Help us Count Wild Turkeys this July and August!
Each summer the Iowa DNR asks for volunteers to participate in the July-August Wild Turkey Survey. It is a simple process: as you work and play in Iowa this July and August keep an eye out for wild turkeys. If you see one, determine if it is an adult female or adult male (males have beards on their breast), and whether there are young poults (baby turkeys). Count the number of young, make a note of the date and the county in which you saw the turkey(s) and then report your sighting to the Wildlife Bureau.
Information on annual variations in turkey productivity is needed to evaluate the status of turkey populations in various regions of the state. Because few reliable wild turkey census techniques have been developed, hunter success rates, turkey harvest levels, and age ratios of harvested birds are the best available indicators of relative turkey populations between hunting zones. Research has found significant correlations between both August poult:hen ratios, percent juveniles in the harvest, and total gobbler harvests in the subsequent spring in Missouri, suggesting that an index to productivity would be useful in establishing hunting regulations. Compared to the more formalized census procedures used for more visible wildlife species, indices to eastern wild turkey productivity are generally based on random observations of broods.
A list of cooperators has been established from Iowa DNR personnel and rural residents living in selected portions of Iowa containing established turkey populations. All rural residents living in designated survey areas are sent a form to be returned if they are willing to participate in the survey. Each cooperator is sent return-addressed postcards which are to completed and returned based on turkey broods sighted between 1 July and 31 August. Productivity indices are constructed from these returns.
2013 Turkey Brood Survey
We welcome anyone interested in future help with the survey, and thank all those who have helped in the past. We hope you will all continue to help monitor turkeys throughout Iowa. This information is crucial to successful turkey management in Iowa, and could not be accomplished without all of your help. We very much appreciate your continued cooperation and support.