Gamebird Forecast for Fall 2022/Spring 2023
Monday, September 26, 2022
Oklahoma State University maintains an app for both iPhone and Android users to report gamebird brood observations. This information helps biologists forecast reproduction each year and provide a forecast for hunters. The free app can be found by searching ‘gamebird brood observation’ in the appropriate app store. Below is this year’s summary.
Wild turkey production appears to have been spotty during 2022. We had 124 wild turkey reports from 31 counties across Oklahoma. There were 34 turkey brood reports with the first brood reported on 4/25/22 and regular brood reports starting in late May/early June. Average number of poults per report (only for records with poults reported) was 6.7 (note this is not poults per hen as there were often multiple adults reported with each brood). There were fewer total brood reports this year relative to the number of overall turkey reports. Based on the reports and the weather we experienced, we expect the fall population similar or lower than last year.
Northern bobwhite production appears to have been poor for much of Oklahoma. We received only 36 northern bobwhite reports from 18 counties. Of these, there were 13 brood reports with the first brood reported on 7/02/22 and most broods were reported in mid-late July. Average number of chicks per report (only for records with chicks reported) was 10.9 (note this is not chicks per hen as there often multiple adults reported with each brood). Numbers of adults entering the breeding season was likely low, and if we assume the reports reflect the nesting season, it does not appear that production was high. This combined with the weather (high heat and drought) we experienced most of the summer, we expect the fall numbers to be lower than last year across most of Oklahoma.