FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is asking interested hunters and citizens to take part in a simple survey of wild turkeys this summer. Data resulting from the survey will provide valuable information for the department’s turkey management program.
“This is a simple survey which helps us track the population,” Turkey Program Coordinator Zak Danks said. “With limited staff, it’s difficult to get adequate survey coverage across the state. Many dedicated participants have helped us with the survey over the years, including many from local NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) chapters. We are reaching for more Kentuckians to help us to strengthen the data set.”
Throughout July and August, department staff and volunteers keep a data sheet in their vehicle. When participants see wild turkey hens, poults or gobblers, they record their observations about what they’ve seen.
The turkey program collects the data into a statewide index that gauges the summer’s turkey hatch, which helps assess population levels. With this information collected over time, this helps form reproduction trends. Several state wildlife agencies across the southeastern U.S. use this kind of survey.
Danks said the more observers in the field will provide a greater picture of Kentucky’s turkey populace. The project would be an excellent one for local National Wild Turkey Federation chapters, wildlife enthusiasts with trail cameras, hikers and those people who spend a lot of time on the road. A downloadable survey form is available on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website (fw.ky.gov) by searching under the keywords, “turkey survey.”
Participants can scan a survey or take a photo of it with a smartphone and email it to the department at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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