Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
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.
Palumbo, Matthew David, "Influence of latitudinal and climatic variation, and field observations, on spring gobbling phenology of wild turkey in Mississippi" (2010). Theses and Dissertations MSU. 2712.