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Posted on June 28th, 2024 in Alert, Community Development, Wildlife | No Comments »

MyDNR, Indiana’s Outdoor Newsletter: Every May, wild turkey chicks (poults) begin to hatch in Indiana, and DNR needs your help counting turkey broods (hens with poults) and hens without poults.

Brood reports have been collected every year since 1993 to calculate the annual Wild Turkey Production index, which informs biologists about population status and guides management decisions for the species. Please share your 2024 observations with us online from July 1 until Aug. 31. Recording observations takes less than five minutes, and no login is required.

In 2023, DNR received more than 2,203 reports across all 92 counties in Indiana, and we’re hoping for even more this year. Our goal is to receive 3,000 total observations with at least 25 per county.

Why count turkeys?
Brood surveys provide useful estimates about annual production by wild turkey hens and the survival of poults (young turkeys) through the summer brood-rearing period. Summer brood survival is generally the primary factor influencing wild turkey population trends. Information on summer brood survival is essential for sound turkey management. Information gathered through the brood survey includes:

  • Average brood sizes (hens + poults). For example, in the photo above there is one hen with seven poults, for a brood size of eight.
  • Percentage of adult hens with poults.
  • Production Index (PI) = total number of poults/total number of adult hens

What is a wild turkey brood?
A wild turkey brood is composed of at least one adult hen with young (poults). As the summer progresses, multiple broods may gather into what is termed a “gang” brood with several adult hens and multiple broods of poults of varied ages. During summer, adult gobblers (male turkeys) play no role in raising a brood and either form small male only “bachelor” flocks or are observed as a single gobbler.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Department of Fish and Wildlife rely on your observations to calculate their Production Index, so every report counts! Indiana DNR appreciates your participation.

Jarred Brooke, extension wildlife specialist with Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources, shares how you can participate in the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ annual turkey brood survey in a quick video.


To learn more, visit DNR: Turkey Brood Reporting.

To subscribe to the newsletter visit MyDNR Email Newsletter.

Four Simple Steps, Help Indiana DNR Estimate Wild Turkey Populations, Purdue Extension – Forestry & Natural Resources
Truths and Myths about Wild Turkey, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Wildlife, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Turkey Brood Reporting, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Wild Turkey, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Wild Turkey Hunting Biology and Management, Indian Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Subscribe to Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources YouTube Channel, Wildlife Playlist

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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