2021 Spring Hunt Guide

After an unprecedented spring turkey season in 2020 due to a pandemic that led to more hunters and more harvests in many states, the 2021 season is upon us. The NWTF’s 2021 Spring Hunt Guide gives you turkey hunting season details for each state and wild turkey subspecies to help you navigate your state’s season or a Grand Slam pursuit. If anyone has in-depth knowledge of turkey hunting all over the country, it’s Slam King Jeff Budz, who has completed more than 100 Grand Slams and the 49-state Super Slam, harvesting a gobbler in every state in the country (excluding Alaska, which doesn’t have a wild turkey season). Budz offers his expert advice on each of the four Grand Slam subspecies (Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriam’s and Osceola).

The information provided is only an overview of each state’s season, so you’ll still need to check state regulations specific to your hunt. Get out this spring and enjoy our resources responsibly, and, if you’re able, introduce a new hunter to our outdoor obsession.

EASTERN

Easterns: Grand Slam Tips from Jeff Budz

Calling Tactic: Typically, I play hard to get and plan on waiting them out when in the Eastern woods.  If he’s “hot” and he busts you, wait about 20 minutes or until he cranks back up. Then relocate, change up your calls and pour it back to him.

Sleeper State: Kansas. North to Nebraska and south to Oklahoma, the eastern most 30 miles or so of Kansas has, by far, the easiest Easterns to hunt in the country — probably because they have a little Rio in them!

Toughest State to Hunt: The hardest Eastern state for me to hunt because of the lack of birds was Delaware. There’s great public and private property, but the turkey population is the smallest nationally.  In fact, the year before I hunted Delaware, they only killed about 325 birds total. You must draw a tag to be able to hunt any public property, or buy an unlimited landowner tag if you have private property to hunt. Regardless, I’d put in for a public tag each year and go once successful. Side note: Delaware was the only state I hunted that made me take a Turkey Hunting Safety Course before being able to purchase any turkey hunting license.

Alabama

(334) 242-3469

https://www.outdooralabama.com/

Wild Turkey Population: 300,000 to 400,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 34,882

2021 Spring Season Dates: Zone 1 March 20 to May 2; Zone 2 March 27 to May 2; Zone 3 April 17-21

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Five

Changes to spring turkey regulations:

Clarification of already existing regulation (220-2-.11, Prohibited Methods and Devices for Hunting) It shall be unlawful for any person while engaged in hunting turkey in this state to use or have in his possession a decoy which has mechanical or electronic parts which makes the decoy capable of movement or producing sound or which can be manipulated to produce movement or sound. Mechanical parts include, but are not limited to, decoys attached to weapons or handheld and manipulated to produce movement such as fanning or reaping. It is further provided, however, that no turkey decoys shall be lawful except during spring turkey season in the area of use.

Arkansas

(501) 223-6300

https://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/turkey/turkey-dates-limits/

Wild Turkey Population: ~100,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 8,583

2021 Spring Season Dates: Statewide Special Youth Hunt: April 10-11; Statewide Season Zone 1: April 19-27; Statewide Season Zone 2: April 19 to May 9

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Statewide two legal turkeys (zone limits apply); Turkey Zone 1: One legal turkey; Turkey Zone 2: Two legal turkeys

Changes to spring turkey regulations: Statewide Turkey Zones were reduced from 18 zones to two following county boundaries. The statewide season start has been pushed back to the third Monday in April, and extended to 21 days in Turkey Zone 2. Hunters may only harvest one legal turkey, statewide, during the first seven days of the statewide season. Harvest of bearded hens is prohibited. Bag limit during the special youth turkey hunt reduced to one legal turkey per youth. All individual WMA bag limits reduced to one legal turkey per hunter. Hunters must travel to a different WMA if attempting to fill a two-bird statewide bag limit.

