and on. Mississippi opinions have NO value in our debate. Call Larry at the Monroe Office. That's where he hangs his hat. When you are finished talking, you will pick up the phone and call your senator to ask for a NO vote.
Larry sends us bar graphs of peak gobbling activity. They count gobbles in March. That plays a part in what they use to set the youth hunt and regular hunt days. Trust me, solid biological evidence and reasoning say DO NOT pass this bill. ONLY DESIRE to "hunt like we used to back in the day" is driving this bill. Goggle search LA Senator __________ parish and you will get a total list of your senators and E mail click-on icon plus telephone #.

NOW, ABOUT Locator Calls

back when I first got into it, I used these. I still carry a Knight & Hale reed type owl hooter. I very seldom use it nowadays. There is always natural owls and other stuff that trigger gobbles. It's been a while since I used these.

What IS my prize technique nowadays, and I go out on a limb here putting this on a public forum, is staying out all day with a quality pair of binoculars NOT cheap stuff, and just OBSERVING. Total camo, head net and all even pre season. Watch the right-of-ways. Note times, what are they doing, hens ? This has paid off big time. Might I offer a tip: Academy Sports, Leupold Yosemite Binocs. Awsome.

ONE thing triggered off many gobbles this March at Tensas when nothing else would. A Piletted Woodpecker. THAT, I will order soon.
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well lamplighter you seem to be coming out with a hollier than thou attitude towards this..taking a poke at the rest of us hunters scouting skills..i also scout well before season abnd hear plenty of gobbleing in feb also....it still kinda sounds to me u are just trying to keep hunters away from your Tensas
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I post tips as a courtesy. I also pick up some tips from other hunters who post. If you live life with a self-fulfilling prophecy that "they are out to get me" then that is how your percepion of things forms. I have no idea where you got that from.
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lamp since u apparently hunt a lot at tensas maybe u can answer this for me..werent they discussing a lottery for the turkey hunt a few years back..and 2nd question since they went to a state wide opening day has the florida parishes seen an increase in numbers a decrease or stayed the same.....the biologist went to moving the dates around where i hunt in arkansas and have really screwed it up
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Lamplighter:

I didn't know there was another way to scout than the way you described. I didn't take it in a negative way. But another good choice in binos is Nikon Monarchs.

I do have a question: Did anyone from wildlife and fisheries come forward with biological data in the House before this thing came to a House vote?

LB2

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lamplighter if i took your comment wrong then i appoligize but you have been coming on a lil strong in the post....as for the binos i have a pair of nikons but borrowed my sisters swaroksi(sorry bout the spelling)and they are spectacular(again sorry bout the spelling if its wrong)but my life was threatened if i lost or failed to return them....
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in politics. He can, when requested, testify to his biological expertise. It is so out of the box that the legislature even is considering setting a hunting season. The legislature, having recognized long ago that so many factors effect the setting of seasons and limits, and that such factors can pop up quickly, They created the Wildlife & Fisheries Commission. The legislature gave the Commission the power to adjust at any time seasons and bag limits.

The fact that the turkey season date is in the form of a Bill just shows that it is nothing but pure, regular Louisiana Politics. St Francisville is one of the strongest areas of politics. THAT is why I know it is BS. State employees are always in fear of their job, because it is frequently dangled in front of them like a banana on a string. I know. I was there 10 years. I could tell you stories that would make you drop your jaw in disbelief.

Yes St Tammany has benefited from a later season and from a 3 to 2 bird limit. There is alot of outlawing that goes on in the Fla. Parishes, but many of them get caught now.

There was never talk about making lottery hunts at Tensas and Big Lake, but Larry recently said that if the crowds return due to this Bill, then that is Exactly what he will likely do.

Do you realize that the State had CLOSED Dewy Wills ( the old Saline WMA) for some time due to poor turkey populations, and only this past season had two lottery hunts of 5 people each ?

I have heard talk about a lottery Bear hunt at Tensas. Could be just gossip.
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Lamp:

I understand the state employee issue. I guess I should have specified that I was talking about someone from the commission discussing the biological data. I also understand that it is unusual for the legislature to get involved in the minute details of setting seasons. They are not wildlife experts, far from it. Nevertheless, I am a little puzzled at the notion that people will flood into Tensas or any other WMA for that matter. Perhaps I don't understand that issue well enough, and I certainly don't know everyone who turkey hunts in the state. However, I don't know anyone from the Florida Parishes who hunts anywhere but the Fla. Parishes and SW MS. I am not disagreeing with you; I just don't understand why Tensas would suddenly get pressure. This bill only addresses private land. Most people around here who hunt private land have little or no interest in hunting LA WMAs. At least, that is true with folks I come in contact with.

