March 16, 2022
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK — Hunters can help the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission by simply reporting their hunting effort and success throughout turkey season this spring. The annual Spring Gobbler Hunting Survey is a great way to help shape future wild turkey management in Arkansas without giving up any specifics about your favorite hunting grounds.
The spring turkey hunting survey has been in place since 2007 to gather information on hunter activity, gobbling activity, turkey observations and hunting success throughout turkey season. Volunteers record data from each hunt and send the results to be analyzed at the end of the hunting season. Biologists then compile all the data to identify trends in hunter participation and satisfaction and provide a report for all hunters to compare notes.
Historically hunters recorded their information on paper survey forms and mailed the forms in at the conclusion of hunting season. With advances in mobile technology, the AGFC has transitioned to a new system using a smartphone app called Survey123. The new app makes it easier than ever before to record and submit your information at the conclusion of each hunt.
Some hunters already have begun scouting, particularly on public land where competition for gobblers can be fierce. Jeremy Wood, AGFC Turkey Program Coordinator, said scouting data is just as important to the survey as data recorded during hunting season.
“Monitoring hunter reports from throughout the state before and during the season really helps complete the picture of how turkeys respond to certain changes in temperature, weather and hunting pressure,” Wood said. “We can track trends in gobbling activity, flock breakup and other factors that influence turkey hunting and turkey reproduction.”
“We conduct other surveys, such as brood surveys and telemetry studies that look more in-depth into population characteristics, but this survey is designed around hunter participation, expectations and satisfaction,” Wood said.
Hunters who still want a paper hunting log to use as their survey can contact Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-364-4263 to have one mailed to them. But the survey app offers the added convenience of keeping track of your efforts right on your phone. Visit www.agfc.com/turkeysurvey to participate in the Spring Gobbler Hunting Survey.