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