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PA Game Commission Looking For Help Tracking Wild Turkey Population

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(KDKA) – The Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking for help surveying wild turkeys in August.

The goal is to get a handle on the population.

ross township wild turkey
Photo Credit: KDKA

"The turkey survey enhances our agency's internal survey, which serves as a long-term index of turkey reproduction," said Pennsylvania Game Commission wild turkey biologist Mary Jo Casalena. "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."

For the third straight year, you can report turkey sightings on the game commission's website starting Aug. 1.

The game commission wants you to report sightings all month long.

The 2017, the statewide turkey population was about 216,800, which is similar to the previous five-year average. Pennsylvania's turkey population in the early 2000s reached its peak of about 280,000 birds because of agency restoration efforts through wild trap-and-transfer efforts, 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.

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