MDC wants feathers from fall turkey hunters

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is again asking Missouri turkey hunters to save and share feathers from the wild turkeys they harvest this fall. Hunters who harvest a turkey during the archery season (Sept. 15 through Nov. 10 and Nov. 22 through Jan. 15, 2024) or the fall firearms season (Oct. 1-31) are asked to mail feathers from their turkeys to MDC using a postage-paid envelope from MDC. 

The feathers will help MDC scientists improve research models used to monitor turkey population trends and estimate turkey numbers across the state. 

MDC instructs turkey hunters to save the 9th and 10th primary wing feathers and 3-5 breast feathers (see diagram) from harvested turkeys after Telechecking.

For a Feather Submission Form and more information from MDC, visit

“Once hunters have signed up for the program and Telechecked a turkey, we will mail them a feather submission packet containing additional instructions and a postage-paid envelope for the feathers to be placed inside and mailed back to MDC,” explained MDC Turkey Biologist Nick Oakley. “Hunters will receive one packet for each turkey they harvest during the fall seasons, so please be sure to keep each turkey’s feathers separate and labeled with the correct Telecheck ID.”

Hunters can email the MDC Wild Turkey Management Program with questions at