Pennsylvania –-(Ammoland.com)- The inaugural Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Sighting Survey begins Aug. 1, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission encourages the public to assist by reporting online the turkeys they see throughout the month of August.
Information submitted to https://pgcdatacollection.pa.gov/TurkeyBroodSurvey will help in analyzing spring turkey production.
Participants are requested to report the wild turkeys they see, along with the general location, date, and contact information to be used if there are any questions.
“The turkey survey will enhance our internal survey, which serves as a long-term index of turkey reproduction,” said Mary Jo Casalena, the Game Commission’s wild turkey biologist. “By reporting all turkeys seen during each sighting, whether they’re gobblers, hens with broods or hens without broods, the data help us determine total productivity, and allow us to compare long-term reproductive success.”
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.