The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is trying to learn more about the turkey population across the state and they could use your help.
They are asking volunteers to conduct brood surveys from July 1 through August 31. Those surveys count the number of young wild turkeys observed with turkey hens to estimate how many young turkeys live through the summer. Summer brood survival is one of the primary factors that play a role in the turkey population.
A brood is a family of young animals, especially of a bird, produced at one hatching or birth.
The Department would like to collect 3,000 brood observation reports across the state with a goal of at least 25 observations per county. Biologists are especially interested in obtaining more observations in the southeastern part of Indiana.
“Some of the better turkey habitats in the state exists in southeastern Indiana,” said Steve Backs, DNR’s wild turkey biologist. “Turkey populations appear to have declined in recent years. Above-normal precipitation in June to early July can reduce poult (young turkey) survival and overall population levels. Unfortunately, the low number of brood reports from the southeast prevents us from further exploring the apparent population decline.”
If you are interested in helping out, you can register at on.IN.gov/turkeybrood. Instructions for the survey can be found on that website.
You can also go to on.IN.gov/turkey for more information about wild turkey biology and management.