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  • By Ken Perrotte

Virginia's wild turkey biologist seeks reports from 'Citizen-Scientists,' especially poult sightings

Updated: Feb 24, 2020

If you're a Virginia turkey hunter, wildlife watcher, or someone who just happens to like getting out and riding around, Gary Norman wants to hear about any wild turkeys you see before the end of August 2019.

Norman is the wild turkey project leader for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and he wants reports from Virginia’s “citizen-scientists,” as he calls people who share information with the agency. them. He is especially interested in getting reports about sightings of hen turkeys with their babies (we citizen-scientists call them '"poults").

This is a new program that Norman hopes will help DGIF gauge wild turkey reproductive success, especially at a regional level. Past assessments have relied mainly on agency staff reports, which can be limited. Norman said similar public reporting programs in Pennsylvania and North Carolina have resulted in thousands of observations.

Little has been announced about this program and the clock is ticking. To use the system, go to the web site. This is the same site you use to check in big game online. Go to the "Harvest Reporting" block and select "Go to Site;" then, hit the “Login" button. Once you establish or access your account, access the "Forms" button ( a green button near the top of the page). There, you will find the turkey and grouse reporting forms. Complete the form asking for information about where you’ve seen turkeys, whether they were hens, gobbler or poults, and the number of each. Logging in for the first time only takes a couple minutes. Accessing the system if you already have an account is a breeze.

Remember, the program ends at the end of August, so share what you’re seeing. This can include birds you saw earlier in the summer. Just try to recall as best as possible the location and the time frame.

If you have any questions about the program, email Norman at

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