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Old 02-12-2014, 01:41 PM   #1
BTLowry
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Default East Texas Turkey "Super Stocking"

Got this in an email. Guys at GEWMA were telling us about this last fall.

Wild Turkey “Super Stocking” Project Under Way in East Texas
TENNESSEE COLONY, TX – More than two dozen Eastern wild turkeys from Tennessee and Missouri will call the Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area home as of today, thanks to the efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The birds were captured earlier this week and transported to a TPWD facility in Tyler, where they were inspected, tagged with metal ID leg bracelets and fitted with GPS tracking devices. The transplanted turkeys then traveled to the Gus Engeling WMA an hour away and released into the wild as part of a “Super Stocking” initiative to restore this majestic bird on its historic range in East Texas.

The Gus Engeling WMA is among three sites identified for stocking this year. The “Super Stocking” plan calls for stockings of 80 turkeys on each site – three hens for each gobbler — about 240 birds in total. By next week, nearly 100 turkeys will have been released thus far.

“It’s the same old story," Hardin said. "The birds were essentially wiped out by subsistence and market hunting along with extensive habitat loss in the later parts of the 19th century, but with the help of the NWTF, we have been able to bring the birds back all across the country. Although more than 50 counties in East Texas were stocked during the 1980s and 1990s only 28 counties are open for turkey hunting today. So we had to start looking at why we were not as successful in keeping the Eastern wild turkey population flourishing as other states in its historic range."

The NWTF’s Texas State Chapter is playing a significant role in footing the bill for transferring the birds. Help with the gas bills and plane tickets have been a real boost, Hardin said. “We couldn’t do what we do without NWTF volunteers and employees. This is all part of NWTF’s new Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt Initiative. Hopefully, one of these days we’ll have enough birds so we will not need to rely on other states for our Eastern wild turkey restoration efforts."

More Eastern wild turkeys are on the way.

Alabama, Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia are providing wild trapped Eastern turkeys for the Texas project. The states are compensated $500 for each turkey they provide, the restitution is funded by TPWD’s Upland Game Bird Stamp program.

Researchers will use the GPS transmitters to track movements of the birds, effectively “ground-truthing” the models biologists have created to identify preferred turkey habitat needs throughout the year. This data will help in assessing future stocking sites.

This restoration effort in Texas is unique," said NWTF Assistant Vice President for Conservation Programs Tom Hughes. "It’s an area where we helped with trap and transfer work in places years ago. Maybe there was a change in the habitat, you had less prescribed fire than was needed, too much rain or not enough. Whatever the reason, we are going back to the area and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is really committed to getting it right this time."

Hughes says it’s an unusual circumstance in Texas, since most wild turkey populations did well following earlier trap and transfer efforts.

“This one did too, for a while,” said Hughes. “But, from our standpoint, we are still committed to making sure turkeys have the best chance they can for survival. We are still practicing what we preach and have been since 1973.”





Billy C. Lambert, Jr.

Private Lands Biologist

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:04 PM   #2
BUbowhntr
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Outstaning. I hunt the Rio Grande Thunder Chicking in Childress County, but would love to hear some gobbling in the pine woods of Cass County one. Hope this works, and I'm glad to see that other states are as passionate about rehabing a great species in our fine state. And thanks NWTF for all the help in getting this going again.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:15 PM   #3
gonehuntin
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At least they got it right this time and stocking Eastern strain birds instead of the Rio Grande birds they did years ago. I have not seen a Turkey around that area since 1999. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:16 PM   #4
akey
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The last time they did this they let them loose on the property across the river from my family's land in Anderson County. We have turkeys all over now! They are fun to watch, hopefully one day we can hunt them.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:23 PM   #5
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they had them going good here in Marion county but they are all gone now
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:26 PM   #6
nathank
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My neighbor works for the coal mine in Henderson, Tx and he told me two weeks ago they let two dozen or so loose out there. Hopefully they will take off and we can see turkeys in the wild again in east Texas.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:38 PM   #7
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shoot your hogs......its good for birds!
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:42 PM   #8
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They released several on and around my land about my sr. Year....2 were hit by cars and never seen another within 1 week of release. They are a dumb animal...but sure fun to bow hunt

