JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The public can help the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) monitor the state’s wild turkey population by reporting sightings through the Wild Turkey Brood Survey.
MDC has conducted an annual Wild Turkey Brood Survey every year since 1959 to determine the success of the hatch. Observations of all wild turkeys MDC staff and volunteers observe during June, July, and August are recorded at the county level and summarized by region and statewide.
Survey participants previously signed up for a mailing list to receive postcards before the start of each survey month. MDC has since developed an electronic version to make the survey more accessible and to improve how quickly results are summarized.
“We calculate the poult-to-hen ratio – the average number of poults observed per hen observed – from the turkey sightings submitted during the Wild Turkey Brood Survey,” said MDC Turkey Biologist Reina Tyl. “This poult-to-hen ratio can provide insight into the quality of the hatch that year, and we can look at trends in turkey production to predict how turkey abundance might change in the near future.”
While anyone can contribute observations to the brood survey, registering to become an official brood survey cooperator has additional benefits. Cooperators will receive a reminder email that the survey is about to begin and a summary report at the end of each survey. They can also receive a copy of their submitted observations upon request.
To learn more and to sign up to report wild turkey sightings, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4iK.