Habitat Use of Wild Turkey Gobblers on Tallahala Wildlife Management Area, Mississippi

Seasonal habitat use was monitored for 130 radio-equipped wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) gobblers on Tallahala Wildlife Management Area, Mississippi, 1986-90. Juvenile and adult gobblers used a variety of habitats within each season and usually exhibited similar trends in habitat use. In summer (Jun-Sep) both age classes used bottomland hardwoods less than expected during most years. However, use of bottomland hardwoods was greater than availability during spring. Use of mature pine (Pinus spp.) stands was usually less than availability in spring and greater than availability during summer. Gobblers used mature pine stands burned 1-2 years prior greater than expected, and used stands burned 3—4 years prior in proportion to their availability. Use of pine stands not burned ≥ 5 years was less than availability. During the fall/' winter (Oct-Jan 1989), gobbler use of pine stands was less than availability, and use of mixed pine-hardwood stands along secondary creeks was greater than availability. Management implications based on results of this study are discussed.

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