The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is inviting the public to participate in its annual summer turkey survey July 1 to August 31.
The survey provides useful estimates about annual production by wild turkey hens and how many poults, or young turkeys, survive the summer brood-rearing period. These records and observations inform management decisions regarding wild turkeys, their population size, and habitat needs.
During July and August, survey participants are asked to record all turkeys they see. The link can be found here and bookmarked on a cell phone for easy access.
“The results of this survey have been really important in helping us understand our turkey populations,” said Luke Meduna, Game and Parks big game program manager. “While we have seen declines in turkey numbers across the state, brood sizes, hen, poult, and tom ratios in recent years have remained consistent with historic rates.”
Information gathered through the brood survey includes:
• Average brood sizes (poults per documented brood).
• Percentage of adult hens with poults.
• Percentage of males in the adult portion of the population.
• Annual Production Index (PI) = total number of poults/total number of adult hens.
These indices are looked at on an annual basis and can be compared. Wild turkey production is an important driver of wild turkey populations, these survey results and comparisons between years help managers to understand if and why populations are succeeding or not.