Friday, February 12, 2016
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There's still time to bag a wild turkey for Christmas dinner.
Though many fall wild turkey hunts have closed, others are open through the middle or end of December.
A fall general season is open through December 15 in Game Management Units 1, 2 (except Farragut State Park and Farragut WMA) 3, 4, 4A, 5 and 6. The fall general season also is open through December 31 in units 8, 8A, 10A, 11, 11A, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18. This hunt is open on private lands only - please remember to ask permission to hunt on private land.
Turkey hunters need a valid Idaho hunting license and turkey tag. A general fall turkey tag costs $19.75. A special unit tag, valid in the fall in units 1, 2, 3 and 5, costs $5.
Wild turkeys are not native to Idaho but were transplanted here beginning in 1961. Since then, more than 150 translocations have been conducted statewide.
Three turkey subspecies have been introduced to Idaho. More than 90 percent are the Merriam's wild turkey. Others are the Rio Grande wild turkey and the Eastern wild turkey.
The Merriam's wild turkey was the first subspecies introduced to Idaho, and it has been by far the most successful. This bird is widely distributed in the mountains of the Panhandle, Clearwater and Southwestern regions.
The Rio Grande wild turkey was introduced in 1982. This subspecies is present in small numbers in riparian areas along the Snake, Boise, Payette and Weiser rivers.
The Eastern wild turkey has been introduced to a few sites near Dworshak Reservoir, and some birds may still be found there. Hybrids occur in many areas of the state.
General turkey hunting safety rules include: