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Survival and Cause‐specific Mortality of Male Wild Turkeys Across the Southeastern United States

We evaluated survival and harvest rates of toms and jakes across several hunted and a non-hunted population using both band recovery and telemetry data.  This work represents the most comprehensive known-fate analysis ever conducted for male wild turkeys.  We found that annual survival in hunted populations was 54% for toms, but in the nonhunted population it was 83%.  Annual harvest for toms was 29% in hunted populations, but predation rates were similar between hunted and nonhunted populations.  Our findings show clearly that spring harvest is an additive mortality source, meaning that if managers want to increase survival of toms and carry more birds over into subsequent years, they could consider reducing harvest rates.

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