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Friday, August 26, 2016


August wild-turkey sightings must be reported by Sept. 4

Time is running out to report wild-turkey sightings as part of the inaugural Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Sighting Survey.

The survey period closes Aug. 31, and the public has until Sept. 4 to report turkey sightings recorded during the month of August.

There have been more than 2,300 submissions so far, and a summary of the final survey results will be posted on the Game Commission’s website beginning Sept. 6.

Information submitted to as part of the survey will help in analyzing spring turkey production. Participants are requested to report the wild turkeys they see (whether they’re gobblers, hens with broods, hens without broods, or unknowns), along with the general location, date, and contact information to be used only if there are any questions. The data also will be used to compare turkey reproduction in Pennsylvania to that of other states in the Northeast that are also conducting the same type of citizen-science turkey surveys to give us a regional view of wild turkey population trends. Every entry into the database is important.

Factors including spring weather, habitat, winter food abundance, predation, and fall harvest the previous year affect wild turkey productivity.

The 2015 statewide turkey population was approximately 216,000, which is slightly above the previous five-year average of 205,000 birds.

Pennsylvania’s turkey population reached its peak of about 280,000 birds in the early 2000s as a result of restoration efforts through wild trap and transfer, habitat improvement, and fall turkey hunting season restrictions. It then declined sharply to levels below 200,000, but, for the last two years has been trending back up, now exceeding the five-year average.

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