Hillsdale and Branch Counties each have solid populations of wild turkeys–and in an effort to update the state’s turkey population estimates, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking listeners to report any wild turkey sightings during the month of January.
The birds disappeared from the state a century ago, due to unregulated hunting and habitat destruction. Michigan’s turkey population was restored, beginning with efforts In the 1950s to transport wild turkeys from Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Iowa to re-establish the bird here. Since then, using revenue from hunting licenses and equipment purchases, the Michigan wild turkey conservation program has been able to increase the population to an estimated 200,000.
Today, wild turkeys are found in most counties in Michigan, 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 by visiting the Wild Turkey Observation website at this link: Wild Turkey Observation