Increasing brood habitat at the Truman Reservoir

The National Wild Turkey Federation and the Missouri Department of Conservation teamed up  to improve and increase open lands and wild turkey brood habitat at the Truman Reservoir, an area experiencing low hatch rates.

50,000 acres of public lands used for habitat management, hunting, and public recreation surrounds The Truman Reservoir.

“This year and last, we assisted MDC with the purchase of a diverse native warm-season grass and forb mix used to restore 100 acres each year in scattered 3- to 12-acre openings, providing excellent nesting and brood-rearing cover for turkeys,” said John Burk, NWTF district biologist for Missouri and Illinois.

Despite heavy rain and unworkable conditions this the spring and early summer, field staff were still able to improve the habitat quality of 75 acres of open land, enhancing local turkey populations and other grassland-dependent species. The seeding of the remaining 25 acres will take place in late winter/early spring.

Recently, consecutive wet springs have caused low wild turkey hatch rates in Missouri, but Burk said, “The type of work we are doing at Truman Reservoir helps mitigate for unfavorable weather and sets the table for significant turkey population growth once favorable weather conditions return.”

— David Gladkowski

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