Choose your state

AlabamaAlabama Hunting & Fishing

AlaskaAlaska Drivers ManualAlaska Motorcycle ManualAlaska Commercial DriversAlaska Waterfowl HuntingAlaska Hunting

ArizonaArizona HuntingArizona Waterfowl Hunting

ArkansasArkansas HuntingArkansas Waterfowl Hunting

CaliforniaCalifornia Big Game HuntingCalifornia Freshwater FishingCalifornia Fishing SupplementCalifornia Waterfowl & Upland Game & Public LandsCalifornia Saltwater FishingCalifornia Mammal Hunting

ColoradoColorado HuntingColorado Waterfowl Hunting

ConnecticutConnecticut HuntingConnecticut Fishing

DelawareDelaware HuntingDelaware Fishing

FloridaFlorida HuntingFlorida Saltwater FishingFlorida Freshwater Fishing

GeorgiaGeorgia FIshing40-Hour Parent/Teen Driving GuideGeorgia Alcohol & Drug Awareness ProgramGeorgia HuntingGeorgia Commercial DriversGeorgia Drivers ManualGeorgia Motorcycle Manual

HawaiiHawaii Hunting

IdahoIdaho HuntingIdaho Deer HuntingIdaho Waterfowl Hunting

IllinoisIllinois HuntingIllinois Waterfowl Hunting

IndianaIndiana HuntingIndiana Fishing

IowaIowa HuntingIowa Waterfowl Hunting

KansasKansas HuntingKansas Waterfowl Hunting

KentuckyKentucky HuntingKentucky Waterfowl Hunting

LouisianaLouisiana HuntingLouisiana Fishing

MaineMaine HuntingMaine FishingMaine ATV & Snowmobile

MarylandMaryland FishingMaryland Hunting

MassachusettsMassachusetts Hunting & FishingMassachusetts Saltwater FishingMassachusetts Hunting & Fishing

MichiganMichigan FishingMichigan HuntingMichigan Waterfowl Hunting

MinnesotaMinnesota HuntingMinnesota Waterfowl Hunting

MississippiMississippi Hunting & Fishing

MissouriMissouri HuntingMissouri Waterfowl Hunting

MontanaMontana HuntingMontana Deer HuntingMontana Waterfowl Hunting

NebraskaNebraska HuntingNebraska Deer HuntingNebraska Waterfowl Hunting

NevadaNevada FishingNevada Small Game HuntingNevada Big Game HuntingNevada Hunting Applications

New HampshireNew Hampshire Saltwater FishingNew Hampshire HuntingNew Hampshire ATV & SnowmobileNew Hampshire Freshwater Fishing

New JerseyNew Jersey HuntingNew Jersey Freshwater FishingNew Jersey Saltwater Fishing

New MexicoNew Mexico HuntingNew Mexico Hunting Rules & Info – 2016-2017New Mexico Waterfowl Hunting

New YorkNew York HuntingNew York Fishing

North CarolinaNorth Carolina HuntingNorth Carolina Waterfowl Hunting

North DakotaNorth Dakota HuntingNorth Dakota Deer HuntingNorth Dakota Waterfowl Hunting

OhioOhio HuntingOhio Fishing

OklahomaOklahoma FishingOklahoma Hunting

OregonOregon Big Game HuntingOregon FishingOregon Game Bird HuntingOregon FishingOregon Big Game Hunting

PennsylvaniaPennsylvania HuntingPennsylvania Waterfowl Hunting

Rhode IslandRhode Island Saltwater Fishing Regulations GuideRhode Island HuntingRhode Island Freshwater Fishing

