Hunters taking part in the Missouri fall firearms turkey season and archery season face a challenge.
This year's annual wild turkey brood survey shows statewide turkey production was below average. The statewide poult-to-hen ratio for this year was 0.9, which was 13 percent higher than last year's ratio, but 25 percent lower than the previous five-year average.
Missouri fall firearms and archery season runs through Oct. 31 with a limit of two turkeys of either sex.
Regionally, the ratio ranged from 0.7 in the western Ozarks to 1.4 in the northwest region. Turkey production was higher in north Missouri this year than in the southern part of the state.
Jason Isabelle, turkey biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said although this year's late spring delayed nesting, conditions during the nesting and brood-rearing periods were favorable throughout much of the state. Isabelle said this year's low production isn't surprising when you consider the trend in poult-to-hen ratios from previous years.
"During the late 1990s, turkey production steadily increased before declining during the 2000s. After once again increasing throughout much of the state from about 2009-2014, we experienced lower production during the last three years," he said. "The poult-to-hen trend the last several years would have suggested production was going to be low this year."
Sports on 10/09/2018