LB2
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Sheridan, Angie, Enon, Richardson, Mt. Hermon, Chesbourgh, Talisheek, Hickory, Pearl River, Bush, and on and on. All these individuals belong to Piney Woods Leases all throughout these parts. Many, many of them hunt Tensas for the deer lottery hunts. They would and did, hunt the first opener in their leases. Then 2 weeks later, they all flock up North. Two opening mornings. They are on top one another NO Matter How deep you go. THIS IS HOW it used to be. As soon as they made a statewide opener same day, all that stopped like turning off a light switch. Man, how can you not get it. I have explained this boo koo times!
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understand the outlawing aspect of it we have more turkeys killed in deer season and squirell season than in turkey season here...i am glad that they did go to the 2 bird limit a few years back...as far as the lottery hunt i had just a friend of mine that lives in crowville mention somethig about it
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I guess I don't get it because the argument you make makes no sense. Why would everyone be so high on Tensas if they have basically two weeks to hunt private land before it even opens there? Also, Ben's Creek, which ain't what it used to be, is a piece of public land that would still open on the fourth Saturday of March. Plus, if I were from St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, I would probably go to DeSoto NF if I was going to hunt public land. I believe it is closer, and it is a decent place to hunt. Bottom line: If Larry Savage says it is a bad idea for biological reasons, I am all for leaving it alone. But if it comes down to some notion that Tensas will be inundated with hunters, I can't control any of that. I'll take you to a couple of good spots on MS public land if it gets that bad. I should speak with Larry tomorrow, so I'll let you know the lowdown on what he says the outlook is right now. Like I said before, I was fine with the season the way it was this year, but I do have mixed feelings. Most of the people I have talked to would rather have a week added to the end with the season starting the fourth Saturday, but I haven't talked to enough people to get a decent sample of regional opinions, which would be impossible.

LB2
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I will await your report. I talked with him 5/5. He emphasized the Tensas and Big Lake worries. Lets see what you come up with.
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First of all i can honestly say if the season is extended 35 days as it use to be i dont see the big argument. Turkeys in the earlier part of the season most of the time are harder to kill because they are more hened up so i dont see an increase in the number of gobblers that are going to be killed. Ive seen hens with groups of poults the second and third week of the season meaning these hens had to breed in feb. instead of march. Not saying that happens every year or with every hen but it does happen.
Second of all lamplighter you stated that feleicianaians are old school , dont know how to turkey hunt and dont have any idea about the biological aspect of turkeys well buddy your so wrong your just showing your ignorance. Ill be in tensas next season with about 8 or 10 of my so called non turkey hunting friends and show you what we in the feleicianas, st. helena and southwest mississippi call turkey hunting so dont go crawl under a log when you see unfamiliar vehicles in the tensas refuge. Its just us, we came to show you how we turkey hunt!
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City folks like super rooster could never hang in the refuge, and wouldn't have a clue where to go or how to counter pressure. Box stand, food plot, corn deer shooters.
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I think your the one who cant handle pressure cause your the one crying city boy. Aint no cities where i come from. My point is dont make a comment on an area you know nothing about. Ive hunted public land in alot of states and have been very successful my friends and i deer and turkey hunting. Sounds like your the one thats crying. Anyway wasnt this whole thing suppose to be about opening the season earlier and not talking about different groups of hunters.
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It's my thread, therefore I can write anything.
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i pretty much have to agree with longbeard 2 on this one ....looking forward to hearing(reading)about the outcome of longbeards talk with mr savage..it still sounds to me that lamplighter is more worried about additional people hunting the Tensas Biglake area that he is about the devistating results it would have on the poult count...thats just the way it seems to me
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I already posted what Larry feels. I had a conversation with him. Why must you " await" when the event already took place and I posted the results ?
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Well, I see ya'll found a way to occupy yourselves until I could get through with all my business today. BTW, I can definitely say Super Rooster is no city boy. Anyway, here is what I found out:
Fact 1: 71% of hunters surveyed are happy with the 4th Saturday opening.
Fact 2: Wildlife and Fisheries bases seasons on biological data rather than "how things used to be", which was not based on biological data.
Fact 3: New season dates would open youth season the first week of March.
Fact 4: Wildlife and Fisheries is concerned about a split season increasing pressure on public lands. I concede the point even though I would not be inclined to go to public land. There is obviously good data to suggest that would happen.
Fact 5: There is a study that was conducted by Wildlife and Fisheries that showed a 70% harvest rate of banded adult gobblers in Washington Parish as mentioned by Lamplighter. The study was done when there was an early season. This was surprising to the researchers. The later season has resulted in a decrease to just under 40% harvest, which is more acceptable.
Fact 6: Average incubation range across the SE US is between April 14 and 20.

In a nutshell and my opinion, the early season could be detrimental to areas that have a marginal population in the area (Florida Parishes as a whole). Facts 1, 2, 5, and 6 are the most compelling part of the whole thing for me. Killing turkeys too early in areas with a marginal population could adversely affect breeding success in that area. Every bit of nesting data from across the region (Southeastern US) puts the average incubation period somewhere between April 14 and 20. There is no question about that. Of course, that is an average, so some will be sooner and some later. Thus, there will be hens not bred if the season starts on March 15. There may be some unbred hens even with the later season, but it wouldn't be nearly as many. I think the season should be left to Wildlife and Fisheries.

