Looking for an excuse to listen to the sounds of spring this year? Tom Dailey, Missouri Conservation research biologist, told me they’re seeking volunteers now to take part in a study of turkey gobbling throughout Missouri that begins March 15. Volunteers will need to listen two days a week for 20 minutes starting 45 minutes before sunrise from March 15-May 9. Thanks to the George Clark Missouri State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, one lucky volunteer completing the counts will be drawn to win their choice of a shotgun or a lifetime Missouri hunting permit.
This is just Missouri’s second year of gathering gobbling counts, so it’s just the beginning of looking at trends in how turkey activity progresses seasonally from the south to the north part of the state. In the end, the study may add some useful information to help in timing of the hunting season.
I looked over last year’s gobbling results and thought it was interesting to see that turkeys favor clear weather to let out a song. (Can you call a gobble a song? If it is, would it be classified as country, blues, folk or hip-hop? But I digress…) Anyway, the weather does seem to make a difference in how much the males call for a mate. But you can find out for yourself in your neck of the woods what the birds are doing this spring—and maybe win a prize, too. Register to volunteer online for 2008. You can also contact biologist Jamey Decoske for more information.