Connecticut

(860) 719-3152

www.ct.gov/deep/hunting

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 1,652 bearded wild turkeys

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 28 to May 29

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Five bearded birds

Delaware

(302) 735-3609

http://www.eregulations.com/delaware/hunting/turkey-hunting/

Wild Turkey Population: 6,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 643

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 3 (youth/non-ambulatory disabled person); April 10 to May 8 (general season)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One

Florida

(850) 488-3831

www.myfwc.com/hunting/turkey

Wild turkey population: N/A

2020 spring harvest data: 14,701

Subspecies: Eastern, Osceola

2021 spring season dates: (south of State Road 70) March 6 to April 11, (north

of State Road 70) March 20 to April 25

2021 spring bag limit: Two turkeys, gobbler and bearded turkeys only (except in

Holmes County, one turkey)

Georgia

(706) 557-3264

https://georgiawildlife.com/turkey-info

Wild Turkey Population: 250,000 to 300,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 45,205 hunters harvested 17,048 gobblers

2021 Spring Season Dates: March 20 to May 15

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Three gobblers

Changes to spring turkey regulations: All turkeys harvested must be reported using the Georgia Game Check system within 24 hours of harvest.

Illinois

(217) 782-6384

https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 15,831

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth Season: March 27-28 and April 3-4; 2021 Regular Season: North Zone, April 12 to May 13; South Zone, April 5 to May 6

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bearded bird per permit; maximum of three permits per hunter

Changes to spring turkey regulations: Resident hunters can now apply in all three lotteries, skipping the over-the-counter sales period if they want. Non-resident hunters can apply in the second and third lotteries. Illinois turkey hunters may still purchase up to three permits for the spring season, subject to availability.

Indiana

(812) 583-5637

https://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/

Wild Turkey Population: 120,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 14,492

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 21 to May 9

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One male or bearded bird

Changes to spring turkey regulations: Check regulations

Iowa

(641) 774-2958

www.iowadnr.gov

Wild Turkey Population: 120,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 14,671

2021 Spring Season Dates: Multiple seasons starting April 4 to May 16

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bird per tag; residents up to two tags, nonresident one tag

Kansas

(620) 672-5911

ksoutdoors.com

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Eastern, Rio Grande

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 13,404

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth April 1-13; Archery April 5-13; Regular season April 14 to May 31

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two in Units 1 and 2, one in Units 3, 4, 5 and 6

Kentucky

(800) 858-1549

www.fw.ky.gov

Population: N/A

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 37,220

2021 Spring Dates: General Season - 23 consecutive days beginning on the Saturday closest to April 15;
Youth-Only Season - Two consecutive days beginning on the first Saturday in April.

2021 Spring Bag Limit: A hunter may take a male turkey or a turkey with a visible beard. No more than one (1) bird may be taken per day. No more than two (2) birds may be taken per spring season. Any combination of male turkeys, or turkeys with visible beards, may be included in this two-bird season limit. Turkeys taken by youths during the youth-only season count toward their spring turkey bag limit.

Louisiana

(225) 765-2361

www.wlf.louisiana.gov

Wild Turkey Population: 40,000 estimated

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 5,600

2021 Spring Season Dates: Check regulations for area descriptions; Area A April 2 to May 2; Area B April 2-25; Area C April 2-18

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two gobblers

Maine

(207) 287-8000

www.maine.gov/ifw

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: N/A

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth May 1; General season May 3 to June 5

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bearded wild turkey in Wildlife Management Districts 1-6 and 8; Two bearded wild turkeys in Wildlife Management Districts 7 and 9-29

Maryland

(410) 260-8540

dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife

Wild Turkey Population: 40,000 estimated

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 4,303

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 19 to May 24 (regular season), April 17-18 (Junior hunt days)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two per season, only one per day

Regulation note: Sunday hunting only permitted in certain counties (check regulations)

Massachusetts

(508) 389-6300

www.mass.gov/orgs/division-of-fisheries-and-wildlife

Population: N/A

2020 Harvest Data: 3,200

2021 hunting season dates: Youth Turkey Hunt: Zones 1–13: April 24, 2021 (special restrictions apply, check regulations); Spring general season: Zones 1–13: April 26 – May 22, 2021

