Having become suspicious of telemetry-based survival rates reported for northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus), we surveyed the published record to determine whether reported survival rates were consistent with empirical expectations of production, for which there exists a vast database. If the production (juvenile/adult) required to stabilize a population at a reported or inferred annual survival rate was £7, we deemed the reported survival rate reasonable; otherwise, we deemed it not reasonable. We obtained 58 estimates of survival rates for unique points in space and time; 83% of these were not reasonable (apparently biased low). These results and supporting information strongly suggest (but do not necessarily prove) that radio packages (harness, transmitter, antenna) somehow handicap bobwhites. We recommend that researchers be extremely skeptical of telemetry data, plan telemetry studies such that independent data on population performance are available for comparison with telemetry estimates, and discuss the demographic implications of telemetry estimates. We also suggest that radiotelemetry might not always be appropriate for a given research question and that alternative methods be employed whenever possible. © The Wildlife Society, 2004. Abstract reproduced by permission.