After a jam-packed first day of presenting and discussing wild turkey research, symposium attendees got in the field for some fresh air and to share information in a relaxed environment.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, co-host of the 12th National Wild Turkey Symposium, organized an eventful and informative day outdoors for the 100-plus researchers, land managers, biologists and other wild turkey aficionados.
Busloads of turkey enthusiasts arrived early at NCWRC’s Sandy Mush Game Land, a 2800-acre public land with more turkeys harvested per square mile than many other NCWRC public lands, especially in the state’s mountain region.
NCWRC staff attributed the game land’s robust wild turkey population to active land management, resulting in a patchwork of habitat types that wild turkeys and many other critters utilize.
If hearing about the management success of the small, unique land wasn’t enough, the thundering gobbler on the nearby ridge who kept interrupting the presentation also served as a testament to NCWRC’s success in turning the somewhat-suburban parcel into a special turkey hunting destination.
While biologists and land managers discussed burning frequency, noxious species removal, hunting use and other management topics during the field trip's habitat overviews, researchers also talked about equipment and methods for trapping birds during the research portion of the field trip.
At a different section of the Sandy Mush Game Land, David Moscicki, graduate research associate at N.C. State University, set up a table with all the equipment he has been using to conduct his three-year wild turkey research examining multiple aspects of turkey nesting.
Equipment included the iconic rocket net (which revolutionized wild turkey restoration), VHF/GPS backpack transmitters, bands and banding tools and NWTF Making Tracks Boxes, among much more.
Researchers chatted about the varying ways they use the equipment and discussed other techniques used elsewhere for other subspecies, such as walk-in traps.
The day spent outdoors was concluded by a tour of the Biltmore Estate’s vast, picturesque property and self-sustaining agricultural operation and a tour of a renowned brewery, because did you even go to Asheville if you didn’t go to a brewery?
It’s safe to safe NCWRC put on an eventful day that brought researchers closer together and got folks even more excited to discuss the research to be presented the following day.
Day three of the 12th National Wild Turkey Symposium will include over a dozen presentations surrounding population dynamics and reproductive ecology.
Keep an eye out for forthcoming Turkey Call All Access Podcast episodes, where the NWTF welcomes researchers, personalities and NWTF biologists to distill this compelling information and discuss what it means for turkey hunters.