Southeastern Outdoors Birds & Birding
Southeastern Outdoors
Home > Outdoor Activities > Hunting > Wild Turkey DNA
Bass Pro Shops Web Site Promotion

DNA Can Help Catch Wild Turkey Poachers

A new study funded by the NWTF will determine the differences between wild and domestic turkey DNA, information wildlife agencies need to convict suspected poachers.

Wildlife law enforcement officers could soon have a new tool for enforcing wild turkey hunting laws.

Dr. Karen Mock, associate professor at Utah State University, is studying the genetic differences between wild and domestic turkeys and using the results to develop tests game wardens can use to determine whether turkey products possessed by suspected poachers come from wild or domestic birds. Such evidence would help wildlife agencies convict poachers without having to catch them in the act.

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) funded the study.

"Right now we don't have a test that can be taken into court to prove whether a turkey is domestic or wild from a tissue sample," said Tom Hughes, NWTF biologist over research projects. "We have confidence that tests resulting from this study will be accepted by the courts as proof of wild turkey game law violations."

The study will determine how to tell the difference between domestic and wild turkeys by comparing DNA in tissue samples taken from the Rio Grande wild turkey subspecies to two common domestic turkey lineages, the Spanish Black and the Narragansett. Once consistent processes for telling wild and domestic turkey DNA apart have been developed, these processes can be standardized for forensics labs to use in wildlife court cases as evidence.



Questions, answers and tips about big game hunting can be found in our Hunting Discussion Forums.

Hunting Info
Game Wardens
Poachers Caught
Poachers by State
KY Turkey Poacher
Africa Hunt Books
Hunting Jokes
Hunting & Shooting
Trophy Room
Tennessee WMA's
Venison Recipes
Sponsor Links
What's This?
Related Links
Fish &  Game Depts
Shooting Ranges
Hunting Guides
Crossbow Books