Wild turkeys are not native to Oregon. But since their introduction in 1961, and the first turkey hunting season in 1987, turkey hunting opportunities have increased more than tenfold. If you’re looking to start hunting in Oregon, wild turkeys are a great place to start.
Why turkey hunting
Turkey hunting is one of the fastest growing kinds of hunting in Oregon, and nationwide, for many reasons!
- Turkeys are plentiful in many parts of the state.
- Oregon offers generous hunting seasons in both spring and fall.
- Turkey hunting doesn’t require a lot of gear.
- The hunting regulations are easy to understand.
- Turkeys are good eating, and bag limits are generous.
- Bagging your own bird for Thanksgiving can become a cool family tradition.
Since their introduction to the state in 1961, Oregon’s turkey population has grown to well over 30,000 today. Throughout that time, ODFW has transplanted over 10,000 birds from established flocks to many new parts of the state.
Wild turkey seasons
Today, there are enough wild turkeys in Oregon to have both spring and fall hunting seasons. The popular spring season opens in mid-April and is one of the most generous in the country. The fall turkey hunting season is even longer at 10 weeks, and opens in mid-October.
When to hunt wild turkey
Spring is prime turkey hunting season. This is breeding season and successful hunters often set up in a well-camouflaged location and try to call a male turkey into shooting range. To see a male turkey, also called a gobbler, come strutting and gobbling into range is heart-stopping moment for any turkey hunter.
Oregon also has an extended fall turkey hunting season, and the chance to harvest your own Thanksgiving bird!
Where to hunt wild turkey
In western Oregon, most turkeys are found on private land, where they have gravitated to find better food sources and to escape hunters and predators. The exception is southwestern Oregon, which has one the most robust turkey populations in the country, with plenty of them occurring on public National Forest land.
In eastern Oregon, turkey populations are growing, with excellent hunting in many locations including the White River area and the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon.