Turkey hunting is the second most popular hunting sport in America, with just over 3.1 million annual hunters. If you’re a seasoned turkey hunter, or want to try it out for the first time, this article has all you need to know about when turkey hunting in Utah takes place. First, let’s answer some common questions about Utah turkey hunting.


FAQs About Turkey Hunting in Utah

What type of turkey lives in Utah?

Over 100 years ago, enthusiastic hunters and landowners transported various species of turkeys to the Beehive State in hopes of seeing the birds thrive. Today, Utah is primarily home to the Rio Grande and Merriam’s subspecies, boasting between 25,000 and 35,000 wild turkeys throughout the state.

Where does turkey hunting in Utah take place?

Turkey hunting in Utah is divided into five regions:

    • Northern
    • Central
    • Northeastern
    • Southeastern
    • Southern

This year is expected to be one of the best yet in any hunting region. Last year’s mild winter resulted in less winter kill than usual. The warm spring also allowed newborn chicks to thrive, promising an influx in the Utah turkey population.

In Northern Utah, turkey hunters can yield success on private properties around Logan, Morgan, Croydon, Huntsville, Eden, and Mountain Green, including the private hunting ranch at West Canyon Ranch.

Our large turkey size, high success rate, and overall hunting experience are known throughout the country for our guaranteed wild turkey hunting trips at West Canyon Ranch. This year, we expect our guests to experience unforgettable turkey hunts with a trained guide and a 100 percent guaranteed shot opportunity.

Along with hunting on private land, hunters are also permitted to hunt Utah’s wild turkey population on public land in the following regions:

    • Cache Valley
    • Blacksmith Fork Canyon
    • The Richmond Wildlife Management Area
    • The Wellsville Range above Wellsville and Mendon
    • The Clarkston Walk-in Access Areas
    • Clear Creek
    • One Mile Creek
    • Johnson Creek
    • Wildcat Creek in Box Elder County’s Raft River Mountains

If you venture to the Northeastern Region, you may face a greater challenge. The wild turkey populations in these areas have declined slightly from prior years due to droughts in recent years. We recommend scouting for turkeys along the Duchesne River, Green River, and Ashley Creek drainage corridors, which should all be good this year.

Lower agricultural regions could also provide decent turkey hunting opportunities, but hunters must obtain formal permission from landowners before hunting since many of these places are on private property. Hunters may also find success in hunting wild turkeys along the Book Cliffs and in the middle and lower reaches of numerous major drainages in the Uinta Mountains.

Despite the drought, turkey populations in central and southern Utah are faring quite well. If you wish to hunt in these remaining areas, we suggest Spanish Fork Canyon, Payson Canyon, Grindstone Ridge area, benches around the Utah Valley, or river corridor areas.

No matter which region you hunt, the best turkey hunting in Utah is anywhere cottonwood trees grow. Utah’s wild turkey population typically lives in adjacent habitats nearby. 


Where is the best spot in Utah for turkey hunting?

When it comes to guaranteed hunts and maximum trophy size, it’s hard to beat a high fence hunting ranch. Located in the heart of the northern Wasatch Mountains, West Canyon Ranch is the best spot in Utah for turkey hunting because of our ample wild turkey population, beautiful setting, and luxury accommodations. No matter when you visit, you’re sure to be surrounded by beautiful scenery filled with hundreds of the best turkeys Utah has to offer. Plus, we make preparing for your hunt as easy as packing a bag; we’ll take care of all the licensing, tags, and equipment. 


Can you hunt all year long at West Canyon Ranch?

Our ranch offers guided elk, bison, and turkey hunts throughout the year, but turkey hunting is only available during a designated season. We follow Utah Division of Wildlife Resources’ annual turkey hunting schedule. This limited season not only keeps the turkey population in Utah healthy but also improves the sport of turkey hunting. Thanks to the legal protection of turkeys throughout the state, the wild turkey population continues to grow. 

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources expertly manages wild turkeys throughout the state to ensure a healthy population for every hunting season. These management techniques combined with over 207,331 licenses sold annually make Utah a great turkey hunting frontier.

With the availability to hunt turkey on public land with both restricted and unlimited licenses available in every region, it’s no wonder turkey hunters continue to flock to the state for a chance at a prize turkey. Many turkey hunters find success on their quest, with rates averaging more than 30 percent across the board. Even still, Utah remains a secret destination for many seasoned turkey hunting veterans.


