Seasonal and annual survival rates were determined for 130 radio-equipped eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) gobblers on Tallabala Wildlife Management Area, Mississippi, 1986-90. Annual survival rates varied from 0.390.54. Spring gobbler hunting (SGH) season survival rates within a year and annual survival rates for that year did not differ (P > 0.10). SGH survival rates were significantly lower than all other periods within each year, and no other differences were detected within years. Our data suggest that mortality during SGH season had a significant affect on gobbler survival; however, experimental testing is needed to determine whether hunting acts as an additive or compensatory mortality factor.
Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper