Alabama Turkey Research Project

Report band recoveries here

collaborative research by

Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
ADNCR Wildlife Restoration AU SFWS USGS ALNWTF

Report a Band or Transmitter Observation

Drag the pin icon to the encounter location on the map. If you know the lattitude and longitude, enter it below then click update.

For use only if we are unable to verify location and tag number.

To report a band by phone, call: 800@626-2703

Background Information

In 2015, the Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Auburn University and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), began the most comprehensive and long-term study of eastern wild turkey populations ever conducted in the state. With support provided by ADCNR, through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, Auburn University, and U.S. Geological Survey. For the next 5 years, Alabama Unit staff and graduate students will be capturing and marking turkeys with radio- transmitters and leg bands to measure movement, survival and production rates on three study areas. The landscapes chosen for study are the hardwood forests and fertile valleys around J.D. Martin Skyline WMA, the rugged mixed-pine hardwood forests in an around Oakmulgee WMA, and the managed pine forests surrounding Barbour WMA. For more information read this article with appeared in the 2015 edition of Full Fans and Sharp Spurs.

Project Updates

2017-03-10

More harvests

Skyline WMA

Two more gobblers were harvested, bringing our total of harvested banded birds to three at Skyline WMA so far this season. Thank you again to our active hunters for reporting your banded gobblers. To report banded birds by phone, call 800@626-2703.

2017-03-07

Gobbles and first harvest

Oakmulgee WMA

Gobble counts began on March 7th at Oakmulgee. Gobbling activity has remained fairly high throughout the first 5 weeks of surveys. Gobbling activity appears to be better than the previous two years. On March 28th, a hunter harvested one of our banded gobblers. It was a nice two-year-old that was banded as a jake in October 2016. We were all amazed at the bird's growth rate in only 5 months since banding! We continue to hear gobbling activity across the WMA on our morning gobble count routes.

2017-03-01

Waiting 'til the last possible day

Barbour WMA

After a lot of waiting, we successfully captured 2 hens and 2 gobblers on the last possible day of trapping for the spring.

2017-03-01

Trapping

Skyline WMA

Early March, we successfully trapped at Round Cove on Skyline WMA, yielding one adult male with a VHF transmitter and four hens with GPS transmitters. Our first GPS download for the four hens was a success.

2017-02-15

On the lookout

Oakmulgee WMA

On February 15th, cameras were redeployed after removing for deer season in an effort to locate trappable turkeys before the start of turkey season. On February 16th, we successfully downloaded one of our GPS hens.

2017-02-01

Recon

Skyline WMA

First reconnaissance on birds began after deer season. Turkeys traditionally shift from hard mass to bait this time of year, giving us an opportunity for captures prior to turkey season beginning.

2017-01-11

Back in the field

All study areas

The graduate students return to field sites to assist lead technicians with fieldwork. Graduate students presented research posters at USGS cooperators meeting.

2016-07-20

Camera Survey ends

Oakmulgee WMA

Completed camera surveys at 45 sites for poult production.

2016-07-10

Roosting marked hens

Oakmulgee WMA

Located a banded hen twice on the roost. No poults were observed either time.

2016-06-14

Gobble Counts

Barbour WMA

2016 gobble counts concluded today. In total, 310 gobbles were heard over the course of the sixteen week survey.

2016-06-03

Nest Confirmed From Movement Data

Oakmulgee WMA

Movement data downloaded today from one adult hen fitted with a GPS data logger confirmed a nesting effort from April 5th through May 5th.

2016-05-31

Poults!

Skyline WMA

First observation of poults were reported on Jacob's Mountain.

2016-05-25

Mortality

Barbour WMA

An adult male capture in March was confirmed dead via radio-telemetry.

2016-05-21

Poults!

Barbour WMA

First poults of the year observed on camera survey. Six poults and one hen. Poults were very young and still flightless.

2016-05-21

Signs of Late Breeding Activity

Barbour WMA

Despite a decline in gobbling activity, male turkeys are still being observed strutting and across the management area.

2016-05-07

Poults!

Oakmulgee WMA

First poults of the season were spotted on the ground today!

2016-04-30

Harvest Reporting

Barbour WMA

There has been no reported harvest of banded birds this turkey season.

