Slow day at work.....I took the available harvest #'s available off the DNR's site that goes back to 2007 for the most southeast counties in IA. I did throw in Polk and Mahaska just for fun because that's where I turkey hunt. Interesting how Polk and Mahaska harvest #'s are trending up, although I know for a fact I see when driving in polk a lot fewer turkeys than I use to just 5 years ago. Red indicates a drop in harvest #'s from the previous year. I wish I knew how to make a line graph, it would show this information much better(im sure I could figure out how or it may even be on the dnr site).
Some of the southeast counties do not seem bad, Appanoose in particular.
A lot of birds harvested, one of the top in the state actually. For Appanoose if you compare 07 to 17, 08 to 18, 09 to 19, 10 to 20 Appanoose is actually well ahead of where it was 10 years prior for all those comparisons. We are talking 50 to nearly 100 more birds harvested in those decade comparisons.
-Wapello is trending down noticeably, its nearly all red.
-Van Buren is really ugly. By far the worst drop in harvests. Look at Van Buren in 07, 08, 09, 10 and the compare those to 17, 18, 19, 20. 200 fewer birds harvested in 17 compared to 07!
-Des Moines seemed to dip in the early teens, but has come back up.
-Henry seems to have held fairly steady, but has dropped some
You can only tell so much from these #'s. There's nothing to tell you how many people are out in the field turkey hunting these counties today compared to 10+ years ago. Like does Appanoose all of a sudden have a lot more people hunting there the past few years skewing the harvest #'s to make it seem like there are more birds there compared to 10 years ago? Maybe there are fewer hunters in the southeast IA region. Southeast IA is a well known big deer area, there are probably a lot more properties bought and leased for deer hunting now than compared to 10-15 years ago in the area and that has dwindled the number of turkey hunters due to decreased access resulting in fewer harvests...but I also know that people just driving the roads say they see a lot fewer birds now.
Some of these counites, in particular Van Buren is very alarming(is there by chance a big farm turkey operation in the county that maybe a disease or something hurt the #'s of wild birds), but then you have just couple counties over Appanoose climbing. Overall though, southeast is IA is trending down. I think its a combination of things. Is it something to do with farming practices, a disease, maybe fewer hunters, predators? Probably a combination of all this stuff. Hopefully something can be figured out soon as to the cause.