Brood surveys and hunter observations used to predict gobbling activity wild turkeys in Mississippi

Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks utilize data from turkey hunter observations and brood surveys from across the state to manage wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo populations. Since 1995, hunters have collected gobbling and jake observation data, while the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks' personnel and cooperating wildlife managers of several natural resource agencies throughout the state have collected brood survey data. Both sources of data serve to forecast poult recruitment and gobbling activity. The objective of this study was to evaluate if these data can serve as a viable predictor of gobbling activity. We used three mixed models to investigate the relationship between the number of jakes observed per hour of hunting 1 y prior and the total number of poults per hens 2 y prior (model 1), number of gobblers heard per hour of hunting and the number of jakes observed per hour of hunting 1 y prior (model 2), the number of gobblers heard per hour of hunting and the total number poults per total hens observed 2 y prior (model 3) using data from 1995 to 2008 among five wild turkey management regions encompassing the state. We incorporated region as a random effect to account for spatial variation. We found the number of jakes observed per hour of hunting 1 y prior correlated with the total number of poults per total hens observed 2 y prior. We also found the number of gobblers heard per hour of hunting correlated with the number of jakes observed per hour of hunting 1 y prior. Additionally, we found that the total poults per total hens observed 2 y prior was correlated to the number of gobblers heard per hour of hunting. Our results show promise for using indices of gobbling activity, jake observations, and brood surveys to estimate gobbling activity.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Brood surveys and hunter observations used to predict gobbling activity wild turkeys in Mississippi
Series title Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
DOI 10.3996/032013-JFWM-023
Volume 5
Issue 1
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 6 p.
First page 151
Last page 156
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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