Wild turkey nesting success and survival of poults are primary factors that determine turkey abundance each year. Weather conditions, which may vary from year to year, can have a big impact on turkey reproductive success. The data you provide via this survey will help biologists measure and better understand the impacts reproductive success may have on the turkey population.
This Public Turkey Brood Survey has been designed to quickly and easily gather important data from a large number of people who do not need to be trained biologists. In fact, many people have participated in the last few years and have provided large numbers of observations and data.
These data are now providing the department with valuable measures of the turkey population and its reproductive success. Each year that the survey runs, trends in the data become more obvious and more useful for management of Vermont’s wild turkey population, so please continue to report your turkey observations with this online survey each August.
Get outside and count some turkeys. It is fun!
Who monitors Vermont's Spring Wild Turkey Production?
Since 1994, The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has conducted a wild turkey brood survey to analyze spring turkey production. In 2014, the department is partnering with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) to promote and enhance the statewide brood survey effort. Now it's your turn to assist us.
We are asking volunteers to record wild turkey sightings for the month of August, using our web-base survey. Your participation increases our sample size and gives you the chance to be involved in active turkey management.
Why are brood surveys an essential part in wild turkey management?
Brood surveys are designed to monitor annual nesting success and survival of hens and their young, which has the greatest influence on wild turkey population dynamics. The information lets us calculate many factors that are essential for sound turkey management, including average brood sizes, percentage of adult hens with young, and overall numbers of turkeys seen. This information, combined with harvest data, allows us to scientifically manage the wild turkey population--helping insure we have a thriving population now and in the future.
What to look for:
The most important information is the total number of turkeys seen and where (the town). It would be helpful if you are able to determine sex and age of the birds and whether your sighting is a brood. A brood consists of one or more hens with young. At this time of year, young of the year turkeys are normally about two-thirds the size of an adult hen. It is also important to record any sightings of adult hens seen without young.
In this photo there are two hens (center and right) and two turkeys of unknown sex (left).