I hope for the best, would be neat to see em around
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:48 PM   #9
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I don't know what y'all are talking about there are east texas turkey's all over the piney woods.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:04 PM   #10
nathank
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I don't know what y'all are talking about there are east texas turkey's all over the piney woods.
Ya but, you gotta gut it cause I aint gonna do it.....
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:07 PM   #11
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Haven't seen a turkey on our place in Hardin Co. since before the hurricanes. Would love to see them start popping up again.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by gonehuntin View Post
At least they got it right this time and stocking Eastern strain birds instead of the Rio Grande birds they did years ago. I have not seen a Turkey around that area since 1999. Thanks for the info.
Dad has seen one or two in the last year on GE wile on hunts. Staff said it must have been the only one(s) on the place.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:58 PM   #13
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Sorry to be a downer guys, but varmints are gonna keep turkeys down in East Texas. Coons, possums, skunks, coyotes, and hogs, and even your own dogs. Ground nesting birds don't have much of a chance to get started. Years ago, people shot and trapped, and ate, all the above ( except for yotes and dogs of course ). Not so much anymore. The hogs are the main problem. They also kill their share of new born fawns. And getting to be more of them every day.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
Sorry to be a downer guys, but varmints are gonna keep turkeys down in East Texas. Coons, possums, skunks, coyotes, and hogs, and even your own dogs. Ground nesting birds don't have much of a chance to get started. Years ago, people shot and trapped, and ate, all the above ( except for yotes and dogs of course ). Not so much anymore. The hogs are the main problem. They also kill their share of new born fawns. And getting to be more of them every day.
All the predators is a problem for sure.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:57 AM   #15
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All the predators is a problem for sure.
X2
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
Sorry to be a downer guys, but varmints are gonna keep turkeys down in East Texas. Coons, possums, skunks, coyotes, and hogs, and even your own dogs. Ground nesting birds don't have much of a chance to get started. Years ago, people shot and trapped, and ate, all the above ( except for yotes and dogs of course ). Not so much anymore. The hogs are the main problem. They also kill their share of new born fawns. And getting to be more of them every day.
Not doubting/arguing but there are lots of Easterns doing well all over the south with the same predators.

GE staff was encouraging taking all predators on some of the hunts we made. They said the turkeys were being introduced and they wanted them to have a good chance
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:31 AM   #17
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It would great success story if these birds survive and multiply.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:18 AM   #18
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Didn't work in the 1990's why do they think it will work now? I heard the rumors that they released Rio Grande birds, but i also heard they released Eastern birds at that time also. Maybe this time they will take. i have to give credit to NWTF and TPW for trying it agian if the habiat is there. The stocking in the late 90's worked good in Lamar and Red River Co. I've hunted and harvested birds on the PatMayse WMA several times and see them while driving around several times a year.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:18 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
Sorry to be a downer guys, but varmints are gonna keep turkeys down in East Texas. Coons, possums, skunks, coyotes, and hogs, and even your own dogs. Ground nesting birds don't have much of a chance to get started. Years ago, people shot and trapped, and ate, all the above ( except for yotes and dogs of course ). Not so much anymore. The hogs are the main problem. They also kill their share of new born fawns. And getting to be more of them every day.
Yep. And the FIRE ANT is a huge problem also for any ground nester.
Our turkey population in Brady has decline dramatically over the last 9 years since the fire ants showed up. 14 years ago when we first leased the place there were none(ants).Now they are everywhere.

Easterns are supposed to be more Adapted to fire ants than Rios from everything I've read. Hope it works.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:19 AM   #20
unclefish
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I wonder why the first stockings didn't do well? Are they just gonna try and overwhelm with numbers this time?
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:54 AM   #21
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Wish they would put some at Old Sabine Wildlife Area!
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:00 AM   #22
BTLowry
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Originally Posted by White Falcon View Post
Wish they would put some at Old Sabine Wildlife Area!
Been about 20yrs ago but they did turn some loose there. Don't think any are still around though. About 5yrs after they turned them loose is when I saw the last one there
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:01 AM   #23
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Why cant we organize a Gus Engling Varmint hunt to try and help out?!
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:28 AM   #24
kenfa03
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Would love to hear gobblers in east Texas.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:12 PM   #25
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Coyotes gonna be happy!
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:09 AM   #26
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Its not fire ants or predators that are the problem, they have both in Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, and other southern states and Eastern Turkeys are doing great. It is habitat, and specifically brood habitat. What is different about these stockings are they are based on the superstocking method and not the traditional block stocking method used in the past. Turkeys are doing okay in East Texas where the habitat is good. I know folks that kill Easterns in Texas every year. This stocking method is based on the research study that Jason Isabelle did at SFA a couple of years back. I hope it works and turkeys rebound in East Texas!
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:25 AM   #27
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Houston county, the state tracked two nesting pair to our property a couple years ago. A turkey has been in the area of this stand for about 3 years




[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:26 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
Sorry to be a downer guys, but varmints are gonna keep turkeys down in East Texas. Coons, possums, skunks, coyotes, and hogs, and even your own dogs. Ground nesting birds don't have much of a chance to get started. Years ago, people shot and trapped, and ate, all the above ( except for yotes and dogs of course ). Not so much anymore. The hogs are the main problem. They also kill their share of new born fawns. And getting to be more of them every day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarW View Post
All the predators is a problem for sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclefish View Post
I wonder why the first stockings didn't do well? Are they just gonna try and overwhelm with numbers this time?
One major factor not mentioned as to why specifically in East Texas things didn't work out too well is the worst predator on the list is them "good ol' boys" what live there. This stocking will include the GPS tracking devices so maybe that will help control losses to "predators" some.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:17 AM   #29
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FIL says he wild turkeys at their place in Bonham. We don't have any near where I am.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:30 PM   #30
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They are supposed to be stocked on our place too....Freestone county side of the Trinity.....
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:54 PM   #31
akey
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I shot this over Thanksgiving weekend at our place in Anderson County. They played around the feeder and the food plot for close to an hour. They were fun to watch when the toms were strutting! Then they just lined up and walked right past my stand.

