Wild Turkeys Have a New Home in Utah

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Birds trapped in South Dakota, released near Moab

Seventy-two wild turkeys were released in southeastern Utah on Feb. 5.

Mule deer

Two wild turkeys leap from the hands of Walt Maldonado (L) and J. Shirley.

Photo by Brent Stettler

After transporting the birds from South Dakota, the Division of Wildlife Resources released 24 of the birds on the north side of the La Sal Mountains. The remaining 48 turkeys found a new home on Elk Ridge.

The release happened in the same area where another group of turkeys was released in 2011. The 72 turkeys will augment turkey populations in the area that had been reduced in number by heavy snows that fell during the winter of 2009–2010.

"Additional transplants may occur in future years, pending the outcome of this release and the whims of Mother Nature," says Brent Stettler, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR. "This release and many others over the past decade have been made possible through a joint partnership between the DWR and the National Wild Turkey Federation."

Spring turkey hunt

A chance to hunt turkeys in Utah this spring is available during the state's general statewide turkey hunt.

The general statewide hunt starts April 30 and runs until May 31.

Feb. 23 is the first day you can buy a permit for the hunt.

Starting at 8 a.m. on Feb. 23, you can buy a permit at wildlife.utah.gov. Permits will also be available at Division offices and from more than 300 hunting license agents across Utah.

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