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Turkey hunt underway (updated)

General statewide wild turkey hunting permits are available now.

If you didn't draw a permit to hunt wild turkeys during Utah's limited-entry hunt, you can still hunt turkeys in the state this spring.

Wild turkey
Utah's general statewide turkey hunt starts April 29 for young hunters. Adults can join the youngsters starting May 2.

Photo by Lynn Chamberlain

Utah's general statewide turkey hunt is underway. The hunt runs until May 31.

Justin Dolling, upland game and migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says he and other DWR biologists are excited that all of Utah's turkey hunters can hunt this year.

"Our biologists have worked hard to get Utah's turkey population to the point that all of the state's turkey hunters can hunt," Dolling says. "It's rewarding to see how well turkeys are doing in Utah."

If you've never hunted wild turkeys in Utah before, you can get a feel for what's it's like by watching a video at the DWR's YouTube site—www.youtube.com/UDWR.

Once you arrive at www.youtube.com/UDWR, scroll through the video choices on the right side of the page until you find the video titled "Utah Turkey Hunt."

Turkeys struggling in two counties

Despite how well the state's turkey population is doing, Dolling says the birds are struggling in two areas in the state.

San Juan County and the part of Grand County that's south of Interstate 70 received a lot of snow two winters ago (the winter of 2009 – 2010).

The heavy snowfall killed many of the turkeys in the area.

This past winter, DWR biologists brought 50 turkeys into the area from South Dakota and transplanted them. But Dolling says it will take time for turkey populations in the area to rebuild. "If you were planning to hunt in San Juan County or the southern part of Grand County this spring," he says, "I'd recommend finding another spot."

Details

This is the second year Utah has held a general statewide turkey hunt. The following are some details about the hunt:

  • Permits are available at wildlife.utah.gov. Permits are also available at DWR offices and from more than 300 hunting license agents across Utah.

    The permits aren't limited in number, so you won't have a problem getting one.

    Permits will be available until the season ends on May 31.

    Please remember that if you buy a permit at wildlife.utah.gov, it will take about five to 10 days for your permit to arrive in the mail. You must receive your permit before you can hunt.
  • If you buy a general turkey permit, you can hunt anywhere in Utah that's open to turkey hunting.
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  • You can buy a general turkey permit and still keep all of your limited-entry turkey bonus points. You won't lose any of your bonus points if you buy a general turkey permit.
  • If you obtained a limited-entry turkey permit, you can't obtain a general turkey permit. (You can have only one turkey permit each year.)

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.

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