My neighborhood has been a TURKEY-PALOOZA as of late! I have had to slam on my brakes on more than one occasion to spare a turkey's life. Is is just me, or do some turkeys have zero regard for human beings who have places to go and people to see?

It reminds me of that story that went viral about the particularly aggressive turkey harassing parents at the drop-off line at a school. The principal had to put an end to the madness by scaring the turkey off with an umbrella.

NH Fish and Game is doing their part to conduct research and monitor New Hampshire’s turkey population and breeding productivity, and they need your help.

Biologists like to keep a finger on the pulse of the distribution, abundance, and productivity of wild turkeys, and the data is part of a national effort to monitor turkey populations across the country.

NH Fish and Game has been conducting this survey for 14 summers!

What did last summer's data show?

According to NH Fish and Game, those who participated in the 2023 survey reported seeing 1,665 broods with an average of 2.6 poults per hen. These findings represent an increase in the number of broods. The highest average on record was 4.4 poults per hen, which was reported in 2011 during the first year of the survey.

Why are brood sightings more important this summer than ever?

The site explains that apparently, the weather conditions of last spring and summer were not ideal for breeding productivity. Above-average rainfall resulted in increased re-nesting, late-season hatching, and a reduced number of poults that reached maturity. The site goes on to say that this could turn around! Weather conditions are predicted to be better this year, and hatching was predicted to be earlier this summer. This is good news for our New Hampshire turkeys, who can move forward from last year's setbacks.

How can you help track wild turkey populations in New Hampshire?

In your turkey-spotting travels, if you spot a group of turkeys with poults (juvenile birds) between June 1 and August 31, report your sightings here.

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