Each summer, wildlife biologists and volunteers conduct brood surveys, counting the number of young wild turkeys observed with turkey hens to estimate how many young turkeys live through the summer. Summer brood survival is one of the primary factors influencing wild turkey population trends in various regions of the state and informs wild turkey management.
This year, DNR aims to collect 3,000 brood observation reports across the state with a goal of at least 25 observations per county. Biologists are especially interested in obtaining more observations in the southeastern portion of the state.
“Some of the better turkey habitat in the state exists in southeastern Indiana,” said Steve Backs, DNR’s wild turkey biologist. “Turkey populations appear to have declined in recent years. Above-normal precipitation in June to early July can reduce poult (young turkey) survival and overall population levels. Unfortunately, the low number of brood reports from the southeast prevents us from further exploring the apparent population decline.”
Individuals interested in participating can register and report turkeys at on.IN.gov/turkeybrood. Instructions for the survey and an illustrative guide on how to report observations of wild turkey broods and hens is provided on the registration site, as are the results of the previous summers’ brood survey.
For more information about wild turkey biology and management, see on.IN.gov/turkey.
To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.