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Old 02-14-2014, 01:02 PM   #32
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I think this is awesome and wish it could happen where I hunt. We're allowed one Spring Turkey and have a small scattered population. I see one on the rare occasion.

My only thought is they should declare WAR on every single varmint and predator in the area to give these birds a fighting chance to survive.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:55 PM   #33
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On our ranch out west, our biggest problem for turkeys is predators destroying their nests... coons are the worst, followed closely by skunks, then foxes, and yotes... few cats, but coons destroy more nests than all others put together. We took out a lot of coons this year, so I'm hoping that helps our hatch this spring. That would have to be a problem in East Texas too. Probably possums would be an issue too.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:27 PM   #34
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I heard they were going to cut The Moore Plantation back for turkey habitat and "super stock" it, as well.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:32 PM   #35
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Wish they would put some at Old Sabine Wildlife Area!
Be nice, but too flood prone during nesting season....year around for that matter. Never make it
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:54 PM   #36
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Why cant we organize a Gus Engling Varmint hunt to try and help out?!
They don't even let you shoot yotes on the draw hunts.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:10 PM   #37
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They don't even let you shoot yotes on the draw hunts.
Of all the TPW draw hunts i have been on, around 15, they never let us shoot any predators! Yotes and bobcats
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:25 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTaylor View Post
Its not fire ants or predators that are the problem, they have both in Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, and other southern states and Eastern Turkeys are doing great. It is habitat, and specifically brood habitat. What is different about these stockings are they are based on the superstocking method and not the traditional block stocking method used in the past. Turkeys are doing okay in East Texas where the habitat is good. I know folks that kill Easterns in Texas every year. This stocking method is based on the research study that Jason Isabelle did at SFA a couple of years back. I hope it works and turkeys rebound in East Texas!


Winner, Winner!
Sure, predation takes a toll, but habitat is the number 1 key.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:38 PM   #39
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Finally saw a good group of turkeys on my trailcam in Fayette County last week. 1st turkey sighting for me in 15yrs out there!
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:46 PM   #40
beardedBrazos
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They don't even let you shoot yotes on the draw hunts.
they did this year. dogs cats and coons.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:48 PM   #41
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Low Fence, I can vouch for it being wet in that area!!!
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:03 PM   #42
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That's only 10 mikes or so from our farm! Man how cool would it be to have wild turkeys running around again??

I just hope the local yocals don't kill them all before they can take ahold.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:24 PM   #43
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Sweet!!! Gus Engeling is only a couple of miles from our place.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:21 PM   #44
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There are a few birds here and I'm tickled to see the restocking continuing. I've been hunting them here for 7 years now and have been successful. 5 out of 7. There's nothing in the world like calling in a bird in the pines!
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:22 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by SaltwaterSlick View Post
On our ranch out west, our biggest problem for turkeys is predators destroying their nests... coons are the worst, followed closely by skunks, then foxes, and yotes... few cats, but coons destroy more nests than all others put together. We took out a lot of coons this year, so I'm hoping that helps our hatch this spring. That would have to be a problem in East Texas too. Probably possums would be an issue too.
Roadrunners as well. I shoot every one of them I see.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:45 PM   #46
Pineywoods Paul
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We have a decent bunch of easterns on our club as a result of a stocking in the early 90's. We harvest 2-3 gobblers every Spring. When they reduced number of east Texas counties that have open Spring turkey season about 5 years ago, they left ours open but moved it back two weeks to assure most hens get bred.

It's a highlight of my year to hear a gobbler shower down before first light on opening morning-especially if I'm huddled in a pop up within a couple hundred yards!
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:13 PM   #47
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I believe that the TP&W did this in Fannin county a while back...it worked well enough that they have a spring season. Sometimes nature finds a way!
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:37 PM   #48
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Roadrunners as well. I shoot every one of them I see.
Yessir but we can't talk 'bout that.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:50 PM   #49
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Im glad to see all the enthusiasm for this project as this is the project that I am working on for my Masters Degree through SFA.

Last edited by bigdaddy590; 02-16-2014 at 02:58 PM..
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:54 PM   #50
twistedmidnite
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Iv saw more turkeys in the last three months in morris and Cass counties than iv saw my whole life. Theres a hen I see regularly about 200 yards from my house
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