Spring turkey harvest numbers have hit a 20 year low. Reports show that 17% fewer turkeys were taken this year versus 2020.
The biggest reason for a drastic decrease however is the ending of lockdowns. Last spring turkey season saw a large increase in hunters. With nothing to do at home, why not go get a nice turkey?
2021 saw 37,179 wild turkeys registered by hunters. Last year would have seen 43,499 turkeys. The strange thing is that this is still the lowest report since 1999.
Alaina Gerrtis with the DNR of Wisconsin says things have changed drastically.
“Last spring (2020) we were at the height of the safer-at-home order and many more hunters were available to hunt as there wasn’t much else to do. This can be seen through a large decrease in over-the-counter tags purchased in 2021.”
States across the country reported record numbers in outdoor activities in 2020. With the nation opening up it makes one wonder what fall hunting will look like.
Game species seem to know where to go when being pressured. With record-high numbers last year and an apparent decline this year, will the game still be around?
Many states in the west saw a record number of hunting applicants this year. In addition to the number of hunters, the West is also facing severe drought. All living things depend on water. Some more than others. With the increasing drought conditions, increased wildfires, and increased pressure, game could be hard to find.
My advice for those out West would be to find a steady water supply. Sit on the water before daybreak and wait for your game. What about dealing with an increase of people hunting in your unit? Be faster and smarter. All while being ethical of course.