Wild turkeys

Wild Turkey

The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is a culturally significant game animal for the Cherokee. During the 19th and early 20th century, turkey numbers plummeted in the southeastern U.S. due to overhunting and habitat degradation. Regional restoration efforts have led to the successful recovery of turkey, which have been hunted on EBCI lands since 2006. Turkey season runs from the second Saturday in April to the third Saturday in May each year. Long term population data and the analysis of trends are essential to inform management decisions on EBCI lands.

Ruffed Grouse

Grouse are a game bird, where hunting occurs on EBCI lands from October 17th through February 28th with a daily limit of 3 and season limit of 30. Loss of habitat poses a threat to Ruffed Grouse as they require a mix of early, mid, and late successional deciduous environments. The Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is historically a significant game animal for the Cherokee tribe. Harvest numbers are unknown but our call surveys indicate a stable population.

Management actions include:

  • Call surveys

Bird Diversity Sampling

Cherokee lands are within one of North America’s major migratory bird routes where a high diversity of bird species aids the regeneration of culturally important plants. Historic changes in land management in North America were a leading cause of bird declines in the last 40 years. Currently, 103 avian species are documented within EBCI lands, 8 of which are federal species of concern. Sampling is conducted to monitor species diversity as well as use of EBCI lands by species of concern.

Management actions include: