Mississippi Wild Turkey Report Available Thanks to Volunteer Hunters

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MDWFP, in partnership with the Mississippi Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, is pleased to announce the release of its annual report on the status of Mississippi's wild turkey population. This full-color publication, entitled "Spittin' & Drummin'," is available for download at http://www.mdwfp.com/turkey.  The Wild Turkey Report contains a wealth of information regarding trends in turkey numbers from around the state, habitat management advice for hunters and landowners, and other accounts of conservation efforts relating to wild turkeys.

Much of the information presented in the Wild Turkey Report is a result of voluntary collection efforts by a dedicated group of Mississippi's turkey hunters.  These individuals share observations of what they see, hear, and harvest during the spring season as a part of the Spring Gobbler Hunting Survey (SGHS).  Since the inception of this survey in 1996, MDWFP Turkey Program biologists have worked with willing hunters to better understand the state's turkey population.  Currently, the SGHS enrolls over 1,400 volunteer turkey hunters, but biologists would like to see even greater involvement.  "We have strong participation across much of the state, but we need additional information from certain counties, so we need more participants to increase the reliability of the data in those areas," stated Dave Godwin, MDWFP Wild Turkey Program Coordinator.

In an effort to increase participation in the SGHS, MDWFP, the Mississippi Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the Mississippi Foundation for Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will conduct a shotgun raffle for survey participants.  During 2012, two shotguns will be given away in this promotion.  A general drawing will be open to all hunters who participate in the SGHS and report data to MDWFP.  An additional drawing will be held for those hunters who recruit a new survey participant during 2012.

To learn more about the SGHS or become a participant, visit the MDWFP Wild Turkey Program homepage at http://www.mdwfp.com or call (662) 325-5119.