Those who didn’t draw a permit to hunt wild turkeys during Utah’s limited-entry hunt can still hunt turkeys in the state this spring.
The general statewide hunt starts Friday for those who were 15 years of age or younger on Jan. 27. Adult hunters get to join the youngsters next Monday, and the hunt ends on May 31.
Justin Dolling, upland game and migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, said turkey populations are strong enough that all of Utah’s hunters can participate this year.
But despite how well the state’s turkey population is doing overall, Dolling said the birds are struggling in two areas of the state.
San Juan County and the southern part of Grand County received a lot of snow during the winter of 2009-10, which killed many of the turkeys in the area.
This past winter, DWR biologists brought 50 turkeys into the area from South Dakota, but Dolling said it will take time for their populations to rebuild.
“If you were planning to hunt in San Juan County or the southern part of Grand County this spring,” he said, “I’d recommend finding another spot.”
Turkey permits are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov, at DWR offices, and from more than 300 hunting license agents across Utah. While only one permit per person is allowed, there is no limit on the total number of permits issued.
Permits purchased online will take five to 10 days to arrive in the mail. They are good for anywhere in Utah that is open to turkey hunting.
To participate in the youth hunt, young hunters must buy a general statewide hunting permit. Those who drew a limited-entry permit can’t participate in the youth hunt. Youth permits are good through the end of May.
Hunters can buy a general turkey permit and still keep all of their limited-entry bonus points, but those who obtained a limited-entry turkey permit can’t get a general permit because of the one-per-year limit.