Shorter Season Best for Arkansas Turkeys

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Shorter Season Best for Arkansas Turkeys

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Arkansas Game & Fish Turkey Biologist?

I have to agree that, as much as I hated it, delaying turkey season last year was helpfull. It actually added a significant challange. I actually had to work a little harder to kill a nice gobbler, instead of chasing an early morning rumble. However, I really think that our state biologist are severly overlooking a major threat to the turkey population, besides hunters.

Over the last several years, I have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of natural turkey predators. (Bobcats, Cyotes, Racoons, etc.) If you don't believe me, spend just a little time in the woods at night and listen to the cyotes.

Some things I believe contributed to the increase:

-Habitat. Just as cutovers and thickets are excellent habitats for deer, the same holds true for these natural predators. Solution: see next

-A dramatic decrease in hunting natural predators. This is my number one! Deer and Turkey have become evermore marketed and popular. Just the opposite with these predators. The amount of people that spend time and money to hunt these animals are constantly decreasing. The fur market is virtually dead, most people don't eat these animals on a normal basis, and most impotant, the Arkansas Game & Fish doesn't make any attempt to promote or market the hunting of these animals. I myself have began to hunt cyote and bobcat, and actually found it to be quite fun. I would strongly urge fellow turkey hunters to do the same and would love to see AGFC figure this out and help control this situation.

Please don't get me wrong, there are many factors that have contributed to the decline in turkey population, including hunters. I just simply feel that some of the other major factors are highly overlooked.

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