DNR asks Michiganders to report turkey brood sightings this summer

DNR asks Michiganders to report turkey brood sightings this summer

(Image via Canva)

By Karel Vega

July 2, 2024

MICHIGAN—The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking Michiganders to participate in the annual wild turkey brood survey to help monitor turkey populations in the state, especially hens with chicks.

The DNR uses information from answered surveys to better understand how turkey populations are doing in Michigan.

Before European settlers arrived in Michigan, the state’s wild turkey population was about 90,000. They mostly lived in a zone south of Bay City and west to Muskegon.

However, the population experienced an extremely sharp decline by the early 1900s due to habitat loss and unregulated hunting, according to the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Thanks to efforts beginning in the 1950s by the Michigan DNR—when 50 turkeys were purchased from Pennsylvania and released into the state’s woodlands—the population began to bounce back.

There are now 200,000 wild turkeys across Michigan, and they can be found in parts of every county in the Lower Peninsula.

The short online survey can be completed on your phone or computer and asks questions about when you saw the turkeys, the county in which you saw them, and the number of turkeys spotted.

The survey is available during the open period between July 1 and Aug. 31. An email address is required to make a submission.

To take the turkey brood survey, head here.


  • Karel Vega

    Coming from a long background in public radio, Karel Vega strives to find stories that inform and inspire local communities. Before joining The ‘Gander, Karel served as managing editor at WKAR, the NPR affiliate in East Lansing, Michigan.

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