From Xplor for Kids
February 2014 Issue

Wild Jobs: Turkey Trapper

Publish Date

Feb 01, 2014

Biologist Jason Isabelle catches wild turkeys — with a rocket-net.

Q: How do you catch turkeys with a rocket-net?
A: My research crew puts out cracked corn for bait. When a flock of turkeys shows up for a free meal, we push a button and — BOOM! — three rockets take off and carry a 60-foot-long net over the turkeys.

Q: How many turkeys do you catch at once?
A: We usually get 10 to 20. I’ve caught nearly 30 before, and I’ve heard of more than 50 being caught.

Q: What do you do with the turkeys?
A: We untangle them and put each one in a cardboard box. The boxes make the turkeys feel safe. Then we record information about each turkey, bird by bird. When we take a bird out of its box, we put a sock over its head to keep it calm.

Q: What kind of information do you record?
A: We write down whether each turkey is a male or female and whether it’s a youngster or an adult. Each bird gets a leg band so we can identify it. Some of the turkeys get radio transmitters so we can track them. The information will help us learn more about the size and health of Missouri’s turkey population.

Q: Turkeys are big birds. Are they hard to handle?
A: Turkeys are fairly easy to work with. You just have to watch out for gobblers. They have sharp spurs on their legs, and they can kick.

Also in this issue

You Discover

With winter almost gone and spring right around the corner, there’s plenty for you to discover outside in February and March.

Predator Vs. Prey: Hooded Merganser vs. Bluntnose Minnow

The struggle to survive isn't always a fair fight. Here's what separates nature's winners from its losers.

How To: Find North Without a Compass

Being able to find north without a compass is a handy skill to master.

Large and in Charge

Missouri's giants rule the outdoors.

Little Owl, Big Attitude

The only thing small about an eastern screech-owl is its size.

Strange But True

Your guide to all the unusual, unique, and unbelievable stuff that goes on in nature.

This Issue's Staff:

David Besenger
Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White

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