2021 Bag Limit: Two bearded birds

Michigan

(517) 896-1720

michigan.gov/Turkey

Wild Turkey Population: 200,000-plus

Subspecies: Eastern

2019 Spring Harvest Data: 30,362

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 17 to June 7

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bearded turkey

Minnesota

(507) 578-8915

www.dnr.state.mn.us

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 13,944

2021 Spring Season Dates: Season A April 14-20; Season B April 21-27; Season C April 28 to May 4; Season D May 5-11; Season E May 12-18; Season F May 19-31

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One wild turkey with a visible beard

Mississippi

(601) 432-2400

www.mdwfp.com

Wild Turkey Population: 225,000 estimated

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: Less than 25,000 estimated

2021 Spring Season Dates: March 15 to May 1

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One adult gobbler or one gobbler with a 6-inch or longer beard per day, three per spring season

Missouri

(573) 815-7900

https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/turkey

Wild Turkey Population: 350,000 to 400,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 41,461

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth Season, April 10-11; Regular Season, April 19 to May 9

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Youth Season: one male turkey or turkey with a visible beard. Youth who take a turkey during the youth season may not harvest a second bird until April 26 because the bird taken during the youth season counts as the bird for the first week of the regular season. Regular season: two male turkeys or turkeys with a visible beard may be taken during the season provided that only one turkey may be taken during the first week from April 19-25. If a hunter does not harvest a turkey during the first week, they may harvest two turkeys during the second or third week from April 26 to May 9 but may not take both turkeys on the same day.

New Hampshire

(603) 271-2461

https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/wildlife/

Wild Turkey Population: 50,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 5,718

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth weekend April 24-25; Spring season May 1-31

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bearded bird statewide; second bearded bird may be harvested in certain Wildlife Management Units (H1, H2, J2, K, L, M)

New Jersey

(908) 735-6938

https://www.njfishandwildlife.com/turkey_info.htm

Wild Turkey Population: 25,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 2,850

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth Day April 24; Regular season April 26 to May 28 (segmented, check regulations)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One male turkey per permit; one turkey per day

New York

(518) 402-8883

www.dec.ny.gov

Wild Turkey Population: 180,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 21,381

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth hunt April 24-25; Regular season May 1-31

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Youth hunt: One bearded bird (becomes part of regular season bag); Regular season: two bearded birds (one per day)

North Carolina

(888) 248-6834

ncwildlife.org

Wild Turkey Population: 270,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 23,431

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth season April 3-9; Regular season April 10 to May 8

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One male or bearded bird per day, two per season, no more than one bird may be taken during youth season

North Dakota

(701) 328-6339

https://gf.nd.gov/

Wild Turkey Population: Increasing

Subspecies: Eastern, Merriam’s

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 2,795

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 10 to May 16

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One

Ohio

(614) 265-6353

https://ohiodnr.gov/

Wild Turkey Population: 180,000-190,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 17,891 birds

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth Season April 17-18; Regular season, South Zone April 24 to May 23; Northeast Zone May 1-30

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two bearded turkeys, one per day

Changes to spring turkey regulations: The 2021 spring season will open on a Saturday instead of a Monday in both zones.

Oklahoma

405-521-2739

https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/

Wild Turkey Population: 93,532

Subspecies: 87,526 Rio Grande and 6,006 Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 16,615

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 6 to May 6, check regulations for region specific dates

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Three statewide, check regulations for county restrictions

Pennsylvania

(717) 787-4250

www.pgc.pa.gov

Wild Turkey Population: 196,260

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 34,492

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth April 24 (half-hour before sunrise until noon); Regular May 1-31; No Sunday Hunting. Half-hour before sunrise until noon from May 1-15. Hours end half-hour after sunset from May 17-31.

