Turkeys for Tomorrow (TFT,) a nonprofit organization chartered only seven months ago, is off and running. Wildlife researchers at Auburn University, under the supervision of Will Gulsby, PhD, will begin working on three separate but inter-related studies funded by TFT and the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF.) The goal is to examine how landscape composition, property management and hunting pressure affects gobbler abundance across Alabama. Data will be collected on public and private lands and will also determine how hunting pressure affects gobbling activity.
A second project will examine the fertility rate of mature and immature gobblers to determine the proportion of males capable of fertilizing clutches throughout the reproductive season. The third study will use GPS tracking devices on hens to determine nest success rates and timing, brood survival, and the factors that influence them.
Researchers will also use these opportunities to collect disease samples from each bird in the study. These data will provide useful information to state wildlife agencies, public and private land managers across a wide portion of the wild turkey’s range.
“TFT was founded to help find ways to stop the slide of turkey populations across most
of the Southeast and other states,” said Jim Ronquest, co-chairman of TFT’s board of directors. “We wouldn’t be able to launch these projects this fast without the partnership of many turkey hunters and the financial support from AWF. If our grandkids are going to have the good turkey hunting we’ve had, we have to turn things around soon.”
About Turkeys For Tomorrow: TFT was chartered as a nonprofit organization in
February 2021, by a small group of veteran turkey hunters who shared the common belief that
turkey populations needed help. To learn more about TFT, or to contribute to the effort to help reinvigorate turkey populations, visit www.turkeysfortomorrow.org, or connect with them on Facebook, Instagram@turkeysfortomorrow, or Twitter @forturkeys.