Wild Turkey Population
Number of Licenses Sold Annually
Cost of Resident License and Permit
Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit
There have been numerous studies conducted through the years in other states involving the marking and tracking of individual turkeys.
The Missouri Department of Conservation recently finished a five-year project focused on hens and their survival. This research provided much-needed data but left a gap about turkey productivity — namely, the period when hens are attempting to nest and then raising poults.
“One of the most alarming discoveries from the last big turkey research project was how poor poult survival was,” said Reina Tyl, then MDC wild turkey program leader. “The percentage of poults that survived their first month of life during several years of the project was among the lowest ever reported for turkeys in the Midwest.
“We have conducted an annual summer wild turkey brood survey since 1959 here in Missouri. While turkey production has exhibited a gradual declining trend over the past several decades, production has been especially poor the last four years.”
That said, hunters took more than 39,100 turkeys during the 2022 season.
Hunters can only hope that with solid scientific research and game management, biologists can help to stabilize the downward trend of Missouri turkey production.
For now, officials say northern Missouri remains a stronghold for turkey numbers, as does the vast Ozarks.
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