Breeding season gobbling chronology in hunted and non-hunted populations of eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) in southwestern Georgia
Colbert, Derek Stephen
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Using autonomous recording units (ARUs), we recorded gobbling activity of wild turkeys to determine what influence weather, nesting, and hunting have on gobbling on 2 similar study sites in southwestern Georgia—the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center and Silver Lake Wildlife Management Area. Sites experienced a single peak of gobbling activity annually, and 3 out of 4 times this coincided with peak nest initiation. Most (78%) of gobbling occurred within 2 hours of sunrise. The best model of gobbling activity was the global model (wi = 0.88). Gobbling activity was greatest when mean daily temperature was 15 ◦C, when wind speed increased, and when barometric pressure decreased. No relationship between gobbling activity and hunting or peak nesting was detected, but 32-44% greater gobbling activity occurred on the Jones Center versus Silver Lake WMA when the general hunt opened on Silver Lake WMA through the end of the breeding seasons.