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The AGFC voted this week (1 week before season) that Fall turkey season will be closed. This after printing the reg book showing it open and printing fall turkey tags on my license.

I like to hunt turkeys with my bow in late season and also like the possibility of killing one while on stand throughout the year.

I think this is BS. It's amazing to me how OK changes the rules very little year to year and opens their season on the same day every year and their wild game populations thrive while AR fiddles with everything every year and can't ever seem to get it right.

They're doing it because of dwindling turkey numbers but I'll just tell you, I hunted probably 6 times last year (would've been more but I work in preparedness and a tornado came through 2 days before season started and then was followed up by H1N1, limiting my hunting opportunities) and I was on birds every single day.

Just had to vent
 

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I am covered up by birds early season. Then come late season very rarely do I see birds. There are 2 issues that IMO cause this. #1 is poaching. People around here poach like crazy. #2 is people shooting birds over feeders. Again this goes back to poaching & illegal hunting. Here in Arkansas way to many poachers are in the woods acting like hunters. Until we get a hand on our illegal hunting & poaching issues we will never grow to our potential with turkeys or deer. We have a mindset issue here in this state that says "because my daddy & his daddy did it then it's ok for me to do it". Same thing with the whole deer dog issue. Come up into the Ozark National Forest anytime during deer season & you can hear deer dogs running even though it is against the law. The illegal dog runners use loopholes in the law to avoid legal action. Until we get a grip on illegal activity & close all the loopholes in the system then we are at the mercy of poachers. JMHO
 

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Had to vent as well.
 

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That is the AGFC for ya!
 

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They need to come to my area. NO lack of birds here...never has been. For over 20 years I see tons of birds everytime I'm hunting deer. Thats pretty stupid to make that decision 1 week before. I suspect there is some other REAL reason. You cannot tell me they "just realized that". IF there are reduced birds they would know it way before now. In my area AGFC has been known to do certain things based on should we say "citizen monetary influences"

I also notice where I hunt is all of a sudden Zone 2 for deer. Doesn't change much for me but just curious.
 

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I have more than I can handle here in Ks. You can have them, all of them.
 

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This should probably be moved to the Arkansas page. I'll cut & paste.
 

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yea its sum B! S!!!!! i need to check my zone not sure if its closed in my zone ?? i planned on sticking a big double beard sat . .
 

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yea its sum B! S!!!!! i need to check my zone not sure if its closed in my zone ?? i planned on sticking a big double beard sat . .
It is closed statewide. And I guess I have a little different perspective than most above. Year before last I saw one bird and heard none, this past Spring I heard and saw none, zip, zero. I hunted hard if four different counties (Benton, Carroll, Hempstead, and Washington) and was very frustrated. Of the nine guys I hunt with or talk birds with, only one got a bird, and it was the only one he saw all year. Something has to be done. The number of gobblers estimated to be on Hobbs Estate went from 137 to four (4!!) from 2004-2008. I'll support any action they take. If any of you guys have a handle on a place to hunt with any birds on it at all, I'd love a heads up for next Spring.
 

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It is closed statewide. And I guess I have a little different perspective than most above. Year before last I saw one bird and heard none, this past Spring I heard and saw none, zip, zero. I hunted hard if four different counties (Benton, Carroll, Hempstead, and Washington) and was very frustrated. Of the nine guys I hunt with or talk birds with, only one got a bird, and it was the only one he saw all year. Something has to be done. The number of gobblers estimated to be on Hobbs Estate went from 137 to four (4!!) from 2004-2008. I'll support any action they take. If any of you guys have a handle on a place to hunt with any birds on it at all, I'd love a heads up for next Spring.
I have killed several birds in washington county, you just need to start hunting other places than Old Main Lawn....:shade: If any thing i would say the birds are up. Everytime i am in the woods this years i saw birds. This spring in Melbourne i got a headach listening to so many. Not sure how they are going to be able to enforce it because the way i look at it is i bought a license and they gave me two fall turkey tags maybe if they send me a refund check for those two tags they won't get used. :darkbeer:
 

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Turkey numbers are obviously down for the state as a whole and we have a couple of new commissioners that have a bur up the butt about shooting hens in the fall season eventhough total fall harvest is extremely minimal even with if you throw in a bucket full to account for poached birds. Dont know what the best answer is to help the turkey numbers but I am guessing that recovering from what was in hindsight prolly overharvesting a few years back coupled with a couple years of very poor mast production and couple springs worth of bad weather, floods, ice storms, tornado's, etc.

Sure would be nice if we had turkeys again like we used to have them.
 

