Summary Report for 2019 Summer Wild Turkey Observation Survey Now Available

Author: NCWRC blogger/Wednesday, November 13, 2019/Categories: Blog, Conservation, Education, Game Lands, Hunting, Regulations, Wildlife Management

Summary Report for 2019 Summer Wild Turkey Observation Survey Now Available

The results are in for this year’s wild turkey observation survey! All the details are in the 2019 Summer Observation Survey Report. This survey continues to be a great way to monitor our turkey population and to gauge hunting pressure and population trends across the state. Thank you for all your help and interest! Here are a few highlights from this year’s report:

  • A record number of people helped with the survey this year! Across the state during July and August, 2,671 people reported 10,075 observations, with a combined total of 64,044 turkeys. This is a tremendous data set and offers a lot of insight.
  • Nearly all parts of North Carolina were very well represented in the survey. Ninety-seven of our one hundred counties had at least ten people helping with the survey and reporting at least twenty-five observations.
  • Productivity (i.e. nesting, hatching, and rearing poults) was up considerably across the state this year. This is very welcome news, given that productivity had been relatively low in recent years. Statewide productivity was estimated at 2.2 poults per hen, which is the highest level since 2011.
  • This year, participants reported 0.50 gobblers for each hen. This ratio is one way to help understand whether or not too many gobblers are being killed during the hunting season. Information from this survey indicates that additional pressure should not be placed on gobblers by increasing the hunting season length, opening the spring season earlier, or increasing the bag limit. Turkey harvest has been at near-record levels in recent years, with 18,730 turkeys in the reported harvest in the spring of 2019. 

Thank you for all your help with this survey and please let me know if you have any questions.

Christopher D. Kreh

Upland Game Bird Biologist – grouse, quail, turkey

Certified Wildlife Biologist®

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