Volunteers needed to take Summer Turkey Survey


Annually since 1982, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources conducts a Summer Turkey Survey to estimate reproduction and recruitment of wild turkeys in South Carolina. The survey involves agency wildlife biologists, technicians and conservation officers, as well as many volunteers from other natural resource agencies and the general public.

Summer surveys are designed to monitor annual nesting success of hens and survival of their young, which has the greatest influence on wild turkey population dynamics. The information allows biologists to calculate many factors essential for sound turkey management including: average brood size, percentage of hens with and without young, gobbler-to-hen ratio and overall numbers of turkeys seen. Combined with harvest data, this allows DNR to make scientific recommendations to the General Assembly in order to manage the wild turkey population now and in the future.

If you are interested in participating in the annual Summer Turkey Survey the following information will assist you in becoming a survey cooperator.

- The survey period is July 1 - Aug. 29 annually.

- Participants must be able to identify wild turkeys and must be comfortable in telling the difference between hens, poults and gobblers.

- Observations are made during your normal outdoor activities.

- Print a survey form at https://bit.ly/2tQjyvU.

- Record observations from only one county on each survey form. If you see turkeys in more than one county, use a separate survey form for each county.

- Record each sighting or group of turkeys as a separate observation. Do not combine all the turkeys you see in a day or on multiple days into one observation.

- Try to avoid recording what you think are the same turkeys in the same area more than once.

- Be sure to record hens that do not have poults in addition to hens that do have poults. This is very important in determining the overall reproductive success in turkeys.

- Please record your quail sightings in addition to turkeys.

- Completed survey forms may be e-mailed to ruthc@dnr.sc.gov, faxed to (803) 734-3691 or mailed no later than Sept. 12 each year to: Summer Turkey Survey, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202.

- If you have questions about the survey or would like to be placed on the permanent list of cooperators, contact the survey coordinator at the address above or (803) 734-8738 or ruthc@dnr.sc.gov.