Spring turkey seasons open soon in Texas

Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department| March 11, 2019

An abundance of mature Rio Grande tom turkeys are predicted for this season. Turkey Program Leader Jason Hardin advises that early in the season, toms will still be “henned up” in early morning, so hunting will be better later in the day. He expects you’ll have the best luck during the middle to latter part of the season.

Rio Grande turkey has an annual bag limit of 4 birds, and the general seasons are:

  • South Zone: 3/16 – 4/28
  • North Zone: 3/30 – 5/12
  • Special 1 turkey bag limit (10 counties): 4/1 – 4/30

NEW THIS YEAR: Eastern turkey general season opens later, running April 22 – May 14. Be aware that turkey season is closed in San Augustine and Upshur counties due to low harvest reporting. 

The Eastern turkey limit is 1 bird, and you are required to report your harvest with the My Texas Hunt Harvest app or online – you’ll find both options on our turkey information page. In addition to mandatory reporting, hunters must attach a turkey tag from their license onto their bird.

Check county listings for special bag limits, season dates and other special regulations for specific counties. Refer to your Outdoor Annual for general dates, the Spring Zone Map and required tagging information. 

The Need-to-Know

3 Tips for a Safe Turkey Hunt

  1. Resist the urge to stalk turkey sounds. It is nearly impossible to sneak up on a turkey – they see and hear the slightest movements. Stalking is one of the most common causes of incidents.
  2. Leave the area if you suspect there’s another hunter already working the same bird.
  3. Pick your spot in open timber rather than thick brush. Eliminating movement and excess noise is more critical to success than hiding in heavy cover. 

Shotguns and turkeys

If you plan to use your shotgun during turkey season, the best rule is to treat it like a short-range rifle – aimed, not pointed. Your keys to success are minimum movement, maintaining a proper sight picture, and proper shot placement.

Many lost gobblers are the result of the hunter giving away his/her presence to the bird before it comes within shooting range. Keep your movements to a minimum and have your shotgun in shooting position before the gobbler gets within range. Turkeys don’t give a careless hunter a second chance. 

Find out more in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine article, Shotgun Tips for Turkeys.

This information was included in an email bulletin from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). To sign up to receive emails from TPWD, click or tap here or visit tpwd.texas.gov.

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