G. A. Hurst

Pre-incubation Habitat Use by Wild Turkey Hens in Central Mississippi

Habitat use of forested landscapes by wild turkey hens (Meleagris gallopavo) during pre-incubation is poorly documented. Information is needed on how vegetative conditions resulting from forest management influence hen movements, habitat use, and reproductive success. We studied habitat relations of wild turkey hens (TV = 111) during pre-incubation in central Mississippi, 1985-1989. Groundstory composition and structure were different (P < 0.05) between areas used and not used by hens. Hens used areas with relatively low (ˉx = 28 cm) groundstory canopies composed of mostly (79%) grasses...

Year
1996

Post-capture Survival of Wild Turkeys: Effects of Age, Sex and Environment

Effects of capture on study animals requires thorough examination. We investigated effects of age, sex, and environmental conditions on probability of eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) post-capture survival in central Mississippi during winter and summer capture periods, 1984-1995. Females were more likely to die from capture-induced stress than males during winter capture; adult hens were more likely to die than subadult hens during summer. Survival rates of hens captured versus those not captured in a given period were similar. Environmental conditions did not affect...

Year
1996

Plant Species Composition Following Chemical and Mechanical Site Preparation

We examined plant species richness and species overlap among 3 site preparation treatments (roll-chop and burn, imazapyr and burn, and imazapyr only) and a mature pine-hardwood forest during 2 years following site preparation in east-central Mississippi. Treatments were applied beginning June 1990. Inventory of plant species in 2 to 5 1.6-ha plots/treatment was completed in spring 1991 and 1992. Species richness did not differ among treatments or between treatments and pine-hardwood forest (P = 0.31). Similarity indices showed no apparent grouping among treatments. All values were...

Year
1996

Effects of Winter Capture on Wild Turkey Hen Movement in Mississippi

Analyses of movement patterns of free-ranging animals derived via radiotelemetry assumes that capture has no effect on the parameters of interest. To mitigate against potential biases, many researchers will censor locational data for an arbitrary post-capture duration (e.g., 2 weeks). To investigate validity of this assumption, we compared home range size, average inter-location distance, dispersion, and total distance moved between hens captured in a given interval to those captured in previous intervals. Data were from winter-captured hens in Kemper County, Mississippi, 1986-1992. No...

Year
1996

Attitudes of Wild Turkey Hunters Toward Potential Regulation Changes in Mississippi

Numbers of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) and turkey hunters have increased greatly in the Southeast during the last 3 decades, and administrators and managers should be aware of hunter attitudes toward potential hunting regulation changes. Our objective was to determine attitudes of turkey hunters regarding regulations on use of hunter orange, baiting, and a fall either-sex harvest. We conducted a mail survey of turkey hunters (N = 4,026) who hunted turkeys in Mississippi during the 1994 spring gobblers-only season. An initial mailout was followed by a second request, and a total...

Year
1996

Wild Turkey Reproductive Parameters from Two Different Forest Ecosystems In Central Mississippi

Many pine (Pinus spp.) and pine-hardwood forests in the Southeast have been, and are being, converted to short-rotation (35 years) even-aged pine plantations. Effects of forest type conversion on wild turkey reproductive parameters have not been documented. Therefore, we compared reproductive performance of eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) in central Mississippi between a forest system dominated by short rotation loblolly {P. taeda) pine plantations (Kemper County) and Tallahala Wildlife Management Area (TWMA), a more "natural" forest system managed by the U.S. Forest...

Year
1995

Summer Diet of Northern Bobwhite in Eastern Mississippi: Implications for Habitat Management

Potential dietary differences between adult female and male northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) during the breeding season may influence habitat use and thus require special habitat management. The bobwhite literature contains only meager quantitative information, and no statistical evaluation, of adult female and male bobwhite diets during the breeding season. Therefore, we collected bobwhites and quantified their food use to test the null hypothesis that diets of male and female bobwhites were similar during the breeding season. In 41 female and 47 male bobwhites collected in...

Year
1995

Potential Effects of Capture and Radio-monitoring on Eastern Wild Turkey Reproduction

Wildlife researchers often assume capturing and marking do not influence marked animals' behavior, but this assumption is seldom tested. Therefore, we investigated effects of capture on reproductive success of eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) in east-central Mississippi. Hens were captured by cannon net, wing-tagged, radio-marked, and released between January and March 1990-1993. Marked and unmarked hens were observed at July and August bait sites 1990-1993; those observed with ≥ 1 poult were classified as reproductively successful. Hens captured during January-March,...

Year
1995

Evaluation of Wild Turkey Population Estimation Methods

To determine effects of land use and management practices on wild turkey {Meleagris gallapovo) populations, managers need reliable, low-cost methods to estimate absolute and relative densities. Therefore, we evaluated estimation ability of 4 models using wild turkey capture data from 1986-1993 and summer bait site observations from 1990-1993 in Kemper County, Mississippi. Capture-markrecapture models performed worse (i.e., higher coefficients of variance) than capture-mark-resight models. Estimates from 1 resighting model were biased from non-homogenous capture probabilities in most...

Year
1995

Movements of Wild Turkey Gobblers in Central Mississippi

The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is an important game species throughout the Southeast. While many long-term research projects have provided quantitative data on wild turkey ecology, information on daily gobbler movements is lacking. Because data on gobbler mobility may affect habitat and population management, we studied gobbler movements by radio-telemetry (N = 2,775 locations) on Tallahala Wildlife Management Area, Mississippi. Gobblers (N = 48) were monitored from 1 February 1989 through 30 September 1990 hourly from roost to 1200 hours (morning) and 1300 hours to roost (afternoon...

Year
1994