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Up to two bearded birds, (one per day) with proper licenses

Rhode Island

(401) 789-0281

http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/pdf/huntabs.pdf

Wild Turkey Population: Do not estimate

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 268 birds harvested

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 24-25 youth/paraplegic season; April 29 to May 23 regular spring season

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two bearded birds (only one may be taken on state land)

South Carolina

(803) 734-3886

http://www.eregulations.com/southcarolina/huntingandfishing/turkey-regulations/

Wild Turkey Population: 120,000

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 14,044

2021 Spring Season Dates: Private Land - Game Zones 1 and 2, April 1 to May 10; Private Land - Game Zones 3 and 4, March 22-April 30; Public (WMA) Land - statewide April 1-30; Youth - Game Zones 1 and 2, March 27-28 (private land only), Game Zones 3 and 4, March 20-21 (private land only)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Residents - three gobblers season, no more than one per day, no more than one in the first 10 days of the Game Zone season. Nonresidents – two gobblers per season, no more than one per day, no more than one in the first 10 days of the Game Zone season.

Changes to spring turkey regulations: Mandatory electronic harvest reporting through SC Game Check (www.dnr.sc.gov/scgamecheck or call (833) 472-4263). New season dates on Public (WMA) land (check regulations).

South Dakota

(605) 223.7660

https://gfp.sd.gov/

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Merriam's - west of Missouri River; Eastern - east of the Missouri River

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 5,795

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 10 to May 31 (spring firearms); April 3 to May 31 (spring archery)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One male turkey

Changes to spring turkey regulations: Season dates and unit boundaries (see regulations and website for updates)

Tennessee

(615) 781-6610

https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/hunting/big-game/turkey.html

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 40,105 reported

2021 Spring Season Dates: Statewide (excluding the Mississippi Alluvial Valley or MAV Unit, which consists of Dyer, Lake, Lauderdale, Shelby and Tipton counties, and Giles, Lawrence, Lincoln and Wayne counties) - Young Sportsman: March 27-28; Shotgun/Archery: April 3 to May 16; MAV Unit and Giles, Lawrence, Lincoln and Wayne counties - Young Sportsman: April 10-11; Shotgun/Archery: April 17 to May 16

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bearded turkey per day, not to exceed three per season, except the season limit in the MAV Unit is two bearded turkeys, which count toward the statewide season limit.

Changes to spring turkey regulations: Tag Before You Drag – Before moving harvested big game, you must either check it in on your smartphone or physically tag the animal. All physically tagged animals must be checked in before midnight. The statewide bag limit for spring turkey has been reduced from 4 to 3. Five counties adjacent to the Mississippi River form a new spring turkey unit (Mississippi Alluvial Valley or MAV) with a two-week delayed spring turkey season opener and a reduced, unit-wide bag limit of 2. Southern Middle Tennessee counties of Giles, Lawrence, Lincoln and Wayne counties have a two-week delayed spring turkey season opener.

Texas

(512) 389-4800

https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/regs/animals/turkey

Wild Turkey Population: 500,000

Subspecies: Rio Grande and Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 17,428

2021 Spring Season Dates: South Zone March 20 to May 2; North Zone April 3 to May 16; Rio Grande 1 Gobbler Zone April 1-30; Eastern Turkey Zone April 22 to May 14

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Four-bird annual bag, no more than one Eastern wild turkey

Utah

(385) 251-1089

www.wildlife.utah.gov

Wild Turkey Population: 25,000-35,000

Subspecies: Merriam's and Rio Grande

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 3,671 total (716 limited entry, 2,955 over-the-counter)

2021 Spring Season Dates: Limited entry April 10-29; Youth April 30 to May 2; Over-the-counter May 3-31

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One

Vermont

(802) 828-1000

www.vtfishandwildlife.com

Wild Turkey Population: 45,000+

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: Regular Spring Season - 4,791; Youth Weekend - 627

2021 Spring Season Dates: Regular Spring Season May 1-31; Youth Weekend April 24-25

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Regular Spring Season, two bearded birds; Youth Weekend, one bearded bird

Changes to spring turkey regulations: Youth Weekend expanded to include novice hunters and shot size restriction liberalized to include all shot less than or equal to size 2.

