Evaluation of Wild Turkey Trapping Techniques in West Virginia

We studied efficiency of the rocket, rocket box, and cannon-net trapping techniques and the effects of the techniques on the physical condition of eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris). We trapped 1,168 wild turkeys during a 5-year period (1989-1994). There were no differences in trapping efficiency (P > 0.05) among techniques. Fall (Sep-Oct) and winter (Jan-Apr) trapping efficiencies were not different (P > 0.05). Trappers with ≥1 year of experience had higher trapping efficiency (P < 0.0002) than trappers with no prior experience. There were differences in trapping efficiency by year (P < 0.006). Techniques used averaged < 2% severe injuries or mortalities. Training of new trappers appears warranted to improve trapping efficiency.

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