Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Vilella, Francisco

Committee Member

Strickland, Bronson

Committee Member

Godwin, Dave

Committee Member

Wang, Guiming

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Spring hunting season for wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in Mississippi is designed to coincide with peak gobbling activity. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) uses brood surveys and hunter observations to forecast gobbling activity. Hunters claimed hunting season does not coincide with regional gobbling peaks. I conducted statewide surveys to assess latitudinal and climatic influences in gobbling activity and used long-term (1996-2008) MDWFP data to evaluate use as a forecasting tool. I observed ≥ 66% of all spring gobbling with an approximate 2-week difference in peak gobbling activity between northern and southern Mississippi. Gobbling in the north was influenced by temperature, wind speed, and cloud cover; in the south, only cloud cover. Long-term data performed poorly predicting gobbling activity (R2 = 0.02 – 0.047, regionally; R2 = 0.06 – 0.09, statewide). Spring hunting season captures most gobbling, including peaks. Data sources should be used cautiously to forecast gobbling activity.



generalized additive mixed model||brood survey||gobbling chronology