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Catoosa Wildlife Area Hosting Turkey Habitat Field Day Saturday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Catoosa Wildlife Area Hosting Turkey Habitat Field Day Saturday

Catoosa Wildlife Area will host a field day Saturday exploring turkey habitats.

Area manager Don Chance said turkey hunting is the second most popular hunting season in Tennessee.  Chance said managing habitats for turkeys from nesting to predation allows the sport to thrive.

“It’s hard sometimes for us as wildlife biologists to communicate to the layperson about what it is that we’re wanting to see,” Chance said. “It’s just a lot easier to show people. So obviously I would encourage anybody that has the opportunity to come out and take a ride with us.”

Chance said he will show what good habitats and good cover look like for young turkey poults (chicks). He said he would also show some areas that are not as productive and not as good.

Chance said wildlife management uses timber harvest to allow sunlight to reach the ground which will allow plants on the forest floor to grow. He said they use fire to maintain the height of that growth.

“It overtops the turkey poults (chicks) but it doesn’t get so high that the mother cannot see,” Chance said. “She wants to still be able to see her surroundings and the poults need to be hidden with overhead cover.”

Chance said fire and timber harvest are their two most effective, and certainly most cost-effective, tools to manage at a larger scale at Catoosa.

“Removing fewer of the trees and applying fire you can see really good results for brood rearing and nesting cover,” Chance said.

Chance said you have to have some type of disturbance and Catoosa uses fire which they try to return every two to three years.

“We want to promote things like grasses and wildflowers,” Chance said. “Turkey poults up to two weeks of age have a diet that consists almost entirely of insects. And how do you attract insects? Grasses and flowers.”

The Wildlife Field Day will take place Saturday from 8 am to noon.


The post Catoosa Wildlife Area Hosting Turkey Habitat Field Day Saturday appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.