With the excitement of deer season and the onset of seasons for several other species, such as quail which opens November 14, Oklahoma hunters may overlook the unique opportunity to hunt turkeys this fall.
With generous bag limits and the chance to harvest a turkey with a firearm, the fall turkey season opens doors for sportsmen to get serious about gobbler hunting or to take a more opportunistic approach and watch for them while participating in deer season. Regardless, a wild turkey dinner during the holidays is sure to be worth a hunter’s efforts.
During the fall and winter, turkeys can often be found foraging for acorns and other seeds. One method successfully used by hunters to harvest fall turkeys is to break up a flock and, while waiting in the general area from which they departed, use lost calls to draw the group back together. In the fall, hunters can use a range of calls, such as lost calls, purrs and the kee kee run.
Fall turkey hunting opportunities includes an archery season that opened Oct. 1 and runs through Jan. 15 and a fall gun season that opened Oct. 31 and runs through Nov. 20. Depending on which county they’re hunting, sportsmen can harvest one turkey of either sex or just one tom. Additionally, some counties are closed to fall firearms turkey and others are restricted to shotgun hunting only. Seasons on public lands may vary from statewide season dates. For complete season dates and regulations, consult page 28 of the current “Oklahoma Hunting Guide” or log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
To hunt wild turkeys during the fall, residents must have a hunting license and, if their hunting license was purchased prior to July 1, a fishing and hunting legacy permit. Additionally, they must obtain a turkey license for each turkey to be hunted, unless otherwise exempt. Non-residents must possess a non-resident annual hunting license and a turkey license for each bird hunted, unless exempt.
All fall turkey hunters must conspicuously wear either a head covering or an outer garment above the waistline consisting of hunter orange while hunting during any deer season in any open hunting area.
For more information about turkey hunting in Oklahoma, including information about the state’s spring turkey season which runs from April 6 to May 6 annually, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.