How to hunt wild turkey in Oregon

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Turkey hunters should be aware of all state hunting regulations, but pay special attention to these things – all of which are listed in the table of contents of the Oregon Game Bird Hunting Regulations:

  • Licensing and tags
  • Shooting hours
  • Legal hunting methods
  • Turkey hunting opportunities

The Game Bird Regulations are available both online and in print, both are organized in the same way.

Licensing and tags

In Oregon, all hunters older than 12 years need a hunting license. Kids 12-17 years old can buy a special, value-priced youth license that also includes fishing and shellfishing.

In addition to a license, all turkey hunters need to buy a wild turkey tag before hunting. Tags are sold on a first-come first-served basis for spring turkey hunts, and can be limited for some eastern Oregon hunts. In western Oregon, the number of tags is unlimited. Hunters need to purchase a tag for every turkey they hunt for.

How/where to buy licenses and tags

In Oregon, you can buy and carry your license and tag in one of three ways:

  • Buy your license and tag at a license vendor or ODFW office that sells licenses, and have a paper copy printed there.
  • Buy your license and tag online, and print a paper copy on your home computer.
  • Buy your license and tag online, and download them to your smartphone using the MyODFW app.

Learn more about buying a license or tag.

Shooting hours

Legal hunting hours for game birds, including fall turkey, are listed online and in the printed regulation book. Legal shooting hours for spring turkey are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

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Legal hunting methods

A table in the Game Bird Regulations lists the legal methods for hunting turkey, and other restrictions. They are:

  • Archery, includes recurve, long and compound bows. Crossbows are illegal.
  • Shotgun
    • No larger than 10 gauge
    • Can hold no more than three shells
    • Shot size no larger than No. 2
  • Be sure to check the regulations for additional restrictions.

Turkey hunting opportunities

The Game Bird Regulations has a special section for turkey hunting. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about turkey seasons including a map of different fall hunts, when they are open and daily/seasonal bag limits.

The numbered units on the map are not traditional geographic units like counties. Instead, they are the Wildlife Management Units – the same ones used in big game hunting. Boundary descriptions of these units can be found in the Oregon Big Game Regulations, or on MyODFW.com under Big Game Hunting.

Spring turkey season

Fall turkey season

Season

Opens mid-April for six weeks

Opens mid-October for 10 weeks

Bag limit

1 male/day, 3 males/year

1 of either sex/day, 1-2/season*

Tags available

Unlimited number

5,540 for general season hunts

*depending on the county

Report your hunt, it’s mandatory!

One final thing. If you buy a turkey tag, you must report your hunt – even if you didn’t hunt or didn’t shoot a bird. This mandatory reporting is an important way for ODFW to gather information about harvest and hunter effort. Information the agency can use to set sustainable hunting seasons.

For hunts completed before Dec. 31, the reporting deadline is Jan. 31 the following year. If you hunt in January, you must report those hunts by April 15. It’s easy to report online or at an ODFW office. Find more information about how to report.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>