Can you hunt turkey in the fall?

Yes. Utah’s turkey hunting season occurs during two of the most beautiful times of the year — spring and fall. Running from early October to the end of February, hunters can trek the Utah countryside with leaves falling from the trees or as the “Greatest Snow on Earth” covers its mountains.

No matter which season sparks your interest, turkey hunters will enjoy stalking, aiming, and hunting down these magnificent creatures.

In Utah, hunters enjoy a fall turkey season from October 1 to February 28 and a spring season from April 10-29 and May 3-31. Both turkey hunting seasons are among the most popular in the country.

Turkey Hunting Season in Utah

The 2021 Utah turkey hunting season dates include:

    • Spring Season:
      • Youth Turkey Hunt: April 30- May 2
      • General Season: May 3- May 31
      • Limited-Entry: April 10- April 29
    • Fall Season:
      • General Season in Northern, Central, and Southeastern Regions: October 1 – February 28
      • General Season in Southern Region: November 2 – February 16

Can you hunt turkey with a rifle in Utah?

Yes, but only during the fall turkey season. According to the 2021-2022 Utah Upland Game and Turkey Guidebook, you can hunt and harvest a wild turkey with any of the following:

    • Archery equipment, including a draw lock, using broadhead-tipped arrows
    • A crossbow, using broadhead-tipped arrows or bolts
    • Any shotgun firing shot BB or smaller diameter
    • Rimfire firearms (during the fall turkey season only)


Can you hunt turkeys with dogs?

Yes, dogs can be used during Utah’s turkey season, but with some restrictions. ​​The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources explains that dogs can be used to locate and retrieve turkeys during open hunting seasons on state wildlife and waterfowl management areas, but they may be prohibited between March 10 through August 31. Research the complete list of Utah WMAs and their regulations to learn whether dogs can be used during your hunt. 


How to Obtain a Permit for Utah Turkey Hunting

If you hope to make Utah a destination for your next turkey hunt, you must first obtain a permit from the Utah Division of Wildlife or through a private company. At West Canyon Ranch, we take care of this for you.

General-season turkey hunting permits are available on the DWR website, at various license agent locations, or the DWR offices. During the initial few weeks of permit availability, online sales help alleviate overcrowding at DWR offices and retail license agent sites.

Fall general-season turkey licenses will be available online through the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website in September. Fall turkey permits will be available at the Utah Division of Wildlife offices and retail licensing agent sites beginning September 18. For both seasons, licenses are available for purchase until the end of the season or when they run out.


Quotas for Turkey Permits

Permits are available for select locations in four of the five turkey hunting regions in the state:

  • Southeastern Region: 50 permits (15 percent reserved for youth)
  • Southern Region: 500 permits (15 percent reserved for youth)
  • Northern and Northeastern Regions: Unlimited permits on private hunting land
  • Central Region: Unlimited permits on private hunting land

During the fall, only some areas within each zone are open to turkey hunting. You must only hunt in designated places within a region if you have a permit. These hunting grounds include land entirely or largely made up of private property.

If you intend to hunt on private property, such as an agricultural field, you must first get formal permission from the owner. Visit the Utah Hunt Planner to see the fall turkey hunt border maps and understand where you plan to hunt.


2021 United States Turkey Hunting Season Dates

Each state differs as to how it approaches turkey hunting. Your state wildlife agency will declare its own seasons and bag limits for turkeys based on population research, environmental factors, harvest totals, and more. If you’re interested in turkey hunting season in Utah or another state, always research the season dates and bag limits.

The National Wild Turkey Federation reports that before their population dwindled, wild turkeys were usually only hunted only in the fall. When spring seasons were introduced, fall turkey hunting declined. In recent years, many turkey populations around the country have climbed and then stabilized, many states reintroduced fall turkey seasons. Currently, the majority of states have reintroduced a fall hunting season. 