Virginia

(804) 367-1000

https://dwr.virginia.gov/hunting/regulations/turkey/#spring

Wild Turkey Population: 170,000-190,000 birds, stable populations based on 10-year trend data

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 20,525 birds harvested

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth/Apprentice April 3-4; Regular Season April 10 to May 15

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Season limit of three birds, one bird per day

West Virginia

(304) 825-6787

wvdnr.gov

Wild Turkey Population: 113,200

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 11,320

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 19 to May 23

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two

Changes to spring turkey regulations: The spring season was expanded from four to five weeks (eight extra days) and now closes on Sunday.

Wisconsin

(608) 513-6739

dnr.wi.gov

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 44,982 (https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/reports.html)

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth Hunt April 17-18; Period A: April 21-27; Period B: April 28 to May 4; Period C: May 5-11; Period D: May 12-18; Period E: May 19-25; Period F: May 26 to June 1

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One per day per harvest authorization; set number of harvest authorizations available per time period and management zone

RIO GRANDE

Rio Grande: Grand Slam Tips from Jeff Budz

Calling Tactics: Be as aggressive as they are. When in doubt, call some more.

Sleeper State: There are many because I’ve found the laws to be much more alike, as well as easier to navigate, west of the Mississippi. Over-the-counter licenses, no check stations, no 1 p.m. closures, no Sunday closures, hunters can shoot any bearded bird, multiple bird limits a day and plenty of public property as well.

Toughest State to Hunt: The hardest state to hunt because of the lack of birds is Nevada. There’s great public and private property there, you just have to draw your tag for the public property or buy a landowner tag. Regardless, I’d put in for a public tag each year and go once successful.

Arizona

(928) 532- 2305

www.azgfd.com

Wild Turkey Population: 25,000 Merriam's; 1,500 Gould's; 500 Rio Grandes

Subspecies: Merriam's, Gould's and Rio Grandes

2020 Spring Harvest Data: Approximately 800

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 23 to May 20, 2021 with stratified hunts

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One Bearded turkey

California

(916) 373-8817

wildlife.ca.gov

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Merriam's, Rio Grande, Eastern-Rio Grande hybrids, California hybrids (Mexican, Merriam's)

2019 Spring Harvest Data: An estimated 22,179 wild turkeys were harvested in Spring 2019 by 34,969 hunters

2021 Spring Season Dates: General season March 27 to May 2; Archery only May 3 to May 16; Additional Junior season March 20-21 and May 3-16

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bearded bird per day, possession limit three for the season

Colorado

(303) 291-7227

https://cpw.state.co.us/

Wild Turkey Population: 30,000 to 35,000

Subspecies: Merriam's and Rio Grande

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 6,479

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 10 to May 31 general season

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two bearded turkeys in the spring; one must be taken with a limited license, the other must be taken with an over-the-counter license

Hawaii

(808) 974-4221

www.dlnr.hawaii.gov/recreation/hunting/bird

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Rio Grande

Harvest Data: N/A

2021 Season Dates: Check regulations

Bag Limit: Check regulations

Kansas

(620) 672-5911

ksoutdoors.com

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Eastern, Rio Grande

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 13,404

2021 Spring Season Dates: Youth April 1-13, Archery April 5-13, Regular season April 14 to May 31

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two in Units 1 and 2, one in Units 3, 4, 5 and 6

Nevada

(775) 688-1500

www.ndow.org

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

2020 Spring Harvest Data: N/A

2021 Season dates: Varies, check regulations

2021 bag limit: One bearded wild turkey, check regulations

New Mexico

(888) 248-6866

http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/information-by-animal/turkey/

Wild Turkey Population: 15,000 to 20,000

Subspecies: Merriam's, Rio Grande

2019 Spring Harvest Data: Reported 2,220 birds, estimated harvest was 2,960

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 15 to May 10

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two bearded turkeys

Oklahoma

(405) 521-2739

https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/

Wild Turkey Population: 93,532

Subspecies: 87,526 Rio Grande and 6,006 Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 16,615

