(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The Pennsylvania Game Commission is again seeking input from the public in surveying wild turkeys this summer.
The Annual Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Sighting Survey opened July 1 and runs through Aug. 31.
According to the Game Commission, participation is key for turkey population management as the commission uses the info to determine total wild turkey productivity and compare long-term reproductive success within Pennsylvania and multiple states. Data is also used in the turkey population model to track population trends.
“The turkey survey enhances our agency’s internal survey, which serves as a long-term index of turkey reproduction and is used in our turkey population model,” said Mary Jo Casalena, PA Game Commission’s turkey biologist. “Participants should report all turkeys seen, whether gobblers, hens with broods, or hens without broods.”
Turkey sightings can be reported through the game commission’s website.
On the website, participants are requested to record the number of wild turkeys they see, along with the county, township, wildlife management unit (WMU), date and contact information if agency biologists have any questions.
Participants may also simply drop a “pin” on the map for the location data to automatically populate. Location data are used only for the survey, not for law enforcement and are not shared. Viewers can also access the raw data and reports from previous years.
“Thanks to the large sample size from all corners of the commonwealth, we have high confidence in the results,” Casalena added. “Let’s maintain these results in 2023 and even increase participation.”
Many factors — including spring weather, habitat conditions, previous winter food abundance, predation and last fall’s harvest — affect wild turkey productivity.