The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will initiate a stateside pilot turkey harvest reporting system for the 2017 spring season, the agency announced.

According to MDWFP turkey program coordinator Adam Butler, about two-thirds of turkey hunters surveyed support some kind of reporting program.

“Right now, our reporting system is internet-based so hunters must go online to report their harvest,” Butler said. “For this first year (2017), reporting will not be mandatory; there will be no fines if you don’t report your harvest.

“But, we encourage all hunters to participate so we can begin to collect more comprehensive data on our turkey flock. We also want good participation during this pilot year so we can evaluate the good and bad of the system that’s being built, so that we’ll have the most hunter-friendly system possible should it become mandatory in the future.”

At deadline for this story, the details on the reporting system were not available. Visit to find more about the system, which is just one new research program the agency is initiating for wild turkey.

“We also have a research project going with Mississippi State University where we’ll have gobblers out there, which may be banded or wearing radio transmitters,” Butler said. “This is happening on study sites on private lands in a couple of places and one WMA. These tagged birds can be legally harvested, but if a hunter does luck up and get one, we ask that they call us to report the band number and return the transmitter.”