Skip to Main Content
Gobbling of Merriam's turkeys in relation to nesting and occurrence of hunting in the Black Hills, South DakotaAuthor(s): Chad P. Lehman; Lester D. Flake; Mark A. Rumble; Dan J. Thompson
Source: Proceedings of the National Wild Turkey Symposium. 9: 343-349.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (185 B)
DescriptionTiming of wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) nesting and peaks in gobbling activity are often used in setting spring hunting season dates. The relationship between gobbling activity, hunting pressure, and nesting chronology has not been studied using hunted and nonhunted turkey populations. We tabulated gobbling activity of Merriam's turkeys (M. g. merriami) in Wind Cave National Park (nonhunted) and Black Hills National Forest (hunted) during spring turkey hunting seasons from 20032004. We also monitored female nesting activity (n = 72) in relation to gobbling activity. Peak incubation of nests occurred between 8 and 15 May. During the hunting period gobbling activity during early morning surveys was lower (P = 0.001) in the hunted population (x bar = 4.56, SE = 0.45) than the nonhunted population (x bar = 7.01, SE = 0.52). We observed 2 peaks in gobbling activity: one following winter break-up of flocks, and the other just before or during peak incubation. Gobbling activity was poorly predicted by measured weather and nesting chronology variables (R2 = 0.08). South Dakota's spring hunting season encapsulates the second peak of gobbling activity, with most gobblers harvested (57%) during the prelaying period. Illegal harvest of females was minimal even though females were not generally nesting during peak harvest. Gobbling activity was reduced during the hunting season presumably by the negative association between gobbling and subsequent disturbance by hunters.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
CitationLehman, Chad P.; Flake, Lester D.; Rumble, Mark A.; Thompson, Dan J. 2007. Gobbling of Merriam''s turkeys in relation to nesting and occurrence of hunting in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Proceedings of the National Wild Turkey Symposium. 9: 343-349.
KeywordsBlack Hills, gobbling activity, hunting, Meleagris gallopavo merriami, Merriam's wild turkey, nest chronology
- Pre-incubation movements of female wild turkeys relative to nest initiation in South Dakota
- Home range areas and activity patterns of red tree voles (Arborimus longicaudus) in western Oregon
- Survival and cause-specific mortality of Merriam's Wild Turkeys in the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico
XML: View XML