Talking turkey with the LDWF

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Thanks to Cody Cedotal, Resident Small Game/Wild Turkey Program Manager with LDWF for the following information for our turkey hunters. Louisiana’s turkey season is just around the corner. Get your gear ready.

What is the upcoming 2021 turkey season looking like statewide? Do some areas look better than others?

“I am hopeful that 2021 will bring us  a good season overall.  We have been conducting some research in western LA and southeast were we have seen good numbers of birds including both jakes and mature gobblers.   Our Wild Turkey Poult Production Survey indicated an improved hatch in the Southeast and Northwest  Management regions over last year’s survey.”

Is flooding a major concern? It doesn’t seem to be as bad as last year, but what do you think?

“Flooding decreases habitat availability for birds and access for hunters on both private and public lands. It also has negative impacts on reproduction.   High water during Spring and early Summer is always concerning.  This is a critical time as hens are nesting and raising broods.  Depending on timing and duration, this could be detrimental to wild turkey reproduction in some of our bottomland areas.  Though this year’s flooding forecasts are not as extreme as years past, turkeys and other wildlife have not yet recovered from the impacts of past floods.

On another note, we are also monitoring turkey populations closely in southwest LA after two major hurricanes impacted these areas this summer.  The damaged caused by these storms will certainly impact hunter access and turkey movement of the next several years.”

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Turkey harvests by year in Louisiana based on estimates and hunter validated turkey kills:

Screen Shot 2021-03-22 at 9.53.28 PM*** Statewide turkey season delayed by 2 wks.