As well as enjoying the wild turkey hunting season in Utah, many hunters like to explore what the rest of the country has to offer. We compiled a list of the most popular turkey hunting states besides Utah, along with their general spring and fall season dates. Here is what you should know:



    • Season Dates: 
      • Varies by zone, but includes March 25 – May 8, November 20 – 28; December 11 – January 1; March 25 – May 8 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 
      • 1 gobbler per day; 4 gobbler bag limit during spring season


    • No season


    • Season Dates:
      • August 20 – October 7 (but varies by zone)
    • Bag Limit:
      • 1 bearded turkey


    • Season Dates:
      • April 19 – May 9 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: The statewide bag limit is 2 legal turkeys (yet only 1 during the first 7 days of regular season), but no jakes. As an exception, hunters 6 to 15 years old may harvest 1 jake as part of their 2-bird limit during the season (including the youth hunt). 


    • Season Dates: 
      • March 27 – May 2, November 13 – December 12 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 turkey (either sex) per day; maximum of 2 in the fall or 3 per combined season.


    • Season Dates: 
      • April 10 – May 31, September 1 – October 29 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 2 bearded turkeys in the spring (through 1 limited
    • License and 1 over-the-counter license). 1 turkey (either sex) in the fall and 2 beardless turkeys in the late season. 


    • Season Dates: 
      • April 28 – May 29, September 15 – November 16 and December 22 – December 31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 5 bearded birds during spring season, and 2 of either sex in fall.


    • Season Dates:
      • April 10- May 8 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 bearded turkey


    • Season Dates: 
      • July 31 – January 16, March 19 – April 10 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 2 birds (in both fall and spring season, with the exception of Holmes County where the limit is 1)


    • Season Dates: 
      • March 20 – May 15 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 3 gobblers


    • Season Dates: 
      • March 1 – April 15 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: Varies by island; check regulations


    • Season Dates: 
      • April 15 – May 25, Augst 30 – January 31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 6 turkeys of either sex (combined fall and spring season), daily bag limit of 2


    • Season Dates:
      • April 4 – May 12, October 23 – 31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 bird per permit with a maximum of 3 spring permits and 2 fall permits


    • Season Dates: 
      • April 21 – May 15, October 20 – October 31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 bearded or male turkey in spring, 1 bird of either sex in fall


    • Season Dates:
      • April 9 – May 16, October 11 – December 3 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 bearded or male turkey per tag, residents up to 2 tags, nonresidents 1 tag.


    • Season Dates:
      • April 14 – May 31, October 1- November 10 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 2 in Units 1 and 2, 1 in Units 3-6.


    • Season Dates:
      • April 17 – May 9, October 23 – 29 and December 4 – 10 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 2 bearded birds. A hunter may take a male turkey or a turkey with a visible beard. No more than 1 bird per day. No more than 2 birds per spring season. Any combination of male turkeys, or female turkeys with visible beards, may be included in this 2-bird season limit. Turkeys taken by youth during the youth-only season count toward the spring turkey bag limit.


    • Season Dates:
      • April 2 – May 2 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 2 (1 gobbler per day)


    • Season Dates:
      • General season: May 2 – June 4, September 20 – November 6 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1-2 in the spring season, 1-5 in the fall, depending on the Wildlife Management District.


    • Season Dates:
      • General season: April 19 – May 24, October 30 – November 7 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: The spring season bag limit is 1 bearded turkey per day; for a maximum of 2 bearded turkeys for the spring season and 1 for the fall.


    • Season Dates:
      • April 26 – May 22, October 18 – November 27 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: Spring season: 2 bearded birds (2 birds may be harvested on the same day), Fall season: 1 turkey of either sex.


    • Season Dates:
      • April 17 – June 7, September 15 – November 14 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 bearded turkey each season per licensed hunter


    • Season Dates:
      • April 14 – May 31, October 2-31 (in permitted areas, varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 permit per person, 1 bearded bird per permit in the spring. 1 bird of either sex in the fall.


    • Season Dates:
      • General season: March 15 – May 1, October 15 – November 15 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 adult gobbler with a 6-inch beard or longer per day; 3 per spring season. 2 birds of either sex in the fall.


    • Season Dates:
      • April 19 – May 9, September 15 – January 15 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: Spring: 2 male turkeys or turkeys with a visible beard, only 1 of which hunters can harvest the first week. Fall: 2 turkeys of either sex.


    • Season Dates: 
      • April 10 – May 16, September 1 – January 1 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: Up to 12 per year.


    • Season Dates:
      • March 25 – May 31, September 15 – January 31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: Nebraska Game and Parks allows hunters to purchase up to 3 permits in the spring and 2 in the fall, and each allow for the harvest of 1 male or female bearded turkey in the spring and 2 of either sex in the fall.