2016-04-26

Vocal Birds!

Oakmulgee WMA

A gobbler sounded of forty-six times within a ten minute interval during this morning's gobble count surveys.

2016-04-21

Nesting Confirmed!

Skyline WMA

Nest of an unbanded hen was observed north of Tate's Cove.

2016-04-06

Noisy Turkey!

Barbour WMA

Fifty-six gobbles heard within a ten minute interval during this morning's gobble count surveys.

2016-04-06

Harvest Success

Oakmulgee WMA

First hunter harvest of banded turkey reported by phone. A nice male that had been banded as a jake back in August 2015.

2016-04-05

Lone Gobbler Captured

Skyline WMA

One male gobbler was captured via cannon net and was outfitted with a leg band and VHF radio transmitter.

2016-04-04

...and another two!

Skyline WMA

Another pair (one male, one female) of birds were netted and banded today on Cumberland Mountain.

2016-04-01

Signs of Nesting!

Oakmulgee WMA

Seeing marked hens exhibiting nesting behavior.

2016-03-29

Two More Banded

Skyline WMA

Another adult male and female were banded and received transmitters. On a roll here at Skyline!

2016-03-24

Radio Telemetry

Barbour WMA

Mortality signal for two hens confirmed.

2016-03-22

Lone Tom Captured!

Skyline WMA

One male gobbler was captured via cannon net and outfitted with a VHF radio transmitter.

2016-03-15

We got Toms!

Barbour WMA

Two adult males captured and banded today!

2016-03-15

Big Tom Captured!

Oakmulgee WMA

One mature gobbler weighing in at 10.75 kg was captured via a cannon net and outfitted with a backpack VHF radio transmitter and band.

2016-03-09

More Hens!

Barbour WMA

Four more adult hens were captured today with two receiving backpack GPS loggers and two VHF radio transmitters.

2016-03-09

Another Capture!

Skyline WMA

Back at it again today! Two males were successfully captured and banded.

2016-03-08

Gobbling has begun!

Barbour WMA

First gobble heard by field crew today.

2016-03-08

Mix Flock Captured

Skyline WMA

A small flock of five adults (two females, three males) were netted and banded. Hens received backpack GPS data loggers and males VHF radio transmitters.

2016-03-05

Gobblers are beginning to get vocal!

Skyline WMA

First gobbles heard on gobble count surveys.

2016-03-02

Boys are Back in Town!

Barbour WMA

Four juvenile males captured via cannon net today, each receiving a leg band and backpack VHF radio transmitter.

2016-03-01

Gobble Count Survey

Barbour WMA

Annual gobble count surveys begin on Barbour. Gobble count surveys will be performed weekly from March 1st - June 15th 2016.

2016-03-01

Gobble Gobble!

Oakmulgee WMA

2016 weekly gobble count surveys have begun!

2016-03-01

Gobble Count Surveys

Skyline WMA

Annual gobble count surveys began and will be conducted weekly through June 15th.

2016-02-27

Tracking Winter Movement

Skyline WMA

Crews begin two weeks of intensive turkey tracking using radio-telemetry. Technicians will radio track marked birds from the time they leave the roost in the morning until when they fly back up in the evenings to better understand winter movements of the birds.

2016-02-26

First Capture of 2016

Skyline WMA

One adult hen was captured, banded, and outfitted with a back GPS data logger.

2016-02-23

Hens Captured!

Barbour WMA

Four adult hens successfully captured and banded.

2016-02-23

Density Surveys

Skyline WMA

Winter camera surveys were initiated to collect data to inform analysis to determine pre-harvest densities of birds.

2016-02-15

Tracking Winter Movement

Oakmulgee WMA

We began two weeks of intensive turkey tracking using radio-telemetry. Technicians will radio track marked birds from the time they leave the roost in the morning until when they fly back up in the evenings to better understand winter movements of the birds.

2016-02-01

Mortality

Oakmulgee WMA

A mortality signal for an adult male banding in September 2015 was confirmed via radio-telemetry.

