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Use of Pine-Dominated Forests by Female Eastern Wild Turkeys Immediately After Prescribed Fire

We examined how hens behaved immediately after prescribed fires were conducted within their home ranges.  Hens returned to burned stands immediately after fires and probability of use increased until 141 days post-fire.  Probability that hens would use burned stands was greatest if fires occurred in February and April/May.  Use of burned stands declined as distance to surrounding unburned areas increased, suggesting hens favored the edge of burned and unburned areas which could serve as escape cover.  Our findings suggest that applying prescribed

fire on smaller patches in checkerboard fashion may enhance use by hens, and that applying prescribed fire to patches smaller than those burned on our study sites at 2–3 year fire-return intervals is ideal.  

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