LDWF data indicate the turkey kill in Louisiana has been on the decline since 2009. I suspect the decline will continue this past season.
Heavy rain dominated much of March and April, and it had an impact on hunting, especially in Northwest Louisiana.
Southeast Louisiana — specifically the Florida Parishes — used to be the place for turkey hunting in the state, but changes in the forest landscape and heavy urbanization has taken its toll on the habitat.
Hunters in Vernon Parish and the parishes surrounding it kill twice as many turkeys as are killed in Southeast Louisiana.
In Northwest Louisiana, hunters in Claiborne and Union parishes kill more turkeys than all of the parishes in Southeast Louisiana.
The large group of turkeys I was seeing on our property disappeared following the flooding rain in March, and they did not come back. They apparently relocated on other property.
All of the money, time and effort I spent keeping the habitat productive seems to have gone to waste.
While it was a disappointing season, the work did add 15 new turkeys to the landscape.
And who knows: Some of the jakes that have disappeared might show up next season as 2-year-old toms.
Next season is the hope of all us hunters; without it, we would all be sitting at home watching football.