Pennsylvania Wants To Know If You've Seen A Wild Turkey
HARRISBURG, PA - September’s arrival will end the Pennsylvania Game Commission public survey on wild turkey sightings, but participants can report their July and August sightings through Friday, Sept. 6.
Reports must be filed online, either by visiting www.pgc.pa.gov and clicking on “August Turkey Sighting Survey” in the Quick Clicks section, or through mobile apps available at the Google Play Store or Apple’s App StoreOpens In A New Window. To find the app, search for “Pennsylvania Game Commission,” then select Turkey Sighting Survey.
Participants are requested to report the numbers of wild turkeys seen, along with the general location, date, and contact information if agency biologists have any questions. Report turkey sightings from July 1 to Aug. 31.
Please note, your specific location information is NOT shared or stored; it is used solely to help determine the county, township, and wildlife management unit of each sighting.
“The turkey survey enhances our agency’s internal survey, which serves as a long-term index of turkey reproduction,” explained Mary Jo Casalena, Game Commission wild turkey biologist. “By reporting all turkeys seen during each sighting, whether it’s gobblers, hens with broods or hens without broods, the data help us determine total productivity and allow us to compare long-term reproductive success with other northeastern states.”
Many factors affect wild turkey productivity, including spring weather, habitat, previous winter-food abundance, predation, and last fall’s harvest. The 2019 statewide spring turkey population was about 212,200, which is 8 percent below 2018’s total of 228,800 birds, but similar to the previous three-year average.
Pennsylvania’s turkey population in the early 2000s reached its peak of about 280,000 birds as a result of restoration efforts through wild trap-and-transfer, habitat improvement, and fall-turkey-hunting-season restrictions.
It then declined sharply to levels below 200,000. Since 2011 it has been fluctuating between 204,000 and 234,000, depending on summer reproduction and fall harvest.
“Remember, every summer turkey-sighting reported to the Game Commission helps to improve wild turkey conservation in the Keystone State,” Casalena emphasized.