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ODNR Asks Ohio Residents to Report Wild Turkey Sightings

A brief online wild turkey sightings survey helps monitor population numbers.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife conducts surveys of turkey populations and broods every year in order to keep tabs on population numbers. These surveys also help to guide the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in properly regulating hunting seasons and bag limits.

The ODNR is asking Ohioans to fill out a brief online survey to assist in the department's efforts to get a solid estimate on the current wild turkey population and assess the success of the most recent breeding season. The survey will be available until August 31, 2014.

"More than 3,000 turkeys were reported during the 2013 survey, with an average of 2.54 young turkeys (poults) per adult hen turkey. This average was slightly higher than the long-term average of 2.5 poults per adult hen. Turkey populations are usually higher the next year when more poults are seen per hen," the official release said.

The spring turkey hunting season is one of the most popular seasons in the state of Ohio. Every year, thousands of hunters take to the woods in an attempt to bag one of these elusive and wary birds. Ohio also holds a fall hunting season for turkey, during which hunters may harvest either a male or female bird. This season is popular with hunters who like to serve wild turkey on Thanksgiving.

It is very important to monitor the populations of these birds because they were once completely absent from the state. Reintroduction efforts have been incredibly successful, but constant monitoring is important to ensure that healthy populations of wild turkeys remain in the Ohio woods for generations to come. Everyone should experience a turkey hunt at least once in their life, and Ohio is a great place to make that happen.

You can find results from previous surveys online. The ODNR has been tracking summer turkey observations since 1962.

Have you seen any wild turkeys and their young this summer? Let us know (after filling out the survey) in the comments section below.

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ODNR Asks Ohio Residents to Report Wild Turkey Sightings