Assessing movements and ecology of male wild turkeys during spring reproductive and hunting seasons using micro-GPS technology
Gross, John Thomas
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Because wild turkeys are an important game species and turkey hunter numbers are increasing, there is a need to understand how hunting affects turkey spatial ecology. With the recent advent of micro-GPS technology suitable for use on wild turkeys, researchers can now collect data at a resolution and scale not previously possible. Therefore, I used micro-GPS units to detail spatial ecology of male eastern (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) and Rio Grande (M. g. intermedia) wild turkeys in Louisiana and Texas. I found that mean home range size was 383 ha in Louisiana and 270 ha in Texas, and average daily distance traveled was 3725 m and 4608 m, respectively. I found little evidence that hunting pressure affected movements in the spring. Individuals showed a high degree of variability in response to hunting pressure, suggesting that spring movements may be linked to previous experience or variables I did not study.