Tennessee trying to determine reasoning for turkey population decline. You can help.

Wild Turkeys
Posted at 3:38 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 22:35:37-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Wildlife and Resources Agency is asking for the public's help to determine the number of wild turkeys across the state.

The issue dates back a decade ago.

"About ten years ago we were getting complaints from hunters that they weren't seeing the numbers of turkeys that they had been seeing prior to that," said TWRA spokesperson Barry Cross.

Since then, the TWRA has been trying to find out the cause of the decline.

Now they're asking the public to submit information through a new survey.

"So, really we just need data, and the public can really help us drive what's going to be a management plan down the road," said Cross.

The information could shed light on turkey population trends like nesting and brood survival.

"So if you happen to see any turkeys while you're out and about, you can submit what you see online or through an app for the survey which runs through the end of August," said TWRA spokesperson Barry Cross. Right now there is no one answer, there is no smoking gun to this, and we hope somewhere down the road to be able to rectify what we're seeing and turn it around."

But that's not the only way to help. A good habitat can help foster reproduction.

"A lot of people nowadays like to keep their property really really clean, and that's ok, but if you have a field that you're not using and you can let that field grow — at least until mid July or early August — that gives the turkey nesting the best chance at success," said Cross.

People can submit their sightings through August.