The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is reminding turkey watchers to report sightings of winter wild turkey flocks at the Department’s online survey. Turkeys often gather in large, highly visible flocks during the winter. Report any turkeys observed through March 31, 2013. Please do not report multiple sightings of the same flock.
The winter flock survey bolsters Fish and Game’s understanding of the abundance and distribution of turkeys during New Hampshire’s challenging winter months. It helps fill in the gaps in Fish and Game’s existing winter flock data collection efforts. Knowledge of the status of wintering turkeys is particularly important in New Hampshire, because severe winter weather and limited natural food supplies can present serious challenges for wild turkeys.“This reporting system allows the public to contribute important information to our understanding of winter turkey status in an inexpensive and enjoyable way,” said Ted Walski, Turkey Project Leader at Fish and Game. “We would especially like to get more reports from towns in the North Country.”
Last winter, people responding to the survey reported 1,180 flocks, totaling 20,295 turkeys.
New Hampshire has an estimated 45,000 wild turkeys. Their presence here is a true wildlife restoration success story. Wild turkeys had disappeared from New Hampshire by the mid-1800s because of unregulated harvest and habitat loss from extensive land clearing. Their recovery in the state began with the successful reintroduction of 25 turkeys by N.H. Fish and Game in 1975.
Turkey research in New Hampshire is funded by the federal Wildlife Restoration Program, supported by an excise tax on the purchase of sporting firearms, fishing supplies and motorboat fuel.
N.H. Fish and Game works in partnership with the public to conserve and manage the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit them online.