So now what? A lot of random thoughts...

Pimpscoe

Eight Pointer
As we speak the record harvest number is continuing to grow. I got to thinking. What will be the impact of this season? Not just on the birds, especially the Jakes/2 yr olds next season, but the sport itself. Will the state drop the number of Tom tags from 2, to 1 next season? Will it be based on location...Mountains/Piedmont, etc? I only mention this bc although the state is experiencing record numbers, counties like Halifax Co. are at or below the average for the last three season. Will a lot of your honey holes no longer be “your secret” spot due to hunter’s finding them, illegal or legal hunters. (I have ran off and seen more trespassers this season than the last 10 combined). Which is another thought, how many “new” hunters from this season will continue to turkey hunt next year. Just this week I have had two Hispanic hunters with their black face paint drive past me on gameland in their “plumbing work truck”, pvc pipes and all. As I stood there with my hands up and flashlight in there eyes, asking where are you going? Will Hunter numbers be higher, with less birds to be hunted? I know...a lot of rambling, but so many questions about the impact of this season rolling in my head.
 

Ol Copper

Ten Pointer
There will be a drop in kill numbers next year I feel, but the reason will be unknown immediately. Will it be due to less birds or less hunter numbers ? No way to be sure.

If the number goes down next year into the ballpark of where its been hovering for years, or even a little below that, there will be no need for panic. If it steadily declines over the next 4-5 years you may see some action but the ncwrc is usually very hesitant to change anything.
 

Aaron H

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I did not see a jake all season, saw a few hens and 4 mature gobblers but not one jake. That predicts fewer gobblers in my hunting areas next season I'd say. Turkey hunting has been on the increase I think over several years. More people are trying it and that has just been magnified with the stay at home stuff. It's possible that Covid 19 will be with us on and on and this could be the new "normal". On the plus side, turkey population gains in some areas will offset a little of the decline in others, though that does nothing for hunters in locations where turkeys are being pushed out by habitat loss and intense hunting pressure. Over all I am thrilled to see turkeys statewide doing as well as they are. I'm old and can remember when things were quite grim by comparison. I worked with the NCWRC trapping turkeys in 1970. We caught birds in the Pisgah for relocation across the state. Back then there were few turkey hunters and most of the state had few or no birds. Much of the state was closed to turkey hunting then.
 

jug

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Well I did not feel like my old self Turkey hunting till the last week so I did not really chase after the birds hard this year. With that said yes next year will be off and the harvest will be down because ALL those fly by night Turkey hunters wont be hunting every day like they did this year. I got 4 new Turkey hunting neighbors this year that have never hunted in their life. Most will hunt opening day and when it gets hot they will be done. Most of us on here stay at it till the end. The fly by night crowd will be done hunting by the 2nd Saturday.
Alot of Turkeys will be safer next season.
 
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oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
well if LC is predicting a good year, I'll just worry about something else.
And hope like hell he is correct.

no changes in regs will be considered. looking good weatherwise short term for those poults coming up soon or already here.
maybe a banner spring like last year for the poults.
 

CutNRun

Six Pointer
The hunting pressure in this Covid 19 turkey season has been incredibly intense. I'm not accustomed to hearing so many shots from so many places as there were this year. Turkeys really had to run the gauntlet like never before. I just hope some birds went silent and found safe places to hide, instead of their numbers getting shot down low.

Jim
 
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