Wildlife watchers asked to report wild turkey, ruffed grouse sightings

In 2016, the number of grouse hunters was 82,348, representing an increase of 4 percent from 2015. Ruffed grouse harvest increased slightly from 267,997 grouse in 2015 to 308,955 in 2016.
Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) standing on his drumming log

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is asking the public to participate in surveying wild turkeys and ruffed grouse by reporting sightings of these two species.

Every year, the ODNR Division of Wildlife conducts a turkey and grouse brood survey to estimate population growth. The brood survey relies on the public to report observations of all wild turkeys and ruffed grouse seen during May, June, July and August. Wildlife watchers and hunters can report observations at the new Wildlife Species Sighting webpage at wildohio.gov/reportwildlife.

Information submitted to the brood survey helps to predict population changes and helps guide the state’s hunting regulations. More than 7,000 turkeys were reported during the 2016 survey timeframe, with an average of 3.6 young turkeys (poults) per adult hen turkey. This average was higher than the long-term average of 2.5 poults per adult hen.

Information is available from past wild turkey or ruffed grouse observations online under the Forest Species Overview webpage at wildohio.gov. Biologists began tracking summer observations of wild turkeys in 1962. Ruffed grouse were added to the survey in 1999.

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