Annually, since 1982, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conducts a Summer Turkey Survey to estimate reproduction and recruitment of wild turkeys in South Carolina. The survey involves agency wildlife biologists, technicians, and conservation officers, as well as many volunteers from other natural resource agencies and the general public.

Summer surveys are designed to monitor annual nesting success of hens and survival of their young, which has the greatest influence on wild turkey population dynamics. The information allows biologists to calculate many factors essential for sound turkey management including: average brood size, percentage of hens with and without young, gobbler to hen ratio, and overall numbers of turkeys seen. Combined with harvest data, this allows DNR to make scientific recommendations to the SC General Assembly in order to manage the wild turkey population now and in the future.

If you are interested in participating in the annual Summer Turkey Survey the following information will assist you in becoming a survey cooperator.

The survey period is July 1 - August 29 annually.

Participants must be able to identify wild turkeys and must be comfortable in telling the difference between hens, poults, and gobblers.

Observations are made during your normal outdoor activities.

Print a survey form. - http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/turkey/pdf/SurveyFormWeb.pdf

Record observations from only one county on each survey form. If you see turkeys in more than one county use a separate survey form for each county.

Record each sighting or group of turkeys as a separate observation. Do not combine all the turkeys you see in a day or on multiple days into one observation.

Try to avoid recording what you believe are the same turkeys in the same area more than once.

Be sure to record hens that do not have poults in addition to hens that do have poults. This is very important in determining the overall reproductive success in turkeys.

Please record your quail sightings in addition to turkeys.

Completed survey forms may be e-mailed to ruthc@dnr.sc.gov, faxed to 803-734-3691, or mailed to the no later than September 12 each year: Summer Turkey Survey P.O. Box 167 Columbia, SC 29202.

If you have questions about the survey or would like to be placed on the permanent list of cooperators, contact the survey coordinator at the address above or 803-734-8738 or ruthc@dnr.sc.gov

Thank you for your interest in the annual Summer Turkey Survey.