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Wild Turkey Management Find information on how the Forest Wildlife Program at IDNR manages the wild turkey population in Illinois, Annual Turkey Harvest Reports, and more.

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Michigan's wild turkey patch program is coordinated by the Michigan chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Visit their wild turkey patch program page for information about the patch or to contact them with questions.

All individuals, regardless of land ownership and age, must possess a valid Spring Turkey Permit or Spring Turkey Game Tag to hunt turkeys. In addition, a valid Kansas hunting license is required of all residents age 16 through 74 and all nonresidents, except persons hunting on their own land.

No person shall apply for or purchase more than one Spring Turkey Permit and one Spring Turkey Game Tag or one combo. Permits and tags obtained through false representation, misrepresentation, or in excess of the number authorized shall be invalid. Spring Turkey Permits and Spring Turkey Game Tags valid in units 1 and 2 and all youth issues may be purchased over-the counter from all license agents or online at

By the early 1900's, unrestricted market hunting and drastic reductions in habitat had eliminated wild turkeys in Iowa. For many years, the thunderous gobbles of the wild turkey were absent from Iowa's woodlands and forests.

This silence was broken in 1966 when the Iowa Conservation Commission, now the Department of Natural Resources, initiated a program to return the wild turkey to Iowa. Wild turkeys were released at several sites across the state, with the first release occurring in Lee County, Iowa. Since these early days, turkey populations have expanded across the entire state of Iowa.

Coming to Iowa to hunt for turkey?Nonresident spring turkey application period is Jan 1 to the last Sunday in January. The application will be available in December. Check availability of available licenses before going online to purchase. For zone map information and season dates be sure to download our Nonresident Turkey Application Guide

How old is my turkey? To differentiate between adults and juveniles, examine the tip of the last 1 or 2 primary (large) wing feathers. Adults have rounded tips with white barring extending all the way to the tip. Juveniles have narrow pointed feathers with no white bars on the last 2 inches. In addition, the tail fan on an adult has a regular contour of tail feathers, while a juvenile has an irregular contour.

What sex is my turkey?Males have black tipped breast feathers, beards and leg spurs, although spur length varies with age. Female turkeys have buff-tipped breast feathers and no leg spurs. Females may have a small beard present, but it not typical.

Measuring BeardsBeards must be measured from the center of the beard (where beard is attached to the skin) to the longest portion of the beard tip. Pull the beard straight out when measuring and measure to the longest beard strand.

Measuring SpursMeasure each spur in inches and report the longer of the two measurements. Spurs must be measured along the bottom curve, from where the spur protrudes from the leg to the tip of the spur. A flexible tape provides the most accurate measurement.

Scoring Your Wild TurkeyInformation on measuring spurs, beards and scoring your turkey and entering your turkey into the record books can be found on the National Wild Turkey Federation's site under " How to Score Your Wild Turkey."

For the spring turkey season, residents may purchase up to 2 permits (one permit for theyouth season for those under 16, or season 1, 2, or 3; and a second permit for season 4). Bothpermits may also be purchased during season 4. Nonresidents may purchase one permit forany of the four seasons, but not during the youth season. For more information please reviewthe Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

The only legal firearms for turkey hunting are .410, 28-, 20-, 16-, 12- and 10-gauge shotguns or muzzleloading shotguns shooting shot no smaller than size 10 through size 4 , lead or nontoxic. Muzzleloading rifles may not be used to hunt turkeys.

In addition to firearms, archery equipment including longbows, recurves and compound bows can be used to hunt wild turkeys in Iowa. Arrows must be at least 18 inches long and must be tipped with broadheads, or with bluntheads with a minimum diameter of 9/16 of an inch.

The person helping can not shoot a turkey or carry a bow or firearm unless they have a valid license and unused transportation tag for the current season. No one may shoot a turkey for someone else, or tag a turkey shot by someone else.

However, the National Wild Turkey Federation invites you to register your turkey through their official wild turkey records program. Entry rules and an application can be obtained by visiting NWTF Wild Turkey Records site, writing the National Wild Turkey Federation, P.O. Box 530, Edgefield, SC, 29824-0530 or by calling (803) 637-3106.

Restorations by the DNR have returned wild turkeys to about 95% of suitable habitat in the state. All the major river corridors in Iowa support turkey populations, and small pockets of wild turkeys exist sporadically throughout the state in small woodlots.

Because of their dependence on variable mast production for food in areas where large tracts provide typical turkey habitat, good populations normally average about 10 turkeys per square mile of forest over much of eastern turkey range. In agricultural states like Iowa, the presence of abundant food contributes to densities at least twice this great, and may reach 20-30 turkeys per square mile in the best habitats.

Turkeys breed only in the spring. Hens join harems attached to a dominant gobbler, but may breed with any available male. Nests are poorly formed bowls completely on the ground and contain 6-18 eggs (average 11 per clutch). Hens of all ages attempt to nest , but yearling hens are seldom successful and 80% of the poults will be produced by 2 year old or older hens. Nests have been found in most habitat types from dense forest, brush, grown up pastures, fence lines, to alfalfa fields.

Few young or adult turkeys are lost during the winter in most of Iowa, but starvation may occur where deep snows for a prolonged period keep flocks from moving to food sources. Spring is a major mortality period for both sexes, many hens are lost to predators after winter flocks break up and breeding activities begin, and toms fall prey primarily to hunters. Annual survival rates average 57% for females and 35% for males.

Survey Purpose:Information on annual variations in turkey productivity is needed to evaluate the status of turkey populations in various regions of the state and to set harvest quotas. Spring turkey hunting harvests of gobblers and juveniles are correlated to poult:hen ratios observed during the preceding summer (July, August). Indices calculated from summer wild turkey observations are useful in establishing hunting regulations so that the turkey population remains a valued sustainable resource for Iowans to enjoy.

How to participate:Any interested individual can contribute to the wild turkey summer observation survey using the links provided on this web page. New this year, is the addition of a QR code which can be printed then scanned using a smartphone enabled with a web browser wherever cellular service is available in the state.

We welcome anyone interested to help with the survey, and thank all those who have helped in the past. We hope you will all continue to help monitor turkeys throughout Iowa. This information is crucial to successful turkey management in Iowa. We very much appreciate your continued cooperation and support.

But there are diverse choices that are more readily available for the Thanksgiving dinner main course. Here are some things to consider when thinking about buying turkeys, and a primer to help you select the right one at the store or butcher shop!

Which one you buy depends largely on your schedule. If you want to shop well before the holiday and have the time to thaw a bird, then frozen is just fine. But a truly fresh turkey, never frozen, often tastes just a smidge better.

The best goods to purchase from Turkey are those manufactured in Turkey. We strongly discourage purchasing outside Turkey as Turkish customs are very restrictive and bureaucratic. It is easy to end up abandoning goods owing to the fees being much larger than the value of the items being purchased. The process is also extremely slow and time consuming. This is an explicit government policy with the intent of keeping tight control over who is importing foreign goods. Use the Turkish warehouse to buy Turkish goods.

Experience: After graduating from Wesleyan University, Julia Heffelfinger worked in production for several food-focused television shows, including Cake Boss and Next Great Baker. She attended the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City while working on the line at Daniel Boulud's fine dining Mediterranean restaurant, Boulud Sud. Julia assisted food columnist Melissa Clark at The New York Times before spending four years in the food department at Food & Wine. You can find her work in Food & Wine, Better Homes & Gardens, Condé Nast Traveler, Artful Living, Eater, My Fitness Pal, and Furthermore from Equinox. 041b061a72


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