Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 5

And that's why the Game Commission
annually asks spring turkey hunters to
pass up bearded hens.
It can make an immediate difference
in any local turkey population and, at
a time when the Game Commission
is trying to give turkey populations
in many Wildlife Management Units
(WMUs) a boost, it's the right thing
for any conservation-minded turkey
hunter to do.

FALL FACTORS
The fall turkey season has always
had the largest influence on Pennsylvania turkey conservation, because it's
when any turkey is legal game and hen
turkeys are most vulnerable.
Until the spring gobbler season
started, the fall season was all Pennsylvania hunters had. It stretches back to
those days when birds raised at turkey
farms and released were more plentiful on the landscape than wild birds.
Unlike years ago, however, the state's
fall turkey season today competes with
other big-game hunting - primarily
archery deer, but also bear, and even elk.
And unlike the spring season, the fall
season is deadly to hens.
On average, female turkeys comprise
60 percent of Pennsylvania's fall turkey
harvest. Much of this stems from an
inability among hunters to distinguish
first-year jakes from females. Many
times hunters are grateful to take any
turkey.
" Flock behavior is the main reason
why females and juvenile males make
up the majority of the fall harvest, "
Casalena explained. " Most hunters
look to bust up a flock and call in a bird

MAY 2021	

as they begin to regroup. It's a longstanding fall hunting strategy. " 	
Given a hen's responsibility to nest,
incubate eggs and raise broods every
spring and summer, and to show poults
the ropes of survival every fall and
winter, it stands to reason that removing
too many hens during the fall season
can impact future populations, Casalena said. After all, the factors having
the greatest effect on long-term turkey
population growth are nest success, hen
survival and poult survival.
" Our fall turkey harvests do have a
direct effect on hen survival, which,
in turn, affects the hen population's
ability to produce abundant poults
next spring, " Casalena noted. " So, it
behooves all fall turkey hunters to be
more selective when deciding which
bird to harvest. Every hen spared could
be responsible for maybe a dozen poults
next spring! "
Recent springs have been kind of
tough on turkey reproduction in some
WMUs. And when you add that to a fall
harvest that typically is 60 percent hens,
it should provide enough information
to conclude hens could use more help.
So, err in favor of hens. Look for that
big tom, spring or fall, or learn how to
tell a jake from hen in the fall. It's your
chance to help to make a difference and
to promote turkey conservation and
better overall turkey hunting.
And if you'd like to hunt a second
gobbler, or were worried about those
who do, know that the resource can
adequately accommodate those who
might take second turkeys. It's a management decision that has been verified
repeatedly since the second gobbler
license was established.

5



Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 44
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Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 49
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Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 58
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Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Cover4
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