Utah Turkey Hunting Forecast for 2014

Utah Turkey Hunting Forecast for 2014
Al Schultz got this great gobbler during the previous season.

Utah turkey hunting in spring begins with a limited entry hunt that takes place in all five of the state's game regions. This early season is run by a lottery and applications are taken through December 27. The southern region offers the most permits, which is an indicator of the area that holds the most birds.

Rio Grandes tend to stick to the lower country along streams with good roost trees, while Merriam's turkeys may be found following the snow line up to exploit the new growth on the mountains.

Last season's statewide harvest was 2,295 birds. Good numbers of birds can be found in river drainages on private lands and in the mountains on public ground.

The National Wild Turkey Federation has Super Fund projects throughout the state, but has spent the most money in Juab, Tooele, Cache and San Juan counties on habitat, enhancement and trap-and-transfer projects.

Frank Biggs, of Escalante Ranch, near Jensen, Utah, pointed at the valleys of the Green, White and Duchesne rivers in the northeastern corner.

"The state has done a really good job of introducing turkeys into various parts of the state," Biggs said. The thing to look for is river drainages that have good roost trees. That's why private property produces more birds."

Utah's limited entry hunt runs April 12 through April 24. The youth hunt (kids aged 15 and under) runs April 25 through April 27 and the unfilled tag remains valid through the end of the general season. The general season begins April 28 and closes on May 31. Hunter education is required for people born after December 31, 1965. For more information, visit www.wildlife.utah.gov

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