Morning, noon and night, the sound of goose calls fill the air as the guys blow the dust off their favourite calls.
The fall is almost upon us and you know, even the dog has a new spring in her step. That slight chill in the early morning air has everyone around here in much better spirits. Yep! Goose season is almost here.
So, just got my newest edition of Ontario Out of Doors mag and was reading about turkey stats, which brought alot of questions to mind.
The MNR states that the 2010 fall and spring hunts were the “poorest in recent years. Over the past 4 seasons there has been a 10% decline in the # of harvested Jakes”. Note : the percentage of jakes is included in the percentage of males harvested.
Year #Birds % Jakes #Hens
2007 9,766 38 73
2008 10,492 35 83
2009 9,252 33 58
2010 9,086 28 53
Right off the bat, I think, ” Why are the turkey #’s down? Can’t be!!”
The MNR states the population is steady at approx 70,000 birds in Ontario from 2008 ’til 2010, so why the decrease in harvest #s?
Well, here’s my thinking in a nutshell, listed randomly as I ramble through my thoughts as to why:
# 1. Since the MNR went to the telephone reporting of harvested birds, I worry they have made it too easy to not report the bird. Mandatory check sites were a good thing and the presence of officers in the field has dwindled. In summary, all the MNR has to go on with these stats is what we report, so be honest and call it in!!!!!!!
#2. So, if the # of harvested Jakes is down, that should mean that there are more mature Toms out there? Sounds reasonable. In our area the coyote #s have soared, so maybe they have attributed to the % being lower?
#3. The number of people taking Hunter education courses continues to rise. Since 2001 those completing the course has risen by 80% from 9,641 to 17,645 in 2010. This is absolutely awesome! We need to get our kids off the streets, away from the playstations and back out in the field.
With that said, we are not only educating the next generation about hunting, we’re also educating that smart old tom about every turkey call and decoy set-up going!
#4. And maybe its just us old hunters passing up the jakes. We’re just out there, enjoying our time in the field and ensuring our future generations have a sport they can hand down to their children.
Can’t stress enough…report your birds. We need to work with our local MNR guys and gals to ensure they can have accurate stats to keep our hunting heritage alive and thriving.
Ok, enough County blabber. What’s your view?