June 30, 2021
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK — The second edition of the voluntary Arkansas Turkey Stamp is now available to order through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s online licensing system at www.agfc.com, at any license dealer, regional office or AGFC nature center. The stamp is not required to hunt turkeys in the state of Arkansas, but was created to give conservationists and turkey enthusiasts a way to help support conservation efforts for the species.
The limited-edition stamps are $9.50 each, and only 20,000 of each stamp will be produced each year.
“I want to thank all the people who purchased the first stamp and hope they continue to support the program,” Jeremy Wood, AGFC Turkey Program coordinator, said. “We hope to put these funds to good use in conservation projects on the ground soon.”
Wood says the funds gained from turkey stamp sales will be added to the funds from the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Stamp as well as the Arkansas State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Hunting Heritage Habitat Super Fund and any funding opportunities from Quail Forever in Arkansas to maximize the effectiveness of the program’s reach.
“The money will go to habitat enhancement projects submitted by various agencies to increase turkey and quail habitat in Arkansas,” Wood said. “Agencies applying for this money will provide matching contributions as well, so it will impact much more acreage than if it were used alone.”
Wood says the artwork, again produced by Greta James, graphic artist for the AGFC, continues the conservation message to promote turkey habitat. The scene again features a hen turkey, but instead of being joined by a gobbler, she is watching over a young brood of poults.
“The first scene showed a hen and gobbler in an area just after a prescribed fire,” Wood said. “Now we’re looking at the habitat growing in that same area six months to a year after that burn. The canopy has been opened up and sunlight is able to reach the ground, letting annual grasses and forbs grow.”
Wood said the grasses and herbaceous growth are essential to the development and protection of young turkeys.
“This habitat type offers cover that is low enough to the ground to hide poults, but still allows the hen to keep an eye out above the grasses for predators,” Wood said. “It also attracts large quantities of insects.”
The insects offer poults protein they need for fast growth.
“They’re a little bigger than a golf ball when they hatch, but poults need to be able to fly in two weeks or so to survive,” Wood said. “They need to build muscle and flight feathers quickly, and protein is essential for that.”
The brood of turkeys also is meant to remind outdoors enthusiasts about the AGFC Wild Turkey and Northern Bobwhite Population Survey all members of the public can participate in. The survey is open year-round, but June through August are critical times for information on each year’s reproductive success in these two ground-nesting gamebirds.
“We aren’t only asking for information related to hens and poults but any sightings of turkeys or quail can be added to help us assess population trends throughout the state,” Wood said.