2016-01-25

Tracking Winter Movement

Barbour WMA

Crews begin two weeks of intensive turkey tracking using radio-telemetry. Technicians will radio track marked birds from the time they leave the roost in the morning until when they fly back up in the evenings to better understand winter movements of the birds.

2016-01-15

Tracking Survival

Oakmulgee WMA

Movement data was for all four hens fitted with GPS loggers was successfully downloaded. All four GPS marked hens confirmed as alive.

2016-01-06

Mortality

Barbour WMA

An adult hen banded in early November was confirmed dead via radio telemetry today.

2015-12-15

More Mortality

Oakmulgee WMA

Mortality signals for two adult hens were confirmed via radio-telemetry. One hen was captured in early October and the other was one of the first hens captured on the WMA in early February 2015.

2015-12-14

Shenanigans!

Barbour WMA

Graduate student gets field truck stuck TWICE! Thank you goes out to ADNCR personnel for the rescue!

2015-12-01

Missing Hen Resurfaces!

Oakmulgee WMA

With permission to access a local fire tower, a signal of "alive" was received via radio-telemetry for a hen that had not been located in several months. The hen had migrated several miles from her previously known locations.

2015-11-30

Two Mortalities

Barbour WMA

Mortality signals for two poults banded in early October and November were confirmed via radio-telemetry.

2015-11-24

Another Capture Success!

Barbour WMA

Two hens and four poults successfully captured and banded.

2015-11-16

More Captures!

Barbour WMA

Two hens and one juvenile male caught via cannon net. Each bird received a leg band, one hen was outfitted with a backpack GPS logger, and remaining birds received VHF radio-transmitters.

2015-11-15

GPS Tracking of Birds

Oakmulgee WMA

Movement data was successfully downloaded for all four hens previously captured and fitted with GPS loggers.

2015-11-11

Capture Success!

Barbour WMA

One hen and three poults (two female, one male) were captured with cannon nets this morning. The adult hen and one female poult were outfitted with backpack GPS loggers and remaining poults received VHF radio transmitters.

2015-11-06

Telemetry

Skyline WMA

Mortality signal was confirmed for the one adult hen capture back in August.

2015-11-03

Two Mortalities

Oakmulgee WMA

Mortality signals for two poults (one male, one female) banded in early September were confirmed via radio-telemetry.

2015-11-01

That's a Large Flock!

Skyline WMA

Flock of over forty turkey was sighted in agricultural field adjacent to southeast WMA property boundary (region of Henshaw Cove).

2015-10-25

High Mortality Event

Barbour WMA

Mortality signals for all five banded poults confirmed via radio-telemetry.

2015-10-20

Mast Crop

Oakmulgee WMA

Hardwood mast crop has started dropping and birds have begun transitioning from actively using wildlife openings to feeding on mast in the forests.

2015-10-16

Mortality

Skyline WMA

Two poults captured in early August were confirmed dead via radio-telemetry today.

2015-10-15

Expanding Trapping Area to Adjacent Lands

Skyline WMA

Turkey Project entered into a cooperative agreement with ACES - Graham Farm and Nature Center in Jackson County to net and band turkey on their lands, increasing the opportunity to band and monitor more turkey in Jackson County.

2015-10-13

Hens, Hens, and More Hens!

Oakmulgee WMA

Four adult hens were captured using cannon nets and banded and fitted with radio transmitters.

2015-10-08

First Capture on Barbour!

Barbour WMA

One hen and five poults were captured with cannon nets. Each bird received a leg band, the hen was outfitted with a backpack GPS logger, and poults received VHF radio-transmitters.

2015-10-02

Mortalities

Skyline WMA

Mortality signals were confirmed for three poults via radio telemetry.

2015-09-23

Another Day, Another Capture!

Skyline WMA

Back-to-back captures in Henshaw Cove. Two adult hens and five poults (three males, two females) were netted and banded today.

2015-09-22

Capture Success!

Skyline WMA

One hen and six poults (one male, five female) were successfully captured via cannon nets. Each bird received a leg band, the hen was outfitted with a backpack GPS logger, and poults received VHF radio-transmitters.

