Voluntary Survey Allows Hunters to Aid Wild Turkey Management
3/5/2018 10:30:32 AM

JACKSON – Turkey hunters with an interest in helping the conservation and management of their favorite game bird can aid the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) by acting as their on-the-ground eyes and ears. Participation in the MDWFP’s annual Spring Gobbler Hunting Survey (SGHS) gives turkey hunters a chance to collect data that is used to track populations and evaluate management decisions. 

“The amount of information we get on the state’s turkey population from the SGHS is without equal. We have a really dedicated team of hunters from every corner of Mississippi who are willing to share their observations with us. The data we get back literally represents thousands of hunting trips afield,” said Adam Butler, MDWFP Wild Turkey Program Coordinator. “Without the willingness of those volunteer hunters that participate in the survey, there’s absolutely no way we could acquire that level of information about Mississippi’s turkey flock,” he continued. 

The survey was initiated in 1995 to supplement other sources of data available to the MDWFP on the state’s wild turkeys. Since then it has grown to encompass nearly 1,200 hunters each spring. “Turkey hunters who participate benefit because we provide them with individualized reports on the specific data they give to us.  They’re then able to track observations, gobbling activity, and other stats within their own local hunting areas. We (the MDWFP) benefit from the sheer volume of information the hunters are able to gather. I think everyone is better off in the end, because the more we know, the better we can manage the resource,” said Butler. 

Participation in the SGHS is free and easy and only requires a few minutes after each hunt to record observations in a booklet provided by the MDWFP to hunters. All hunters, regardless of skill or experience level, are encouraged to participate. Hunters interested in becoming involved in the survey can enroll online at or by contacting the MDWFP at (601) 432-2199. 

For more information regarding Mississippi’s spring turkey season, visit our website at or call us at (601) 432-2212. Follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter at

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