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and increase in some others.”
Dailey says he was pleased that this year’s spring harvest did not include a higher-thannormal percentage of young turkeys. “Jakes,” as year-old male turkeys are called, made up 21 percent of this year’s harvest, compared to the historic average of approximately 25 percent.
“Hunters could have shot more jakes this year because we had a few more of them than in recent years,” says Dailey. “Apparently the opposite happened, so we will carry over quite a few jakes to next year. That means more 2-year-old birds next spring.”
Dailey says 2-year-old toms are the ones that gobble most, and hunters measure the quality of a day’s hunt largely by the presence or absence of gobbling birds. He says the moderate take of jakes is a good sign for the future.
Also a good sign is the return of more moderate spring weather. Cold and rain reduce wild turkey’s nesting success, and the past few years have set records for both. Dailey says with more normal weather during the summer there is every reason to expect the state’s turkey population to rebound from its current dip.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed,” says Dailey, “and I’m sure lots of other turkey hunters do, too.”
The spring turkey season pumps tens of millions of dollars into the state economy. In all, the economic impact of this spending is more than $248 million annually and supports more than 2,300 jobs.
Black Bullhead Record Falls
Missouri has a new state-record black bullhead, and Nicholas J. Wray has his second fishing record in less than two years. Wray, 23, caught the 2-pound, 4-ounce fish on a jug line April 9 at a farm pond in Cass County. The bullhead nudged aside the previous record by 4 ounces. In 2008, Wray caught Missouri’s first state-record river carpsucker, a 2-pound, 3-ounce fish that came from Cass County’s South Grand River near
Amarugia Highlands Conservation Area. He did it by design, having noticed that no one had bothered to apply for a record for the species previously. The alternative methods category is for fish taken with trotlines, throw lines, limb lines, bank lines, tree lines or jug lines or by spearfishing, snagging, gigging, archery or grabbing (with a hook). Poleand- line records are those taken with hand-held lines. State-record entry forms and rules are available at www.MissouriConservation.org/72. A list of Missouri fishing records is available at www.MissouriConservation.org/69. The Conservation Department also has