Wildlife & Hunting

Analysis of Long Term Wild Turkey Data Sets and Development of a Statewide Gobbling Call Count Protocol

Principal Investigator
Dr. Francisco J. Vilella
Mississippi State University Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Graduate Research Assistant
Matthew D. Palumbo
Mississippi State University Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has collected statewide data on wild turkey populations (brood surveys, gobbling activity during hunting season, physical measurements of legally harvested birds) and turkey hunter effort on private and public lands since 1996.  These data have been used to help the MDWFP manage the state=s wild turkey resource.  However, relationships have not been evaluated between these data and macro-ecological variables such as climate, land-cover type, and soils.  Additionally, while the MDWFP has collected data on gobbling activity during the spring hunting season for many years, information on gobbling activity before and after the hunting season is limited.  Also, little is known about the relationships between statewide gobbling activity and variables such as climate, land-cover types, and soils.  A comprehensive analysis of existing MDWFP Turkey Program data sets, and the relationships between parameters from these data sets and selected macro-variables, should provide valuable information which will help us better manage Mississippi=s wild turkey resource.  This exercise should help the MDWFP evaluate the importance of various aspects of the data currently collected by the Wild Turkey Program.  Development of a technique to monitor statewide gobbling activity throughout the gobbling period should result in a better understanding of regional gobbling behavior, and could help the agency make better management decisions.

Full Report on Research Accomplishments to Date

Biologists often monitor wild turkey gobbling activity to determine trends in turkey population status.  Photo by Steve Gulledge


Graduate student Matt Palumbo records turkey observations and gobbling activity across Mississippi to determine regional differences. 

Funding for this project was provided by:

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