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 6 through May 6, see season regulations for region specific dates

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Three statewide, see regulations for county restrictions

Texas

(512) 389-4800

https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/regs/animals/turkey

Wild Turkey Population: 500,000

Subspecies: Rio Grande and Eastern

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 17,428

2021 Spring Season Dates: South Zone March 20 to May 2; North Zone April 3 to May 16; Rio Grande 1 Gobbler Zone April 1-30; Eastern Turkey Zone April 22 to May 14

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Four-bird annual bag, no more than one Eastern wild turkey

Utah

(385) 251-1089

https://wildlife.utah.gov/

Wild Turkey Population: 25,000-35,000

Subspecies: Merriam's and Rio Grande

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 3,671 total (716 limited entry, 2,955 over-the-counter)

2021 Spring Season Dates: Limited entry April 10-29; Youth April 30 to May 2; Over-the-counter May 3-31

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One

Wyoming

(307) 777-4600

https://wgfd.wyo.gov/hunting

Wild Turkey Population: Stable to increasing

Subspecies: Merriam's, Rio's and Merriam’s-Rio Hybrid

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 3,250

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 20 to May 31 (except Hunt Area 3: April 1 to May 31)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One per license

Note: After the license draw is completed, hunters may apply for and receive up to three wild turkey licenses, provided at least two of those licenses are Limited Quota Type 3 licenses.

MERRIAM’S SUBSPECIES

Merriam’s: Grand Slam Tips from Jeff Budz

Calling Tactic: Call aggressively and be ready to move fast and far, as Merriam’s move more

throughout their day than any of the other subspecies. Merriam’s toms have the highest pitch

gobble of any Grand Slam subspecies, so don’t leave a gobbler just because you think he’s a jake until you get eyes on him.

Sleeper State: If you wanted a great one-week trip to knock off some birds, I’d go to eastern Kansas for Easterns, western Kansas for your Rio and to northwest Nebraska for your Merriam’s. There’s plenty of public property and several small farms that a hunter could knock on a door, pay a few hundred dollars and fall into a honey hole.

Toughest State to Hunt: Arizona was the toughest Merriam’s state for me to hunt because the application period for their draw is in September when I’m not in full blown spring turkey planning mode. Arizona has tons of great public property to hunt, so when you draw, go! The easiest way to check Arizona off your map is to hunt the San Carlos Indian Reservation.

Arizona

www.azgfd.com

(928) 532-2305

Wild Turkey Population: 25,000 Merriam's; 1,500 Gould's; 500 Rio Grandes

Subspecies: Merriam's, Gould's and Rio Grandes

2020 Spring Harvest Data: About 800

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 23 to May 20 with stratified hunts

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bearded turkey

California

(916) 373-8817

wildlife.ca.gov

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Merriam's, Rio Grande, Eastern-Rio Grande hybrids, California hybrids (Mexican, Merriam's)

2019 Spring Harvest Data: An estimated 22,179 wild turkeys were harvested in spring 2019 by 34,969 hunters

2021 Spring Season Dates: General season March 27 to May 2; Archery only May 3 to May 16; Additional Junior season March 20-21 and May 3-16

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bearded bird per day, possession limit three for the season

Colorado

cpw.state.co.us

(303) 297-1192

Wild Turkey Population: 30,000 to 35,000

Subspecies: Merriam's and Rio Grande

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 6,479

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 10 to May 31 (general season)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two bearded turkeys, one must be taken with a limited license, the other must be taken with an over-the-counter license.

