Spring Turkey Seasons Open Soon

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Let's Talk Turkey

3 hunters walking with turkeys on their backs, video link

An abundance of mature Rio Grande tom turkeys are predicted for this season. Turkey Program Leader Jason Hardin advises that early in the season, toms will still be “henned up” in early morning, so hunting will be better later in the day. He expects you'll have the best luck during the middle to latter part of the season.

Rio Grande turkey has an annual bag limit of 4 birds, and the general seasons are:

  • South Zone: 3/16 - 4/28
  • North Zone: 3/30 - 5/12
  • Special 1 turkey bag limit (10 counties): 4/1 - 4/30

NEW THIS YEAR: Eastern turkey general season opens later, running April 22 - May 14. Be aware that turkey season is closed in San Augustine and Upshur counties due to low harvest reporting. 

The Eastern turkey limit is 1 bird, and you are required to report your harvest with the My Texas Hunt Harvest app or online – you'll find both options on our turkey information page. In addition to mandatory reporting, hunters must attach a turkey tag from their license onto their bird.

Check county listings for special bag limits, season dates and other special regulations for specific counties. Refer to your Outdoor Annual for general dates, the Spring Zone Map and required tagging information. 


The Need-to-Know

Eastern Turkey Restoration Continues

two men holding a turkey hen, video link

Texas has one of the largest population of wild turkeys in America due to our more than 500,000 Rio Grande turkeys. But we're also home to Eastern turkeys, which are making a comeback after being eradicated from the state due to loss of habitat and overhunting.

Since 2014, we have released over 800 Eastern wild turkeys at 9 sites in East Texas, and plan to continue this restoration work. Reporting your harvest is key to these turkey management efforts. Working together, we can maintain a healthy population of Eastern turkeys once again.

Watch our video, Turkey Hunting East Texas, to learn more about the history of Eastern turkeys, and the enjoyment of hunting turkey in East Texas today. 

3 Tips for a Safe Turkey Hunt

tom turkey courting hen in flowers
  1. Resist the urge to stalk turkey sounds. It is nearly impossible to sneak up on a turkey – they see and hear the slightest movements. Stalking is one of the most common causes of incidents.
  2. Leave the area if you suspect there’s another hunter already working the same bird.
  3. Pick your spot in open timber rather than thick brush. Eliminating movement and excess noise is more critical to success than hiding in heavy cover. 

Shotguns and Turkeys

hunter holding tom turkey

If you plan to use your shotgun during turkey season, the best rule is to treat it like a short-range rifle – aimed, not pointed. Your keys to success are minimum movement, maintaining a proper sight picture, and proper shot placement.

Many lost gobblers are the result of the hunter giving away his/her presence to the bird before it comes within shooting range. Keep your movements to a minimum and have your shotgun in shooting position before the gobbler gets within range. Turkeys don't give a careless hunter a second chance. 

Find out more in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine article, Shotgun Tips for Turkeys.

My Texas Hunt Harvest App - Download Free! link