Population Monitoring and Research

The Wildlife Division conducts/sponsors a number of survey and research projects to keep abreast with turkey populations status, turkey habitat needs, basic biology, harvest, and harvest rates. These include poult surveys, gobbling activity surveys, banding, and radio telemetry. While more complete information about these projects is contained in the turkey program reports, several generalizations can be made as a result of these activities:

  • Brood size has been found to be generally largest in the western longleaf region of the State.
  • Adult gobblers typically make up more than 80% of the reported harvest at check stations on a statewide basis.
  • Turkeys are quite mobile. Movements of 5-plus miles is common in contigous habitat. Two radio-tagged hens moved about 20 miles before radio contact was lost.
  • Gobbling generally increases until the start of hunting season, regardless of the start date.
  • Harvest rate can be highly variable depending on the site, bag limit, and season length.