There are other facts that we discussed. For instance, Louisiana only has about 43% of the state with suitable habitat whereas MS and Alabama have around 85% of each state with suitable habitat. These states aren't really comparable with LA's situation. I really think that the legislature should leave season setting to Wildlife and Fisheries. If you have any influence or contact with a Senator, you should consider discussing these things with them before this thing goes to a vote in the full Senate. I don't know about any of you, but since the season has opened on the 4th Saturday, I have seen an increase in poult production and had very consistent seasons.

LB2
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Did yall discuss him appearing before the senate just before voting, or at least presenting documents at each senator's seat ?
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Not specifically. He did discuss the process of having commission representatives speak before the House committee. It came out of there with little problem. Don't how it looks in the Senate right now, but I would bet it has a good chance of passing unless some folks speak up.

LB2

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if it passes, maybe you'll see my camp on the classifieds section.
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LL - I agree with what you and the others are saying... I hope it doesn't pass since I've read LB post. Plus, it causes us more problem with the deer hunters if an additional week is added anyway....(they can't go on our lease until the seasons over)
I just have two question.
1. Since when being a self proclaimed whistle blower (lamplighter)give you the right to be so arrogant and judgemental. What makes you always the one who is correct ?
2. Is a city boy who hunts a box stand, with a food plot and a corn feeder less of of a citizen than you....? Have you ever thought that maybe some work really hard during the week.....and / or that is the only way they can hunt and /or not everyone was raised in the country.....so hunting and rumageing the woods was not what they did during the summer and evenings after school.....etc., etc., etc,.......they all buy a license..

I hope the bill doesn't pass, but your PASSION is lost in your judemental arrogance....
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I am right more times then not. I must give credit where due. I only attack in defense. NEVER do I insult or start it. If you go back and read each post as it progresses, You'll see that Rooster attacked first and I simply countered. I will always counter.

As it turns out, I was right. LB's conversation with Savage simply reinterated exactly what I was saying all along. See, I was right. I know people and human behavior too well. That is how I was able to catch so many people. Unfortunately, I started catching the wrong people. I am not Sgt. Shultz from Hogan's Heros, in that I cannot just say, " I see nothing." Good day.
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well whatever your opinions are mine is that the wildlife and fisheries biologist should be the ones to set the season not the legislature.......and now that longbeard has posted the actual numbers from mr savages studies i would say to leave the seasons alone
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Gobblercrazy:

I think you mentioned that you hunt in Arkansas. Larry mentioned that the season in Arkansas had to be changed up because of several consecutive bad hatches. I can't remember the specifics of that part of the conversation, but the gist of it was that there is, and obviously so, a reason things were set up to have experts in the field setting the seasons. They are out there doing the research and getting a much better picture of what is really happening. I have a few very good places around here to hunt, some marginal, and some that aren't even worth going to. And I think that some very good, some marginal, some poor is a more accurate picture of the Florida Parishes as a whole, especially when you move to the east. Pockets of excellent to good habitat will hold lots of turkeys, and marginal to poor will hold less or perhaps none. Thus, the early season could potentially affect those less hospitable habitats. I would, and this is just me, say that when you get to the Tickfaw River in St. Helena and move to the west there is better habitat than what you might find in Washington and St. Tammany parishes. Poult counts for me last year averaged around 4.6 (21 hens and 96 poults), which is excellent. Overall, the Florida Parishes came in with a good hatch. I think the average was 2.6 or something close to that.

LB2
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was that it appears that not a whole lot of people participated in the tag validation process. Maybe it will take awhile for people to get accustomed to it. I hope it catches on; I like the tagging system myself. Years ago, they had a drawing for each zone in the state if you checked in your turkey. They gave away a shotgun. I won one one year, an 870. I am not suggesting that they do that. The NWTF sponsored that one, not LDWF. But it was a pretty good feeling to win the shotgun.

LB2
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LB 2 i hate to hear that the particapation in the tagging systym is not what they hoped it to be that could be a real good tool in setting seasons and bag limits.....as for the Arkansas seasons i know that some parts of the state had consecutive bad hatches but that is one thing i liked about arkansas. They had smaller management regions even go so far as to manage county by county for deer and turkey witch is why it surprised me when they cut the season down where we hunt..have had great hatches for several years...but the season there opens i think 2 weeks after ours does and u wanna talk about some quiet mornings in the woods!!!!!!usually kill more on youth weekend than any other time of the season.. this past season more than half were killed on youth weekend..and this is a lease with some verry serious and good turkey hunters......most are killed by ambushing them the past couple of years....
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