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HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania Game Commission again is seeking input from the public in surveying wild turkeys this summer. The Annual Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Sighting Survey runs July 1 through Aug. 31.

Public participation is important for turkey population management. Survey data allow the agency to determine total wild turkey productivity and compare long-term reproductive success within Pennsylvania and across states, as this is a standard methodology used across the country. Data also are used in the turkey population model to track population trends.

Turkey sightings can be reported through the Game Commission’s website at Save this link to your favorites for quick access to report turkey sightings. The mobile app no longer is available.

Participants are asked to report 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.

“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 Game Commission Turkey Biologist Mary Jo Casalena. “Participants should report all turkeys seen, whether gobblers, hens with broods, hens without broods, or turkeys of unknown sex and age.”

Many factors, including spring weather, habitat conditions, previous winter food abundance, predation, and last fall’s harvest affect wild turkey productivity.

Statewide reproductive success last summer, which is measured by the number of young turkeys (poults) seen per all hens seen, was 2.9 poults per hen, compared to 3.1 poults per hen in 2022 and 2021. At the WMU level, reproductive success varies considerably, and in 2023, was either above or similar to the previous three-year average in 15 of 22 WMUs. It was below the previous three-year average in seven WMUs (compared to six WMUs in 2022). 

Like many other states this survey includes input from both agency personnel and the public.

“Thanks to the large sample size from all corners of the Commonwealth, we have high confidence in the results,” Casalena emphasized. “Let’s maintain these results in 2024 and even increase participation.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

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