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Why Fall Turkey Seasons Vary by Wildlife Management Unit

Fall seasons differ according to the wild turkey population density in each Wildlife Management Unit, varying from closed to 3 weeks + a 3-day Thanksgiving holiday season. Each hunting license comes with one fall turkey tag (and one spring tag), so we regulate fall harvest by season length. Even though the majority of the harvest occurs during the first week of the season, our harvest data show that fifteen to eighteen percent of the harvest can occur the last Monday-Friday of the season, so the longer the fall season length the higher the harvest.

During the fall season any turkey can be harvested because jakes, young males, are difficult to distinguish from females this time of year. Still, our research shows females (both juvenile and adult) comprise a larger portion of the fall harvest than males. Our management and research have shown that we shouldn't overharvest females, so we set the fall season length conservatively.

Specifically for Fall 2015:

  • WMUs 2E, 3D, 4A, 4B and 4D are decreased to 2 weeks + the 3-day Thanksgiving holiday season due to sharp declines in turkey population trends over the past four years.
  • WMUs 2F, 2G and 2H remain 2 weeks + the 3-day Thanksgiving holiday season due to generally declining population trends.
  • WMUs 3A, 3B and 3C have been decreased to 2 weeks + the 3-day Thanksgiving holiday season due to sharp declines in turkey population trends over the past four years.
  • WMU 5A remains 3 days, Thursday, Friday, Saturday to continue to allow more hunting opportunity. We believe this turkey population has grown and expanded its range to withstand a slight increase in hunting pressure.
  • Seasons in other WMUs remain the same as 2014.

2015-16 Turkey Seasons, Bag Limits & Regulations