Idaho

idfg.idaho.gov

(208) 334-2920

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Hybrid, Merriam's, Rio Grande

2020 Spring Harvest Data: N/A

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 15 to May 25 (general season); April 8-14 (youth season)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two

Montana

fwp.mt.gov

(406) 444-3940

Wild Turkey Population: 120,000

Subspecies: Eastern, Merriam’s

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 3,266

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 10 to May 16

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Up to 12 per year, five in spring plus super tag

North Dakota

gf.nd.gov

(701) 328-6339

Wild Turkey Population: Increasing

Subspecies: Eastern, Merriam’s

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 2,795

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 10 to May 16

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bearded wild turkey

Nebraska

www.outdoornebraska.gov/wildturkey

(402) 471-0641

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Merriam’s-Rio Grande hybrid

2020 Spring Harvest Data: N/A

2021 Spring Season Dates: Archery opens March 25, shotgun opens April 17 and the season doesn’t close until May 31. The youth shotgun season opens April 10.

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Hunters may buy up to three permits, good for one bird each.

New Mexico

www.wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/information-by-animal/turkey/

(888) 248-6866

Wild Turkey Population: 15,000 to 20,000

Subspecies: Merriam's, Rio Grande

2019 Spring Harvest Data: Reported 2,220 birds, estimated harvest 2,960

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 15 to May 10

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two bearded turkeys

South Dakota

gfp.sd.gov

(605) 223-7660

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Merriam's, west of Missouri River; Eastern, east of the Missouri River

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 5,795

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 10 to May 31 (spring firearms); April 3-to May 31 (spring archery)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One male turkey

New for 202: Season dates and unit boundaries (see regulations and website for updates)

Washington

www.wdfw.wa.gov

(360) 902-2515

Wild Turkey Population: N/A

Subspecies: Eastern, Merriam’s, Rio Grande

2019 Spring Harvest Data: 5,824

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 15 to May 31 (general season); April 3-4 (youth)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: The combined spring/youth season limit is three birds. Only two turkeys may be killed in eastern Washington, except only one may be killed in Chelan, Kittitas or Yakima counties. One turkey may be killed per year in western Washington outside of Klickitat County. Two turkeys may be killed in Klickitat County.

Wyoming

wgfd.wyo.gov/hunting

(307) 777-4600

Wild Turkey Population: Stable to increasing

Subspecies: Merriam's, Rio's and Merriam-Rio hybrid

2020 Spring Harvest Data: 3,250

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 20 to May 31 (except Hunt Area 3: April 1 to May 31)

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One per license; Note: After the license draw is completed, hunters may apply for and receive up to three wild turkey licenses, provided at least two of those licenses are Limited Quota Type 3 licenses.

OSCEOLA SUBSPECIES

Osceola: Grand Slam Tips from Jeff Budz

Calling Tactic: Call aggressively and get ready when you hear a gobble because he’s close!

Because of the heavy humidity and thick vegetation, Osceola toms are hard to hear. Also, the jakes hardly gobble at all.

Sleeper Area: Any private property or as far away from the road as you can get and set up by first gobble to get your crack at your own bird.

Toughest Area to Hunt: Opening weekend or too close to the road because that’s where most of the pressure is.

Florida

(850) 488-3831

www.myfwc.com/hunting/turkey

Wild Turkey Populations: N/A

2020 Spring Harvest: 14,701

Subspecies: Eastern, Osceola

2021 Spring Season Dates: (South of State Road 70) March 6 to April 11, (North of State Road 70) March 20 to April 25

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two turkeys, gobbler and bearded turkeys only (except in

Holmes County, one turkey)

GOULD’S SUBSPECIES

ENGAGE12x 50mm

Arizona

www.azgfd.com

(928) 532-2305

Wild Turkey Population: 25,000 Merriam's; 1,500 Gould's; 500 Rio Grandes

Subspecies: Merriam's, Gould's, and Rio Grandes

2020 Spring Harvest Data: About 800

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 23 to May 20 with stratified hunts

2021 Spring Bag Limit: One bearded turkey

New Mexico

(888) 248-6866

http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/information-by-animal/turkey/

Wild Turkey Population: 15,000 to 20,000

Subspecies: Merriam's, Rio Grande, Gould’s (enhancement permit only)

2019 Spring Harvest Data: Reported 2,220 birds, estimated 2,960

2021 Spring Season Dates: April 15 to May 10

2021 Spring Bag Limit: Two bearded turkeys

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