Wild Turkey Observation Survey
The survey period has closed.
Thank you to all who participated in this year’s survey.
The survey will resume next year on June 1st, so check back then to participate again.
Visit https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/hunting/big-game/turkey.html#biology to see our wild turkey status reports and summaries of past years’ survey results.
A Little Background about the Survey
Records of wild turkey sightings provide the agency with information on many factors that influence turkey population trends, including nesting success, brood survival, and annual reproduction productivity. The number of young that are produced each year is generally the most important factor influencing wild turkey population trends, so knowing this information is central to sound turkey management. Through the survey, we also obtain information on peak hatching dates of turkey broods and carry-over of males from the spring hunting season.
TWRA staff have been counting turkeys during normal work activities in the summer since the 1980s and that has served well to get a broad picture of how turkeys are doing on a statewide scale. But if you break up Tennessee into regions, there isn’t enough data to tell us about these smaller areas. Unfortunately, there simply are not many staff members in some parts of the state. Consequently, TWRA is inviting everybody across Tennessee to take part in the wild turkey observation survey.
How to Participate
- The survey will resume next year on June 1st, so check back then to participate again. Visit https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/hunting/big-game/turkey.html#biology to see our wild turkey status reports and summaries of past years’ survey results.
- Next year, you will want to make sure you have access to the digital survey form while you're outdoors so you can record your observations and submit them to us. You can either access it directly on the internet or you can download the Survey 123 app on your smartphone or tablet and use the app to record turkeys while afield.
- Before you go out looking for turkeys, make sure you can tell the difference between sex and age classes by reading through the tutorial and taking the short id quiz.
- There are no designated survey routes for this survey. While you are out and about in the great outdoors in Tennessee, simply keep your eye out for turkeys! Pay close attention to what kind (age and sex) of turkeys you are seeing. Binoculars are a great tool for this, so if you can, please utilize binoculars. If it’s safe, we encourage commuting observers to pull over to the side of the road. Be patient and concentrate to get an accurate count of all the turkeys in the group. If you are still unsure of the size and makeup of the group, you can indicate that on the form.
- We ask that you record each sighting of turkeys as a separate observation. You can see more than one group of turkeys in a single day.
- We record sightings that occur from June 1 through August 31.
- Be aware of what Tennessee County you are in. For each observation, you will be prompted to record the county.