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Nest and Brood Site Selection of Eastern Wild Turkeys

We evaluated vegetative and landscape characteristics associated with places where hens nested and took their broods.  We found that hens nested closer to roads and in areas with greater visual obstruction.  However, hens roosted broods at night in areas with increased ground cover but reduced visual obstruction, meaning that she could hide poults at night but they could escape easily if disturbed.  Hens roosted broods in areas not recently burned, but took them to forage in areas burned more frequently.  Our findings point to the need to maintain diverse fire return intervals if you’re managing for wild turkeys – don’t get caught in a rut and burn all stands every 2 years, or every 3 years, think diversity.

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