A Funnel Trap for Rio Grande Turkey

A safe, efficient, low-manpower method of capturing Rio Grande turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) sustainable over long periods of time was needed as an alternative to drop nets and rocket nets. We trapped 549 turkeys during a 3-year study of breeding chronology in Rio Grande turkey hens in Texas. We captured 107 birds (19.5%) using a rocket net and captured the remaining 442 birds (80.5%) using 4 x 8 x 10-ft. wire funnel traps. The funnel trap became the method of choice after its efficiency became apparent. During the last 1.5 years of the 3-year study, no more than 2 days of effort with ≤6 funnel traps was required to capture a minimum of 26 birds. One advantage of the funnel trap is that 1 person can safely trap turkeys. Another advantage is that private ranchers better accept a single trapper using a funnel trap than they do a crew of 3-5 people using either drop nets or rocket nets.

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