    • Season Dates: 
      • Varies (check local regulations)
    • Bag Limit: 1 bearded turkey

New Hampshire

    • Season Dates:
      • May 1-31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 bearded bird; May 2021 season will allow a second gobbler in one of the state’s wildlife management units H1, H2, J2, K, L or M.

New Jersey

    • Season Dates:
      • April 26-May 28, October 23-30, excluding October 24 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: The bag limit is 1 male turkey per permit in the spring, and 1 bird of either sex per permit in the fall.

New Mexico

    • Season Dates: 
      • April 15-May 10, September 1 – November 30 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 2 bearded turkeys

New York

    • Season Dates:
      • May 1-31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 2 bearded turkeys, only 1 per day. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation allows youth only 1 bearded turkey during youth season.

North Carolina

    • Season Dates:
      • April 10 – May 8 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 2 bearded turkeys. 

North Dakota

    • Season Dates: 
      • April 10 – May 16 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 bearded wild turkey


    • Season Dates:
      • April 24 – May 30 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 2 bearded turkeys per season; no more than 1 per day


    • Season Dates: 
      • April 6 – May 6 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: Statewide bag limit is 3. County limits vary, so check regulations.


    • Season Dates: 
      • April 15 – May 31, October 9 – January 31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: Spring: 1 male turkey or turkeys with visible beards. Fall: 1 bird of either sex.


    • Season Dates:
      • May 1- 31, October 30 – November 26 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 with a general license, 2 with the purchase of a special turkey license that hunters must purchase prior to April 27. Limit 1 per day. No Sunday hunting.

Rhode Island

    • Season Dates:
      • April 29 – May 23, October 1-31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: Spring: 2 bearded birds; hunters may only take 1 on state land. Fall: 1 bird of either sex.

South Carolina

    • Season Dates:
      • March 22 – May 10 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 3 gobblers; no more than 2 per day. Some WMAs are more restrictive, so check regulations.

South Dakota

    • Season Dates:
      • April 3 – May 31, November 1 – January 31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 3 per season, with restrictions.


    • Season Dates:
      • April 3 – May 16, September 25 – October 29 and November 1-5 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 bearded turkey per day, not to exceed 3 per season.


    • Season Dates:
      • March 20 – May 16, October 2 – January 16 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 4 turkeys, but no more than 1 Eastern wild turkey.


    • Season Dates:
      • April 10 – May 31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 bearded turkey within the season and boundary listed on your permit.


    • Season Dates:
      • May 1-31, October 2 – November 7 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 2 bearded wild turkeys per person in spring, 1 of either sex in fall (1 turkey per year/youth).


    • Season Dates:
      • April 9 – May 14, and October 16 – January 22, varies by counties
    • Bag Limit: 3 bearded turkeys per license year, (includes fall and spring seasons combined).


    • Season Dates:
      • April 15 – May 31 and September 1 – December 31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: The fall season statewide bag limit is 4 (with some area restrictions). The combined spring/youth spring season limit is 3 birds (with some area restrictions).

West Virginia

    • Season Dates: 
      • April 18 – May 22, October 9 – 17, October 25 – November 14 (season dates vary by zone)
    • Bag Limit: 2 bearded birds in spring, 1 in fall


    • Season Dates:
      • April 21 – June 1 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: The bag limit for the spring season is 1 bearded or male turkey per spring turkey harvest authorization (formerly known as a carcass tag/permit). The fall season bag limit is 1 turkey of any age or sex per fall turkey harvest authorization.


    • Season Dates: 
      • April 20 – May 31 (varies by region)
    • Bag Limit: 1 wild turkey per license.

Keep in mind that these dates are subject to change depending on local jurisdictions and zones. More detailed information is available on relevant websites.


Visit the Best Spot in Utah for Turkey Hunting

West Canyon Ranch has an incredible 4,000 acres of private hunting land, making it the best spot in Utah for turkey hunting. 

Our turkey breeds, including Merriam wild turkeys, benefit from our diligent herd management procedures. Our animals can mature and attain their maximum prize potential thanks to this tried-and-true management method.

If epic turkey hunting in Utah is on your bucket list, we guarantee a shot opportunity for all our wild turkey hunts. You can expect a once-in-a-lifetime hunt throughout your stay at the Ranch. For more information on guided turkey hunts at West Canyon Ranch, please contact our staff.