2015-09-17

New Study Area

Barbour WMA

Research begins on Barbour County WMA, shifting out efforts away from Scotch WMA. Barbour WMA is over 28,000 acres of public land spanning both Barbour and Bullock Counties in east central Alabama. Barbour was selected by the ADCNR Turkey Committee as an alternate study area to Scotch WMA because nearly 50% of WMA is composed primarily of industrial pine plantations (predominately loblolly pine), representing one of the dominate land cover types within the state.

2015-09-15

Another Trapping Success!

Oakmulgee WMA

A group of two hens and four poults was successfully captured, receiving leg bands and radio transmitters. The hens were fitted with a backpack GPS logger to track their daily movement.

2015-09-01

Double Catch!

Oakmulgee WMA

Three adult gobblers captured with cannon nets in the morning. Nets were reset at the same site and one hen with six poults was captured and marked that same afternoon. The hen was fitted with a backpack GPS logger to track her daily movement patterns, and for the first time this season all captured poults were large enough to be fitted with a VHF radio transmitter.

2015-09-01

Gobblers marked

Oakmulgee WMA

Another successful cannon netting effort. After a successful capture last night, the crew captured banded and radio-tagged 3 gobblers early this morning.

2015-08-31

Brood flock capture

Oakmulgee WMA

Efforts with cannon nets are paying off. The crew captured and marked 1 hen and 4 poults today. The hen received a GPS logger to track her movements during the nesting and brood rearing periods (March through September).

2015-08-14

Another trapping success!

Skyline WMA

A single hen was captured in a walk-in trap and marked.today.

2015-08-12

Roadside surveys

Scotch WMA

One brood flock (8 poults with 2 hens) seen this week so far.

2015-08-12

Trapping sucess!

Skyline WMA

Sixteen birds were marked with bands and radio transmitters: 3 hens and 13 poults of varying sizes. Each hen received a GPS-logger-transmitter. The poults received transmitters with an experimental harness designed to expand as they grow.

2015-08-12

Telemetry monitoring

Oakmulgee WMA

Found all of the birds this week including the jake that went missing again.

2015-08-12

Trapping

Oakmulgee WMA

Walk in traps are showing promise again. Birds are entering partially-erected traps on several sites.

2015-08-08

Trapping

Skyline WMA

Many birds using baited trap sites. Several large (>10) brood flocks.

2015-08-08

Trapping

Oakmulgee WMA

Traps on 22 sites. Broods using 4 of the sites.

2015-08-05

Trapping

Scotch WMA

Monitoring 8 sites with brood flocks using them.

2015-08-05

Roadside surveys

Scotch WMA

Only 4 hens seen on surveys this week. It has been slow.

2015-07-29

Trapping

Scotch WMA

Fifteen walk-in traps deployed. Poults were seen during the last week at 4-6 of them.

2015-07-29

Trapping

Skyline WMA

Monitoring 6 sites with poults. Many of them too young to band.

2015-07-29

GPS logger transmitters

All study areas

Due to the success with 4 GPS-logger-transmitters at Scotch, each study area now has 10 loggers to deploy.

2015-07-29

Roadside surveys

Oakmulgee WMA

A total of 25 hen and 10 poult observations on 3 surveys conducted this week.

2015-07-29

Roadside surveys

Scotch WMA

Only 2 birds seen this week.

2015-07-14

Trapping

Oakmulgee WMA

No success this week, but poults and feral pigs have been seen at several sites.

2015-07-14

Telemetry monitoring

Skyline WMA

All birds are alive and well.

2015-07-14

Roadside surveys

Skyline WMA

No turkeys seen on standardized routes.

2015-07-14

Camera surveys

Scotch WMA

We completed the production survey (45 sites) this week.

2015-07-14

No radio=marked hens surviving

Scotch WMA

No mortalities reported this week.

2015-07-14

Camera surveys

Skyline WMA

Of 45 sites surveyed, about half were used by turkeys and only 5 were used consistently.

2015-07-14

Roadside surveys

Scotch WMA

A total of 13 poults and 10 hens were seen on morning surveys and 10 hens were seen on afternoon surveys this week.

2015-07-14

Nest depredation study complete

Scotch WMA

Five of 16 fake nests survived the entire study period.

2015-07-14

Finishing nest depredation survey

Skyline WMA

The last of the cameras on fake nests will be retrieved today.

