Administrative rule R657-54
Taking wild turkey
Scroll to bottom of page to view a menu of all administrative rules
KEY: wildlife, wild turkey, game laws
Date of Last Change: August 10, 2023
Notice of Continuation: August 5, 2019
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 23-14-18; 23-14-1
R657-54-1. Purpose and Authority.
(1) Under authority of Sections 23-14-18 and 23-14-19 and in accordance with 50 CFR 20, 2003 edition, which is incorporated by reference, the Wildlife Board has established this rule for taking wild turkey.
(2) Specific season dates, bag and possession limits, areas open, number of permits and other administrative details that may change annually are published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23-13-2.
(2) In addition:
(a) "Bait" means shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed that lures, attracts or entices wild turkey.
(b) "Baiting" means the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of salt, grain, or other feed that could serve as a lure or attraction for wild turkey to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them.
(c) "CFR" means the Code of Federal Regulations.
(d) "Falconry" means the sport of taking quarry by a trained raptor.
(e) "Fall season permit" means any wild turkey hunting permit having season dates on or between August 1 to March 14, excluding turkey permits issued pursuant to Rule R657-41 and turkey control permits issued pursuant to Section R657-69-6.
(f) "Night vision device" means any device that enhances visible or non-visible light, including: night vision, thermal imaging, infrared imaging, or electronics that enhance the visible or non-visible light spectrum.
(g) "Pre-charged pneumatic air rifle" means a rifle that fires a single projectile with compressed air released from a chamber:
(i) built into the rifle; and
(ii) pressurized at a minimum of 2,000 pounds per square inch from an external high compression device or source, such as a hand pump, compressor, or scuba tank firing a single:
(A) broadhead tipped bolt or arrow; or
(B) pellet or slug during fall turkey season that:
(I) is .25 caliber or larger;
(II) weighs 18 grains or more; and
(III) is fired at a velocity to produce at least 30 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
(h) "Spring season permit" means any wild turkey hunting permit having season dates on or between March 15 to July 31, excluding turkey permits issued pursuant to Rule R657-41 and turkey control permits issued pursuant to Section R657-69-6.
(i) "Wild Turkey" as used in this rule means a wild, free-ranging turkey and does not include a privately-owned wild turkey, domestic turkey, or wild-domestic hybrids.
R657-54-3. Obtaining Permits for Wild Turkey.
(1) A person must possess or obtain a valid hunting or combination license to apply for or obtain a wild turkey permit.
(2) General season wild turkey permits are issued over-the-counter consistent with this rule and the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
(3) Limited entry permits for wild turkey are issued pursuant to Section R657-62-25.
(4) Wild turkey control permits and wild turkey control permit vouchers are issued pursuant to Rule R657-69.
(5) Wild turkey conservation and sportsman's permits are issued pursuant to Rule R657-41.
(6) Wild turkey permits available through the Expo are issued pursuant to Rule R657-55.
(7) Wild turkey poaching-reported reward permits are issued pursuant to Rule R657-51.
R657-54-4. Authorized Weapons.
Wild turkey may be taken only with:
(1) Archery equipment, including a draw-lock, or a crossbow using broadhead tipped arrows or bolts;
(2) a shotgun, firing shot sizes BB and smaller diameter;
(3) a rimfire firearm during any fall season permit; or
(4) a pre-charged pneumatic air rifle during any fall season permit.
R657-54-5. Shooting Hours.
(1) Wild turkey may be taken only between one-half hour before official sunrise through one-half hour after official sunset.
(2) A person must add to or subtract from the official sunrise and sunset depending on the geographic location of the state.
(3) Specific shooting hours shall be provided in a time zone map in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
R657-54-6. State Parks.
(1) Hunting of any wildlife is prohibited within the boundaries of all state park areas, except those areas designated open to hunting by the Division of State Parks in Section R651-614-4.
(2) Hunting with rifles and handguns in state park areas designated open is prohibited within one mile of all park facilities including buildings, camp or picnic sites, overlooks, golf courses, boat ramps, and developed beaches.
(3) Hunting with shotguns, crossbows or archery tackle is prohibited within one quarter mile of the stated areas.
Falconers may not release a raptor on wild turkeys during the spring seasons. Falconers may release a raptor on wild turkeys during the fall season, as published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
R657-54-8. Live Decoys and Electronic Calls.
A person may not take a wild turkey by the use or aid of live decoys, robotic decoys, night vision devices, drones, recorded turkey calls or sounds, or electronically amplified imitations of turkey calls.
A person may not hunt turkey using bait, or on or over any baited area where a person knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited. An area is considered baited for 10 days after bait is removed, or 10 days after bait in an area is eaten.
R657-54-10. Sitting or Roosting Turkeys.
A person may not take or attempt to take a wild turkey sitting or roosting in a tree, power pole, or other elevated structure.
R657-54-11. Tagging Requirements.
(1) A person that takes a wild turkey must tag the carcass, as provided in Section 23-20-3, immediately upon taking possession of the carcass.
(2) To tag a carcass, a person shall:
(a) completely detach the tag from the license or permit;
(b) completely remove the appropriate notches to correspond with:
(i) the date the wild turkey was taken;
(ii) the sex of the wild turkey; and
(c) attach the tag to the carcass so that the tag remains securely fastened and visible.
(3) A person may not:
(a) remove more than one notch indicating date or sex; or
(b) tag more than one carcass using the same tag.
(4) A person may not hunt or pursue a wild turkey after:
(a) shooting and retrieving the bird;
(b) the tag is detached from the permit;
(c) any of the notches have been removed from the tag.
R657-54-12. Identification of Species and Sex.
