Spring wildflowers are coming up, which means spring turkey season is coming up – and the forecast is excellent.
Jason Hardin, Wild Turkey Program Leader, says we can expect a lot of jakes this season, and there are plenty of toms still around. Jakes are far less wary than mature turkeys, making this a good year to take a new turkey hunter out to get that first bird. Watch the short video, Spring Turkey Season to see how to tell the difference between a jake, a tom and a hen.
Rio Grande turkey bag limit is 4 birds, and spring general seasons are:
South Zone: 3/21 – 5/3
North Zone: 4/4 – 5/17
Special 1 Gobbler Bag Limit (10 counties): 4/1 – 4/30
Eastern turkey has a limit of 1 gobbler, and general season is 4/22 – 5/14. Eastern turkey hunters MUST check their harvested turkey online or with the free My Texas Hunt Harvest app.
Refer to your Outdoor Annual for youth-only dates, the Spring Zone Map, and required tagging information. Check county listings for special bag limits and regulations for individual counties.
For more resources, visit our Turkey in Texas webpage.
Here’s what you need to hunt wild turkey:
You must have a hunting license and Upland Game Bird Endorsement
Every hunter born after Sept. 1, 1971 must complete Hunter Education and carry the proof in the field – keep the proof in your pocket! Print a free copy of your certification if you can’t find it.
All turkeys must be tagged immediately using a tag from your license.
Eastern turkey must be reported using My Texas Hunt Harvest.
Proof of sex of your harvest no longer needs to remain attached to the turkey, but you must keep those parts (beard and spurs) with your harvested gobbler as proof of sex until the bird reaches its final destination.
On-site registration for walk-in hunts is easier – you can now use the My Texas Hunt Harvest app instead of the paper form (which is still available).
Listen to Talking Turkey
Talking Turkey, an episode of our Under the Texas Sky podcast, tells how Texas wild turkeys nearly disappeared, but were rescued by conservation management. It explores the 3 subspecies of wild turkeys in Texas, turkey harems, and how to pull off a good turkey call. Hunting and cooking pro tips are also revealed! Find it wherever you get your podcasts and on our website.