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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why in the world are we still permitted to shoot bearded hens given the known decline in our turkey population. Waterfowl hunters are made to determine sex of a bird on the wing, often in very low light. With even very minimal research and study of wild turkeys ANYONE can tell a bearded hen from a male bird. The “bearded turkey” portion of the law is only there to protect the ignorant. We hold waterfowl hunters to a clearly much more difficult standard. I’m not at all bashing those who have shot bearded hens. I’m advocating for a change going forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I also agree that we shouldn’t be allowed to shoot hens in the fall. Southern states are already going that direction. Tennessee has hit a decline in population. They dropped their spring limit and made fall gobbler only.
 

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I am with you ohiostrutter. No hens in the spring or fall. I know the argument is that so few are taken but if turkey populations are declining, then every angle has to be looked at to get more hens and more nests to be successful.
 

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I would get on board with no hens permitted. You'd think there wouldn't be too many upset by this with the few that are killed. I could be off base, but fall turkey season is not that popular any way and I doubt many are out targeting a hen. More likely an opportunity or frustration kill (I haven't had a gobbler in range I'll shoot this hen). I don't know I could be wrong there.

I stepped on two hens Sunday mushroom hunting; both nests full of eggs. I left the area, but of course the hens had flushed off. I know they will come back, but I hate when that happens!
It does show just how well they hide the nest and how tight they sit. I literally started to put my foot on one when I saw her looking at me and flush (like when you are about to step on a mushroom watching your feet). I was able to divert my step away from her nest so no harm was done, but you guys know what I am trying to describe. Hoping for decent weather and a good hatch / survival rate.
 

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Hens are rarely taken. The only folks upset with the laws are the ones saying no more hens. There isn’t a group of hunters out there that will say “pry my hen killing rights from my cold dead hands.” Let’s start with no closed season on those raccoons opossums. If you wanna change the language to male turkeys only. I’d be ok with that too. Just seems like the bearded turkeys language is easiest to enforce.
 

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I’ve also never really heard of a successful conservation effort that was a result of lowering bag limits. The turkeys declining numbers are a result of poor hatches. Grouse bag limits are down to almost 0 and I haven’t seen a grouse in years.
 

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I’ve also never really heard of a successful conservation effort that was a result of lowering bag limits. The turkeys declining numbers are a result of poor hatches. Grouse bag limits are down to almost 0 and I haven’t seen a grouse in years.
In general, I think that there are plenty of examples where lowering bag limits for wild animal and fish is exactly the right solution.
 
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But it can’t be the only solution.
 
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That’s the only solution we ever come up with on this website. Both on the deer forum and now it’s here. Close this season, cut these bag limits. Etc etc. The number of predators both of the avian and four legged variety need to be addressed as well. I always like to err on the side of Hunter access, I know I’m crazy. A Hunter who supports more hunting opportunities for other hunters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Toker, the state can’t make guys trap raccoons and hunt coyotes. The state can’t make the weather play nice for hatches. The state can’t make private landowners do habitat improvement. I will tell
You what the state can do......limit hen harvests. I 100% agree with you that it is not the only answer. Other, even more important factors are at play. But they are factors that really can’t be controlled. I also agree that I don’t like taking away opportunities. I absolutely LOVE chasing fall flicks of turkeys. In the past I haven’t discriminated hens vs. gobblers when the population was healthier. I have self imposed a change personally. I would hate to see the fall
Season go away completely.
 

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I am one of those ones that wants it to be likely to shoot 4 rabbits in a day or 6 walleye in a day if that is the limit. Manage the harvest.
 
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Does anyone know how msny hens are being killed a year now? Not being smart just looking for the answers. Would it make that much of a difference? That’s my question.
 

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Just for the record I’ve never shot a hen in my 42 years on this earth.
 

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But I’d agree with a noon stop like in the old days and 1 turkey limit in spring.
 
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