The head and beard must remain attached to the carcass of a wild turkey while being transported.
R657-54-13. Use of Dogs.
(1) An individual may not use or permit a dog to harass, pursue, or take wild turkey unless otherwise allowed for in Title 23, the Wildlife Resources Code of Utah, or the administrative rules or guidebooks of the Wildlife Board.
(2) Dogs may be used to locate and retrieve wild turkey during open wild turkey hunting seasons.
(3) Dogs are generally allowed on state wildlife management and waterfowl management areas, subject to the following conditions:
(a) dogs are not allowed on the following state wildlife management areas and waterfowl management areas between March 10 and August 31 annually or as posted by the Division:
(ii) Bear River Trenton Property Parcel;
(iii) Bicknell Bottoms;
(iv) Blue Lake;
(v) Browns Park;
(vi) Bud Phelps;
(vii) Clear Lake;
(viii) Desert Lake;
(ix) Farmington Bay;
(x) Harold S. Crane;
(xi) Hatt's Ranch;
(xii) Howard Slough;
(xiv) James Walter Fitzgerald;
(xv) Kevin Conway;
(xvi) Locomotive Springs;
(xvii) Manti Meadows;
(xviii) Mills Meadows;
(xix) Montes Creek;
(xxi) Ogden Bay;
(xxiv) Public Shooting Grounds;
(xxv) Redmond Marsh;
(xxviii) Salt Creek;
(xxix) Scott M. Matheson Wetland Preserve;
(xxx) Steward Lake;
(xxxi) Timpie Springs;
(xxxii) Topaz Slough;
(xxxiii) Vernal; and
(xxxiv) Willard Bay.
(b) the Division may establish special restrictions for Division-managed properties, such as on-leash requirements and temporary or locational closures for dogs, and post them at specific Division properties and at Regional offices;
(c) organized events or group gatherings of 25 or more individuals that involve the use of dogs, such as dog training or trials, that occur on Division properties may require a special use permit as described in Rule R657-28;
(d) dog training may be allowed in designated areas on Lee Kay Center and Willard Bay WMA by the Division without a special use permit; and
(e) dogs are only allowed on the Nature Trail within the Hasenyager Nature preserve and must be on a leash.
(4) Wild turkeys may not be used for any dog training exercises.
(5) Dogs may be used to locate wild turkey as part of division sanctioned survey efforts.
R657-54-14. Closed Areas.
A person may not hunt wild turkey in any area posted closed by the Division or any of the following areas:
(1) Salt Lake Airport boundaries as posted;
(2) incorporated municipalities;
(a) many incorporated municipalities prohibit the discharge of firearms and other weapons. Check with the respective city officials for specific boundaries and limitations;
(3) all State Waterfowl Management Areas except Browns Park and Stewart Lake;
(4) all National Wildlife Refuges unless declared open by the managing authority; and
(5) military installations, except as otherwise provided under Rule R657-66, are closed to hunting and trespassing.
R657-54-15. Possession of Live Protected Wildlife.
It is unlawful for any person to hold in captivity at any time any protected wildlife, except as provided by Title 23, the Wildlife Resources Code of Utah, or any rules of the Wildlife Board. Every wild turkey wounded by hunting and reduced to possession by the hunter shall be immediately killed and tagged pursuant to Section R657-54-11.
(1) Except as provided in Section 23-13-17:
(a) a person may not use or cast the rays of any spotlight, headlight or other artificial light to locate wild turkeys while having in their possession a firearm or other weapon or device that could be used to take or injure wild turkey; and
(b) the use of a spotlight or other artificial light in a field, woodland or forest where wild turkey are generally found is probable cause of attempting to locate protected wildlife.
(2) This section does not apply to:
(a) the use of the headlights of a motor vehicle or other artificial light in a usual manner where there is no attempt or intent to locate protected wildlife.
R657-54-17. Exporting Wild Turkey from Utah.
(1) A person may export wild turkey or their parts from Utah only if:
(a) The person who harvested the wild turkey accompanies it and possess a valid permit corresponding to the tag; or
(b) The person exporting the wild turkey or its parts, if it is not the person who harvested the wild turkey, has obtained a shipping permit from the Division.
R657-54-18. Waste of Game.
(1) A person may not waste or permit to be wasted or spoiled a wild turkey or their parts.
(2) A person shall not kill or cripple a wild turkey without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the wild turkey.
R657-54-19. Purchasing or Selling Wild Turkey Parts.
(1) A person may only purchase, sell, offer or possess for sale, barter, exchange or trade any wild turkey or its parts as follows:
(a) Untanned or tanned hides, feather, bone, nail, or beak of legally taken wild turkey may only be sold by the hunter who harvested the wild turkey.
(b) An individual hunter may only sell one possession limit as defined by the Wildlife Board and guidebook for upland game and turkey per year.
(c) Resale may only occur as derivative products such as artificial fishing flies.
(2) A person selling or purchasing untanned or tanned hides, feather, bone, nail, or beak of legally taken wild turkey shall keep transaction records stating:
(a) the name and address of the person who harvested the wild turkey;
(b) the transaction date; and
(c) the hunting license number of the person who harvested the wild turkey.
R657-54-20. Wild Turkey Poaching-Reported Reward Permits.
Wild turkey poaching-reported reward permits are issued pursuant to Rule R657-51.
R657-54-21. Season Dates, Bag and Possession Limits and Areas Open.
(1) Season dates, bag and possession limits, areas open, and number of permits for taking wild turkey are provided in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
(2) A person may not obtain or possess more than:
(a) one wild turkey permit during the spring season annually; and
(b) three wild turkey permits during the fall season annually.