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Wildlife Commission Requests Help in Reporting Wild Turkey Observations

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking public assistance in reporting observations of wild turkeys this summer.

Through Aug. 31, wild turkey sightings by volunteers and Commission staff will be recorded and submitted to management biologists. Observation information gives an indication of annual wild turkey productivity, gobbler carryover and other population trends — all of which help the Commission manage the state’s turkey population.

To participate, new volunteers should use this online survey link. For the first time this season, participants can enter their observations online in the field from any smart phone or small-screen device.

After new volunteers submit observations, the Commission will automatically contact them the following year to provide an opportunity to participate again. In 2017, more than 1,200 people helped with the survey, reporting their observations of more than 35,000 turkeys. Many volunteer observers are members of the National Wild Turkey Federation — a valued partner of the Wildlife Commission in the reintroduction of the wild turkey in North Carolina.

Before the 1970s, wild turkeys were scarce in North Carolina, with only about 2,000 birds statewide. Today, there are more than 265,000 birds from the mountains to the coast, and wild turkeys are one of North Carolina’s most popular game animals. Survey summaries from 2003 to 2017 are available online, as well as up-to-date turkey harvest summaries in North Carolina.

For more information or to participate in the wild turkey summer observation survey, contact Upland Game Bird Biologist Chris Kreh at 336-386-0892 or email.

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