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HUNTING

Time for Spring Turkeys


It’s spring turkey hunting season in Texas. Dates depend on where you’re hunting and which one of our three subspecies you seek — the abundant Rio Grande turkeys, the thriving eastern turkeys or the small populations of Merriam’s turkeys in West Texas.

Turkeys now inhabit 223 of the 254 counties in Texas; you can see them roam at many Texas state parks. One of the most substantial and oldest winter turkey roosts is at South Llano River State Park near Junction.

Want to bag your own turkey? You can hunt for them on many of our wildlife management areas and other public hunting lands.

Polish up your skills and knowledge and let’s get ready to gobble.

Be Safe

•Point the muzzle of your firearm in a safe direction at all times.

•Be sure of your target and what is in front of it and beyond it before taking the shot.

•Camouflage is recommended attire, but avoid wearing dark colors (like a turkey’s body), or red, white or blue material (like a gobbler’s head).

•Wear hunter orange into and out of a turkey hunting area on public lands, especially if you are carrying a harvested bird. 

Be Legal

•Download the TPWD Outdoor Annual app and read all applicable hunting regulations (county limits, taking of hens, use of shotguns).

•Make sure you hunt within legal shooting hours and never shoot turkeys that are roosting.

•Complete/cut out dates and attach appropriate turkey hunting tag immediately upon kill. Attach it in a secure manner, usually around the turkey’s leg.

•Properly identify female (hen) from male (gobbler, tom, jake) turkeys by noting color of breast feathers/head, presence of a beard, relative size and strutting/calling behaviors.

Be Smart

•Properly pattern your shotgun and practice your calling well before the turkey hunting season.

•Take a Turkey Hunting 101 course and learn more

•Scout your turkey hunting area before the season and note sounds, roosting areas, droppings, loafing areas, daily patterns, flock composition and related signs and behaviors.

•Try various types of calls (box, glass, slate, mouth, tube) to mimic different hen or gobbler turkey sounds and tones.

 Steve Hall  Chris Nelson

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