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Fall turkey hunt approved

Salt Lake City — Turkey hunters, don't pack your shotguns away just yet. Yes, the spring hunt is over. But another chance to hunt turkeys is coming up.

Utah will hold a general season turkey hunt this fall. It will be the first fall hunt held in the state since 1984.

Utah will hold a general season turkey hunt this fall. It will be the first fall hunt held in the state since 1984.

Photo by Scott Root

On June 5, members of the Utah Wildlife Board approved a fall general season turkey hunt. It will be the first fall hunt held in Utah since 1984. Here are some details:

  • The Division of Wildlife Resources has split Utah into five regions. The hunt will happen only in specific areas in the Northern and Southern regions.
  • Board members approved 73 permits for the Northern Region and 220 permits for the Southern Region. The hunt in the Northern Region runs Nov. 1–Dec. 31. In the Southern Region, the hunt runs Nov. 1–Jan. 15.
  • Starting Sept. 18, permits for the hunt will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can buy a permit at wildlife.utah.gov. Permits will also be available at DWR offices and from more than 300 hunting license agents across Utah.

    Permits go on sale at 8 a.m.

  • If you obtain a permit, you can hunt in any area that's open to fall hunting in the region (Northern or Southern) you obtain a permit for. Before permits go on sale, you can get maps of the various hunt areas at wildlife.utah.gov/maps.
  • Any turkey hunter is eligible to hunt in the fall. That includes those who hunted this past spring. The two hunts are being treated as two separate hunts.
  • The same type of weapons that are allowed during the spring hunt must be used during the fall hunt. Centerfire rifles and pistols are not allowed during the fall hunt.
  • Most of the hunts will happen on private land. Before hunting on private land, you must obtain written permission from the landowner.

Why hold a fall hunt?

Jason Robinson, upland game coordinator for the DWR, says there's plenty of room in Utah for more turkeys. "But," he says, "in a few areas, the number of turkeys has grown to the point that the birds are coming into conflict with people. Holding a fall hunt will help control the number of birds in these areas."

Unlike the spring hunt, in the fall, you can take either a male or a female turkey. Robinson says a fall hunt is a great way to control turkey numbers.

"In the fall," he says, "males aren't as brightly colored as they are in the spring. It's tough to tell a female from a male in the fall, so hunters end up taking a decent number of females. Taking females will help reduce the number of birds that lay eggs next spring."

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