2015-07-14

Camera surveys

Oakmulgee WMA

Completed at 43 sites. Turkeys seen at 33 locations.

2015-07-14

Roadside surveys

Oakmulgee WMA

No turkeys seen.

2015-07-08

Camera surveys

Skyline WMA

Surveys have been completed at over 20 sites. Many have been used by turkeys.

2015-07-08

Camera surveys

Oakmulgee WMA

Turkeys were observed at 25 of 30 sites surveyed during the last 2 weeks.

2015-07-08

Poult trapping

Oakmulgee WMA

Poults are regularly using 2 of the walk-in traps, but they are too small to capture.

2015-07-08

Camera surveys

Scotch WMA

Turkeys have been seen at 26 of 30 survey locations. Poults were seen at a number of sites. At least 4 sites have flocks of more than 5 adult turkeys using them.

2015-07-08

Telemetry monitoring

Oakmulgee WMA

The missing jake was located alive and on the south end of the study area. The other 2 jakes and all of the hens are still alive.

2015-07-08

Roadside surveys

All study areas

Roadside surveys starting this week. These surveys will be conducted every week until mid-August. The results will be used to estimate the number of gobblers, jakes, hens, and poults on each study area as an alternative to game camera surveys.

2015-06-29

Training camp

All study areas

We held a training session for the new project technicians 6/29-7/2 at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center near Andalusia. There we completed a number of modules including cpr and first aid, cannon net safety, techniques for trapping, camera surveys, and roadside surveys.

2015-06-24

Missing jake

Oakmulgee WMA

One of the radio-marked jakes has gone missing, and this is not the first time. The terrain presents some problems with telemetry monitoring.

2015-06-24

Trapping

Walk-in traps are in place at 4 locations.

2015-06-24

Production Survey

Skyline WMA

Started last week. Cameras are out on 15 sites. Fifteen more sites have been prepared for round 2.

2015-06-24

Telemetry monitoring

Skyline WMA

No mortalities last week.

2015-06-24

Nest depredation study

Only 1 of 16 fake nests is left. Predators destroyed the others.

2015-06-24

Telemetry monitoring

Scotch WMA

No mortalities reported.

2015-06-21

Production Survey

Oakmulgee WMA

Game camera survey for estimating poult-per-hen ratio started. We will survey 45 sites.

2015-06-20

Gobble surveys compiled

All study areas

The results of the gobble counts have been compiled for all of the study areas. Check back soon to see them.

2015-06-18

Summer turkey survey beginning

All study areas

A systematic survey of each of the study areas begins this week. The objectives of this survey are to estimate productivity of hens and locate concentrations of turkeys for capture and marking.

2015-06-17

Feral pig problems

Scotch WMA

Feral pigs are using many of the sites baited for trapping.

2015-06-10

Second marked hen nests

Scotch WMA

Data downloaded this week indicated a second hen was nesting. She was observed later that day at another location. The nest was found, but had been destroyed by predators.

2015-06-10

All artificial nests destroyed

Skyline WMA

Predators found and destroyed all of the artificial nests in the depredation study.

2015-06-03

Turkey hen depredated

Scotch WMA

On Monday June 1, 2015, we received our first mortality signal from a hen with a VHF transmitter. Triangulation, and further monitoring occurred through the morning of June 3rd to confirm the hen was likely dead. On the afternoon of the 3rd, the depredation site was located. The transmitter and band were recovered in a large pile of feathers, but the carcass could not be located to determine exact cause of death, but a mammalian predator is suspected.

2015-05-30

More success with cannon net

Oakmulgee WMA

Four jakes were captured and tagged over the weekend using a cannon net.

2015-05-29

Brood captured on camera

Oakmulgee WMA

One hen with five poults was photographed near a trap site.

2015-05-29

Artificial nest predation

Scotch WMA

One of the artificial nests was destroyed. The camera place near the nest shows that a bobcate was the culprit. The site was subsequently visited by a rat and a gray fox.

2015-05-26

First brood at Oakmulgee

Oakmulgee WMA

A single poult was observed crossing the highway. The rest of the brood and the hen were not observed.

2015-05-23

Marked hen missing.

