|Wildlife watchers asked to report wild turkey, ruffed grouse sightings|
COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is asking the public to participate in the surveying of wild turkeys and ruffed grouse by reporting sightings of these two iconic Ohio game birds.
Every year, the ODNR Division of Wildlife conducts a turkey and grouse brood survey to estimate population growth. The brood survey relies on the public to report observations of all wild turkeys and ruffed grouse seen during May, June, July and August. Wildlife watchers and hunters can report observations at the Turkey Brood Survey page at wildohio.gov.
Information submitted to the brood survey helps to predict future wild turkey populations and also guide hunting regulations. More than 3,000 turkeys were reported during the 2013 survey, with an average of 2.54 young turkeys (poults) per adult hen turkey. This average was slightly higher than the long-term average of 2.5 poults per adult hen. Turkey populations are usually higher the next year when more poults are seen per hen.
State and county information is available from past wild turkey or ruffed grouse observations online. Biologists began tracking summer observations of wild turkeys in 1962. Ruffed grouse were added to the survey in 1999.
Ohio’s spring wild turkey season is enjoyed by thousands of hunters annually. The 2014 spring hunting season continues through Sunday, May 18. The 2014 fall wild turkey hunting season is Monday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Nov. 30. Ohio’s ruffed grouse hunting season is Saturday, Oct. 11, through Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Find more information about wild turkeys and ruffed grouse at wildohio.gov.