The MDWFP and MSU partnered together for a turkey tracking research project to help better understand turkey movements.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks is conducting a turkey tracking research project in conjunction with Mississippi State University to help better understand how hens and gobblers use habitat.
The turkeys are tagged with a GPS tracker that allows MDWFP to plot the data it receives from the turkey movement.
The researchers, first, look for a location that turkeys are frequenting often with the use of trail cameras. They then set up a mock trap so the turkeys will get used to what it looks like. Bait, typically wheat, is then placed out in a consolidated location for an easy and quick trap of the turkeys.
Once the turkeys are caught in the rocket net (watch video for explanation) the researchers cover the turkeys with an old army parachute. The parachute prevents the turkeys from seeing their surroundings and causes them to settle down and stop flapping their wings.
The turkeys are then placed into a box for holding while they are each tagged with the GPS. The turkeys are monitored quickly after their release to make sure they do not die from the previous stress.
The researchers work swiftly to tag and release the turkeys.
The overall goal of the project is to derive why turkeys use the habitat and resources that they do to better manage state populations.