Wild Turkey

Wild turkeys are a relatively recent reintroduction into Ontario’s wildlife system. Conservationists and wildlife experts captured a few hundred wild turkeys in the United States and redistributed them in Ontario habitats. From there, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ontario Federation of Hunters and Anglers (OFAH), the National Wild Turkey Federation and other conservationists have dedicated themselves to helping the species to integrate and thrive. Measures of selective harvesting and hunter education have since proven fruitful: according to wildlife management experts, our provincial population of wild turkey now that hovers around 80,000 birds in the Southern Ontario region.

To find an outfitter or trip to hunt wild turkey, click here.

What does this mean for the hunter?

Wild turkey hunting is, for some, possibly the most exciting and challenging fowl hunting available. To have this exciting species back in the mix is worthy of celebration and investigation. Beginning in the spring, when male birds attempt to attract their mates with proud displays of strutting and calling, the challenge is the greatest. As a result, calling has become the preferred method for luring these birds, notorious for their awareness.

What you should know

Conservation is still all-important with the wild turkey, fresh as it is to the Ontarian landscape. As a result, certain regulations have been put into place to ensure that their populations are respected:

  • During the spring hunting season a two-bird limit applies. Separate turkey tags must be purchased for each, and each bird must be harvested on a separate day.
  • Wild turkey licences are only available after the successful completion of a written examination taken after the one-day Wild Turkey Hunter Education Course that covers biology, hunting techniques and safety measures. This course is mandatory for both residents and non-residents.
  • To hunt wild turkey in Ontario, you require both a small game license and a special wild turkey license.

For more information on the licences and regulations necessary to hunt wild turkey in Ontario, click here.

For more information on important dates, open seasons and tag draws, click here.

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