Despite some challenging weather conditions, Iowa’s wild turkey hunters reported harvesting nearly 12,000 birds through the mandatory registration system. While similar to 2021, the 300 additional birds registered represented and overall state increase in harvest of around two percent.
Iowa’s spring turkey seasons began April 8 with the youth season and ended on May 15. Hunters purchased nearly 52,500 spring turkey tags.
“We see a great passion for the wild turkey resource here in Iowa,” said forest wildlife biologist Jim Coffey, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Hunters are always anxious to get into the woods and experience the thunder of the wild turkey gobble.”
While the hunting season may be done for 2022, Iowans can help the DNR with its annual turkey production estimates by reporting all the turkeys seen during the months of July and August. This annual survey is designed to predict the overall production of wild turkeys that will be available for the 2023 season.
The DNR will have a link to the survey on its website before it begins on July 1, where Iowans seeing wild turkeys are asked to provide the date and county in which the turkey(s) was seen, if it was an adult female or adult male (males have beards on their breast), and whether there are young poults (baby turkeys) present.
Annual production surveys conducted by the DNR are an important component of the species management plans, which includes providing hunting opportunities. Anyone seeing turkeys is encouraged to participate in this online survey.