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Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Phone: 601-432-2400

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Turkey Brood Survey Indicates Best Hatch in a Decade
JACKSON - Each year from June to August, MDWFP conducts a survey to monitor wild turkey reproduction across the state.  The brood survey, as it is commonly known, enlists numerous observers who note all turkeys seen during the three-month survey period.  The resulting information allows turkey biologists to measure reproductive success and gives hunters an objective look at how turkeys are faring across the Magnolia State.
After two months of observations, the 2012 turkey hatch appears to be one of the best in quite some time.  Dave Godwin, the MDWFP Wild Turkey Program Coordinator, is pleased.  "For a while now, our survey has not shown the kinds of statewide numbers that we'd like.  We've had good hatches in a few regions during some years, but have not really had what I'd call a solid overall statewide hatch since about 2002." 
Adam Butler, MDWFP wild turkey biologist, offers a potential explanation for this year's good reports. Butler said, "We had an outstanding acorn crop across the state last year along with a very mild winter, so hens should have come into the breeding season in very good condition.  Due to the unusually early spring this year, nesting appeared to get an early start.  Those factors really set the table for a good hatch.  To top it off, we had excellent weather during the prime incubation period," said Butler.  He concluded, "It appears as if everything has lined up perfectly for the birds this year."  Mississippi turkey hunters will likely find the spring woods very exciting over the next few years.   

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