Ohio DNR asking citizens to become field researchers
The Ohio Division of Wildlife again is asking hunters and other woods-walkers to become field researchers of two great gamebirds, the wild turkey and ruffed grouse.
Specifically, biologists are asking the public to report sightings of grouse and turkey, this in an effort to survey spring broods and then estimate population growth. The brood survey seeks observations of all wild turkeys and ruffed grouse seen during May, June, July and August.
Wildlife watchers and hunters can report observations at the Turkey Brood Survey page at wildohio.gov.
Information submitted to the brood survey helps predict future wild turkey populations and guide hunting regulations. In the 2013 survey, more than 3,000 turkeys were reported, showing an average of 2.54 young turkeys, or poults, per adult hen turkey. That was slightly higher than the long-term average of 2.5 poults per adult hen. Turkey populations are usually higher the next year when more poults are seen per hen.
State and county information is available from past wild turkey or ruffed grouse observations on-line. Summer observations of wild turkeys were begun in 1962, and in 1999 ruffed grouse were added to the watch.
It says here that ruffed grouse are especially hard-pressed in Ohio, unlike our fairly stable turkey population. So it is especially important to report any and every grouse encounter – flushes, drumming, nests. The ruff has most likely become a victim of maturing woodlands and urban sprawl, so each head counted is critical.
More information about wild turkeys and ruffed grouse can be read here.