Wild Turkey Regulations Available

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Hunters looking forward to hunting turkeys in Idaho this year will find the 2005 Wild Turkey Seasons & Rules booklet now available at all license vendors and Fish and Game offices.

There are three types of turkey tags available for the 2005 season: General, Extra and Junior/Disabled American Veteran/Senior. The general tag is valid for all general seasons. If the general tag is not used to harvest a turkey in the spring season it may be used in the fall general season. The general tag may also be used with a spring controlled hunt permit to hunt in a spring controlled hunt. On or after May 1, an extra tag may be used in general spring season. If the extra tag is not filled during the spring hunt, then that unused tag can be used a fall general hunt.

Youth hunters wanting to hunt in the general season youth hunt scheduled for April 9-10 must be 15 years old or younger on the opening date of April 9. Last year, youth hunters had to be 15 or younger as of January 1. Hunters applying for a controlled hunt open to youth only, must be 15 years old or younger on the hunt opening date of April 15. All youth hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult 18 year or older.

The daily bag limit is one bearded turkey per day in the spring and one turkey of either sex in the fall. No more than three turkeys may be taken per year. No more than two bearded turkeys may be taken in the spring. No more than two turkeys, either sex, may be taken in the fall.

In the Clearwater Region, fall general turkey hunts will run from September 15 to October 9 in all Big Game Management units. From November 21 to December 31 hunters can hunt only on private land in Units 8, 8A, 10A, 11, 11A and 16.

"Turkey hunting should be great again this year," Clearwater Region Wildlife Manager Jay Crenshaw predicts. "The population is increasing in some areas and hunters should take advantage of it."

The statewide wild turkey harvest has grown from 487 in 1992 to more than 5,300 in 2004. The number of tags sold has gone from about 2,000 to more than 22,000 in the same time.

Mild winters, favorable spring weather and large areas of vacant habitat have allowed Idaho's turkey population to increase significantly. Transplant operations have also helped boost numbers in suitable areas not previously occupied. All quality habitat is now stocked and many birds are being pushed into marginal habitat where surviving is difficult.