SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It is nearly turkey time in Utah and no, we don’t mean Thanksgiving. The application for the spring 2022 limited-entry turkey hunt is opening soon.
Starting on December 1, you can begin applying for the hunt. To be included in the permit drawing, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources explains you must submit your application before 11 p.m. on December 27. To apply, visit the DWR website or call your nearest regional office.
Results of the drawing will be released no later than Jan. 6, 2022. DWR says you will be notified by email but can also view drawing results online or by calling 1-800-221-0659.
The limited-entry turkey hunt will be held from April 9-28, 2022. Below are how many permits are available for each of DWR’s five regions.
- Northern: 402
- Central: 400
- Northeastern: 250
- Southeastern: 200
- Southern: 700
If you do not draw one of the limited-entry permits, you can still hunt turkeys in the spring. After the limited-entry hunt ends in late April, the general statewide turkey hunt happens from May 2-31. Permits for that hunt are not limited and go on sale at 8 a.m. on February 24. The youth turkey hunt is scheduled for April 29 to May 1.
For more on the upcoming spring turkey hunt, visit the DWR website.
According to DWR, there are between 25,000 and 35,000 wild turkeys throughout the state. This year’s drought means there are some anticipated population declines, which impact the young bird’s survival into adulthood. There are two turkey subspecies in Utah – Rio Grande and Merriam’s.
A widespread turkey population wasn’t always present in Utah. While DWR Upland Game Coordinator Heather Talley says evidence shows Native Americans and turkeys coexisted in the Beehive State. Until the 1950s, established turkey populations had not been seen in Utah in 100 years or more.
In the 1920s, officials failed to reintroduce the bird to Utah. Turkeys had not been recorded in the state from the time Europeans started exploring the state to the successful reintroduction in the 1950s. Then, the Utah Department of Fish and Game – renamed to the DWR in 1967 – successfully released Merriam’s wild turkeys from Colorado and Arizona in the state.
In the late 1980s, DWR began a wild turkey trapping and transplanting program in Utah, using mostly Rio Grand turkeys and occasionally Merriam’s turkeys from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.