Oakmulgee WMA

The fate of this bird is unknown and crews are still searching for her. There was no indication of transmitter failure and we suspect she was harvested illegally.

2015-05-23

Gobbler in full strut

Scotch WMA

Five hens and one gobbler were spotted at one of the trapping sites. The gobbler was in the center of the opening in full strut.

2015-05-21

Nest of marked hen destroyed

Scotch WMA

GPS downloads this week indicated that the hen was no longer incubating. The nest was located using the GPS data. All signs indicate a predation event--many of the eggs had been shattered and a few were removed from the nest.

2015-05-20

Nest depredation study

All study areas

This marks the beginning of a small project to study effects of supplemental feeding on nest depredation. On each study area, one dozen artificial nests were placed at varying distances from deer feeders at multiple locations. The nests will be monitored daily until early July.

2015-05-11

First young of the year spotted

Scotch WMA

While conducting our weekly gobble count survey, the first brood of the spring was spotted. There were 10 poults, and 1 hen. The poults were estimated to be less than 7 days old.

2015-05-09

Second peak of gobbling

Oakmulgee WMA

Weekly gobbler surveys indicate that gobbling activity is reaching a second peak.

2015-05-08

Another hen mortality

Oakmulgee WMA

The transmitter was discovered during regular monitoring. The harness had been cut with a sharp object. This hen may also have been harvested illegally.

2015-05-04

Confirmed: Hen on nest

Scotch WMA

GPS data download this week confirms it. The hen suspected of nesting on 4/20 is at the same location. Activity codes and location fixes indicate she has been incubating for up to two weeks.

2015-04-20

First marked hen on nest?

Scotch WMA

Data downloaded from four hens marked with transmitters containin g GPS loggers indicates that one may be nesting.

2015-04-19

Marked hen depredated

Oakmulgee WMA

The transmitter was discovered with turkey remains and scattered feathers. Evidence suggests the mortality was caused by a large bird of prey.

2015-04-07

First capture in walk-in trap!

Skyline WMA

The first walk-in trap capture was a hen. She was marked and released on the WMA.

2015-04-03

Peak of gobbling activity

Oakmulgee WMA

2015-03-25

Gobbling starts!

Skyline WMA

First gobbles heard during survey period.

2015-03-20

First gobbles heard!

Scotch WMA

This morning at 7:25am we heard our first gobbler while conducting weekly gobble count surveys. It was partially cloudy, with a slight breeze, and he gobbled twice in a four minute listening period.

2015-03-14

Mortality of marked hen

Oakmulgee WMA

One of the hens marked on 2/26 found dead, apparently from trapping-related stress.

2015-03-09

Gobbler Surveys Begin

All study areas

Weekly gobbler surveys intended to estimate the distribution and density of gobblers and provide an index to gobbling activity started this week on each study area.

2015-03-09

Modifying walk-in traps

Oakmulgee WMA

Begin experimenting with different walk-in trap designs and methods.

2015-03-07

First gobblers caught!

Captured three gobblers in cannon net.

2015-03-01

Problem with canon net.

Oakmulgee WMA

One hen is captured and tagged out of a flock of eleven due to a cannon malfunction.

2015-03-01

Successful weekend of cannon netting!

Scotch WMA

Two cannon nets were launched this weekend, capturing a total of 10 hens. 6 hens were outfitted with VHF radio transmitters and 4 with GPS transmitters.

2015-02-26

Seven hens captured and tagged

Oakmulgee WMA

First successful cannon netting event.

2015-02-08

Trapping effort starts

Oakmulgee WMA

Eleven walk-in traps erected and monitoring begins.

2015-02-05

Trapping and Marking

All study areas

Beginning of winter trapping season

2015-02-02

Surveying for turkeys begins

All study areas

Crews scout for turkey sign and place cameras to estimate pre-season population size and structure.

More Information

3301 School of Forestry and Wildlife
602 Duncan Drive
Auburn University, Alabama 36849
(334) 844-9237
Steven W. Barnett
Wild Turkey Project Leader
Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
District V Wildlife Section
30571 Five Rivers Boulevard
Spanish Fort, AL 36527
(334) 242-3465