DNREC seeks public’s reporting of Delaware wild turkey sightings for 2017 survey

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is asking the public to assist with the state’s 8th annual wild turkey survey by helping identify locations where the birds are successfully reproducing in Delaware. The data collected helps biologists track the health, distribution and reproductive success of the state’s wild turkey population and ensure the sustainable harvest of this important game species.

The survey period begins July 1 and continues through Aug. 31. If you see a turkey, you are asked to record the date, county, and number of adult hens, gobblers, and poults (young of the year) observed on a survey data sheet. The data sheet and instructions are available for download at Wild Turkey Survey. Participants are asked to submit their results to the Division of Fish & Wildlife by Sept. 10, 2017.

The wild turkey continues as one of Delaware’s top wildlife restoration successes after nearly becoming extinct by the early 20th century. In the early 1980s, the Division of Fish & Wildlife partnered with the National Wild Turkey Federation and other northeastern states to re-establish a wild turkey population in the state. By 1991, the population had grown large enough to enable a wild turkey hunting season, and the birds continue to thrive and multiply.

For more information about the wild turkey survey or to obtain a survey data sheet, please contact Justyn Foth, Wildlife Section, at 302-735-3600, or visit http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Documents/Wild%20Turkey%20Observation%20Survey%20Form.pdf.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 47, No. 156