The DNR wants to know if you see wild turkeys in January

This month, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources asks you to report any wild turkeys you see in January.

“A century ago we had no wild turkeys left in the state of Michigan due to colonization, habitat destruction and unregulated hunting at the time,” Erin Ford said. , Michigan Conservation Manager at Audubon-Great Lakes. This group helps the DNR count turkeys as part of its MI Birds program.

In the 1950s, Michigan began transporting wild turkeys from Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Iowa to reestablish the bird here. Since then, using revenue from hunting licenses and equipment purchases, Michigan’s Wild Turkey Conservation Program has been able to increase the population to approximately 200,000 individuals.

“One of our greatest conservation successes is the return of the wild turkey,” Ford said.

Today, wild turkeys are found in most Michigan counties ranging from rural areas to urban and suburban settings.

But DNR officials want to update the population and range of the turkey in the state. In January, you can report where you saw wild turkeys (and how many) to MNR on this website.

If you go looking for wild turkeys in state forests or other places where there might be hunters, remember to wear a bright orange vest and/or cap for safety.

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