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2019 Wild Turkey Survey
DNREC asks for public input to help continue one of Delaware's
greatest wildlife success stories - restoration of the wild turkey!

The reintroduction of wild turkeys in Delaware has become one of the state's outstanding wildlife success storyThe Division of Fish & Wildlife is looking for volunteers to assist with its ninth annual productivity survey on the location and number of wild turkeys in Delaware. This data will help biologists track the health, distribution and reproductive success of the state’s wild turkeys. 

A look back
Beginning in early 1984, with support from the National Wild Turkey Federation, Division of Fish & Wildlife biologists released 34 wild-trapped turkeys from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont into Sussex and Kent counties. Reintroductions continued through the early 2000s, and once the population had established a foothold in Delaware, a hunting season was started. Today, the division estimates Delaware has a healthy statewide population of some 6,000 birds.

Ms. Eleanor Hesler sighted and photographed these two youngsters east of Dover in early July, 2010.

Moving forward
To help ensure the continued success of wild turkeys in Delaware, the Division of Fish & Wildlife needs information on their distribution and annual reproductive success. One simple and cost-effective method is to have volunteers record and report sightings of turkeys during their day-to-day activities.

The 2019 survey period will begin Monday, July 1 and continue through Saturday, Aug. 31. Upon sighting turkeys, participants are asked to record the date, county and number of adult hens, gobblers and poults (young of the year) they observe.

Participants are asked to submit their results to the Division of Fish & Wildlife by Sept. 10, 2019. This ongoing survey will provide an annual index of turkey productivity that will help biologists track the health of Delaware's turkey population and ensure the sustainable harvest of this treasured game species.

       2018 Wild Turkey Survey Results

To participate
For any turkey sightings, participants are asked to record the date, county, and number of adult hens, gobblers, and poults (young of the year) they observe. Participants are asked to submit their results by Sept. 10 to: Turkey Observation Survey, c/o Division of Fish & Wildlife, 6180 Hay Point Landing Road, Smyrna, DE 19977.

Fillable form 2019 Wild Turkey Data Sheet & Instructions

ID Guide for Wild Turkeys

For more information, please email gamebird biologist Justyn Foth or call 302-735-3600

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