Impact Of Managed Public Hunting On Wild Turkeys In Alabama

Legal harvest, illegal kill, crippling loss, and movement of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) related to multiple species hunting were studied on 2 state wildlife management areas in Alabama using 125 radio instrumented birds. During spring 1978 hunts an estimated 35.7% of the gobblers were killed and 7% were crippled and died on I area while 20% were harvested and 20% were crippled and died on the second area. Illegal kill of instrumented birds was 7.8% over a 2-year period on I area and 9% for a 7-month period on the second area. Multispecies hunting on state game management areas as carried out in Alabama was not a major factor limiting turkey populations. Movements of turkeys were closely monitored before, during, and after squirrel, (Sciurus sp.), deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and turkey hunts on both areas; no permanent movements out of established ranges were noted that could be attributable to hunting pressure.

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