South CarolinaSouth Carolina Hunting & Fishing

South DakotaSouth Dakota HuntingSouth Dakota Waterfowl Hunting

TennesseeTennessee HuntingTennessee Waterfowl Hunting

TexasTexas HuntingTexas Waterfowl Hunting

UtahUtah HuntingUtah Deer HuntingUtah Waterfowl Hunting

VermontVermont HuntingVermont Fishing

VirginiaVirginia FishingVirginia Migratory Game Bird HuntingVirginia Hunting

WashingtonWashington HuntingWashington Deer HuntingWashington Waterfowl Hunting

West VirginiaWest Virginia HuntingWest Virginia Waterfowl Hunting

WisconsinWisconsin HuntingWisconsin Deer HuntingWisconsin Waterfowl Hunting

WyomingWyoming HuntingWyoming Deer HuntingWyoming Waterfowl Hunting


Alabama’s Turkey Research Efforts

Hunting Regulations Icon Alabama Hunting & Fishing

Over the past ten years, perceived declines in turkey populations across the southeast have caused concerns among both hunters and agencies tasked with managing the species. However, little or no scientific data exists to substantiate the decline in populations. In response, the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) partnered with the Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (ALCU) at Auburn University to begin the largest, most comprehensive Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo; hereafter turkey) research project conducted in Alabama in over 30 years.

The overall goal of the turkey research project is to develop decision tools to inform science-based management of turkey populations in Alabama. In 2014, with aid from ALCU, the newly formed WFF Turkey Committee completed a prototype decision tool. The developed tool is used to evaluate impacts of different bag limits and season frameworks on turkey populations. The tool focuses on bag limits and season framework because outside of management on Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and advice provided to landowners, the only means a state agency has to manage turkey populations statewide is through season and harvest regulations.

The foundation of the decision tool is a population model that predicts impacts of different management regulations on turkey populations using the density of gobblers in spring (males > 1 yr old) and productivity in fall (poult:hen ratio) as inputs. The model’s predicted outputs of population size (i.e. density), age structure, and sex ratio are used to determine the harvest regulation that would balance the highest regional gobbler densities and largest bag limits that can be sustained perpetually. However, the population predictive model is only as good as the information it is based on and recent productivity and survival rates for Alabama turkey populations are unavailable. At current, the prototype’s population model is based on vital rates (productivity and survival rates) estimated from research projects in Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, and Alabama. The most recent relevant research in Alabama was conducted prior to the mid-1990s and based on relatively small sample sizes. The WFF Turkey Committee agreed that new research to determine survival and productivity rates that dictate abundance, sex ratios, and age ratios of turkey populations in Alabama was needed for the prototype decision tool.

In January 2015, a long-term field research project was initiated to collect data on population structure (age and sex ratios), density, and vital rates (productivity, survival and harvest rates) of turkey in Alabama. The field research duration spans for a five year period and is being conducted across three separate study areas that represent dominate turkey habitats across the state. The study areas are the hardwood forests in and around J.D. Martin Skyline WMA in Jackson County, the longleaf pines and hardwood drains in and around Oakmulgee WMA in Hale and Bibb Counties, and the short-rotation pines and hardwood bottoms in and around Barbour WMA. The primary objectives of the field research component are to examine regional age-specific survival and recruitment rates of turkey; determine effects of ecoregion, land use, and population density on turkey productivity; investigate regional age- and sex- specific variation in harvest and other mortality rates of turkey; investigate annual and season variation in regional vital rates; develop and validate operational monitoring procedures; examine movements and habitat use of adult females during nesting and brood rearing.

Since January of 2015, over 210 turkeys have been captured, banded, and tagged with a VHF/GPS transmitter. These tagged birds are monitored for survival and productivity. Every two weeks attempts are made to locate each tagged turkey to determine whether it is still alive. In August, tagged hens are tracked and number of poults produced by each hen is counted. In spring, band returns are assessed to determine harvest rates of males. On each study area, camera surveys have been conducted prior to and following the spring turkey hunting season. To date, approximately 500,000 images have been analyzed to determine population densities and sex and age ratios. By fall 2017, data from the field research will be analyzed and resulting vital rates will be used to update the population model within the prototype decision tool.

The next phase of the turkey research project will focus on small scale experimental tests using the prototype to make season and bag limit decisions. Turkey hunters that utilize the Division’s WMAs will begin to see delayed opening dates on several WMAs including, J.D. Martin Skyline, Oakmulgee, Barbour, Lowndes, Choccolocco, and Perdido. Although change is not often welcomed, these experimental tests provide an opportunity to use the tool on a small operational scale and then monitor the response of turkey populations from implementing those regulations. Experimental test results can then be used to evaluate any unexpected outcomes with model predicted outputs.

You can get more information about the turkey research project, on the project website at and This project is funded by WFF with Federal Aid funds from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (Pittman-Robertson), Auburn University, Alabama Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and U.S. Geological Survey.