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I have killed several birds in washington county, you just need to start hunting other places than Old Main Lawn....:shade: If any thing i would say the birds are up. Everytime i am in the woods this years i saw birds. This spring in Melbourne i got a headach listening to so many. Not sure how they are going to be able to enforce it because the way i look at it is i bought a license and they gave me two fall turkey tags maybe if they send me a refund check for those two tags they won't get used. :darkbeer:
I hunted South of Strickler and it ain't Old Main :). Now I just have 60 acres to hunt and I know that is a small amount and I just hunted it once after all other options failed. Half of Benton County was closed all together, Madison County WMA was closed, the other spots just had no birds (or they did not gobble). Happy you had birds, but the numbers are not up and many areas are virtually empty. I agree that with the season so close and the tags issued, I'd have trouble convicting someone for shooting one because they did not have a fair opportunity to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I agree with Headhunter a whole lot as well as most if not all of you that have posted. My question still remains, OK had much of the same weather issues we've had so how come they have so many birds? They're pretty much everywhere...at least where I've been.
 

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I hunted South of Strickler and it ain't Old Main :). Now I just have 60 acres to hunt and I know that is a small amount and I just hunted it once after all other options failed. Half of Benton County was closed all together, Madison County WMA was closed, the other spots just had no birds (or they did not gobble). Happy you had birds, but the numbers are not up and many areas are virtually empty. I agree that with the season so close and the tags issued, I'd have trouble convicting someone for shooting one because they did not have a fair opportunity to find out.
Have you tried Devils Den yet? Taken several long beards off that place while i was in school up there. Another good stragey there in the spring is hit Beaver lake and call from the boat. You can cover alot of ground quick. You also have Hobbs WMA area there, lots of birds and they have an archey only chunk of land.
 

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I agree with Headhunter a whole lot as well as most if not all of you that have posted. My question still remains, OK had much of the same weather issues we've had so how come they have so many birds? They're pretty much everywhere...at least where I've been.
Wonder how AR actually does the bird count?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm afraid it's by the harvest. Which is crazy considering the shorter season ans later start date. I don't have a problem with wither the short season or the late start but dont try to get your overall numbers from that.

I know the weather and lack of mast crop (complete non crop 2 yrs ag in my area) has hurt the numbers but it seems like AGFC just fiddles with crap too much
 

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You also have Hobbs WMA area there, lots of birds and they have an archery only chunk of land.
Not any more the estimated number of Gobblers on that huge estate is less than 10 last period. In all of Benton County nine birds were checked this Spring :sad:
 

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I may have different opinion on this matter than most. Here comes my 2 cents. I really think its a good move. I know timing is not perfect for a lot of you guys but when a move needs to be made there is no reason putting it off! Spring turkey hunting is my true passion and I travel to anywhere from 5 to 8 states each spring chasing gobbling turkeys. In Arkansas (opposite of some of yalls opinions) there has been a horrible decrease in numbers over the last five years statewide. I understand that there are some good flocks still around and I hunt a place where we still have plenty of turkeys but as a statewide whole its terrible. I agree with some above that poaching is still going to take place but them closing season WILL save a few turkeys. Think about how many in the long haul just saving one good momma hen will produce. She will have poults next summer and her poults will have poults in years to come. Before jumping my butt over it I understand that fall hunting isnt a huge factor in the decline of turkey numbers. It all goes back to the hatches but if the state wants to increase turkey numbers they have got to start with cutting out fall season.
Next on the agenda!!!!!!!!!!
We've got to push a no jake rule PERIOD! Look what it has done in Mississippi as far as gobbling turkeys in the spring. Ive hunted Mississippi every spring for almost 20 years and when they went to the no jake rule the gobbling started going up every year. A no jake rule will increase the number of two year olds in the woods and give us better hunting.

Trying to work and type not good but if anyone disagrees with me on this topic give me a reasonable explination. I may not agree with alot of what the AGFC puts out there as far as QDM but i do believe that this is the right move for now with our turkeys.
 

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I'm not disputing that it's a good move but it should have been done sooner. There are many problems here in Arkansas but the AGFC needs to bite the bullet & do what needs to be done on several issues & not just with turkeys. I also agree with the no jake rule. That would help out a lot but then you get so many crying foul because kids can't kill jakes. Lets put all the cry baby attitudes aside & do whats best for our wildlife as a whole. That includes turkey, deer, elk, & every other game species. Lets do what needs to be done in order to ensure quality & health in out our turkey flocks, deer herds, etc..
 

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I'm not disputing that it's a good move but it should have been done sooner. There are many problems here in Arkansas but the AGFC needs to bite the bullet & do what needs to be done on several issues & not just with turkeys. I also agree with the no jake rule. That would help out a lot but then you get so many crying foul because kids can't kill jakes. Lets put all the cry baby attitudes aside & do whats best for our wildlife as a whole. That includes turkey, deer, elk, & every other game species. Lets do what needs to be done in order to ensure quality & health in out our turkey flocks, deer herds, etc..
You mean like a shotgun/ML only gun season that isnt 6 freakin weeks long and doesnt run through the pre-rut, rut and post rut time period? Sign me up for some of that...
 
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