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Game Commission researchers find the oldest-recorded wild turkey in Pennsylvania history

The 12.5-year-old hen was found Feb. 2 in Clearfield County, the Game Commission said. Researchers are monitoring the birds' reproduction and harvest rates.
Credit: Jacob Dingel/PA Game Commission

CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Game Commission recently found the oldest female wild turkey ever to be recorded in the commonwealth, the agency said in a Facebook posts.

At at least 12.5 years old, the hen was discovered in Clearfield County in February as part of a wild turkey research project intended to monitor reproduction and harvest rates, the Game Commission said.

The turkey was captured by researchers on Feb. 2. They found the bird had been previously tagged on March 3, 2012 -- which would put the hen's age at over 12 years.

"To put her age in perspective, in Pennsylvania, if a hen reaches her first birthday, she has an average life expectancy of 1 to 3 more years," the Game Commission said on Facebook. "This hen still appeared very healthy, so she was fitted with a GPS transmitter to continue to monitor her in the future."

The Game Commission extended its thanks to everyone who submitted turkey sightings to help the research project. 

More than 700 turkeys – 500-plus males and 200-plus females – have been banded across the state so far this winter, the Game Commission said. The effort ended on March 15.

"This survey will provide valuable data which will be used for wild turkey population monitoring and management," the Game Commission said.

It's usually frowned upon to mention a lady’s age. But when you discover the OLDEST female turkey ever recorded in...

Posted by Pennsylvania Game Commission on Friday, March 25, 2022

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