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You Can Help Monitor Indiana's Wild Turkey
Updated July 21, 2016 7:22 AM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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(UNDATED) - The Department of Natural Resources is asking for the public's help in monitoring the wild turkey population.

There are posters going up around the state in Department of Natural Resources offices, in various federal offices and conservation clubs and county fairs that say "We Want You!"

Asking those that see wild turkeys during July and August to report their findings to the state agency online. many they see to the state agency online.

Steve Backs, wild turkey biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife says a reduction in personnel at DNR has led to decreases in the number of staff that can survey wildlife and that is why they are asking for the public's help.

"Now that wild turkeys can be found across the state, it's important to have accurate reports of where the birds are located and how many are living in those areas," Backs added.

The survey is simple to fill out and asks participants to report all wild turkeys they see, not just the hens with their broods of chicks, all the birds they find are important to the survey.

Backs says the information will tell biologists where there may be problems for wild turkeys population including the lack of habitat where young poults are not surviving through the summer months. Summer brood survival is one of the main factors that determines how the wild turkey population will trend for the next two to three years.

The information gained through the survey can help the state better manage its wild turkey population.

At the end of the survey, Backs plans to send out an abbreviated report to all the participants so they will know what was observed across Indiana. He's hopeful he will be able to break the data into regions to show more about how wild turkeys are faring in different parts of the state.

Participants will be asked to report:

  • number of wild turkeys seen and the county where they were observed
  • sex and relative age (adult or poult) of the birds
  • sightings of gobblers or gobbler groups
  • sightings of broods, which is one or more hens with poults
  • sightings of adult hens without poults

The survey and more information can be found at

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