Wild Turkey Population
Rios and Easterns
"Over one million" (TPWD)
Number of Licenses Sold Annually
$25 (hunting license)
Cost of Resident License and Permit
$315 (hunting license) plus $126 (spring turkey)
Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit
On the upside, Texas has one heckuva lot of turkeys. Current estimates in 2023 are almost 440,000 Rio Grandes and 10,000 Easterns. That's right: 450,000 birds.
On the downside, when it comes to hunting, Texas is a pay-to-hunt place. Or you have to have some well-earned connections and visit as the guest of other like-minded turkey hunters.
Yes, there’s some public ground, if you consider less than 1 percent of the state’s total landmass being publicly accessible as “some.” But there are wildlife management areas and federal ground in eastern Texas that could be worthwhile in spring.
For the most part, though, residents lease ground or have a buddy who leases land.
Nonresidents typically use the services of an outfitter, which, of course, is more expensive than a traditional DIY gobbler hunt but far less costly than booking a Texas deer hunt.
Does Oklahoma to the north have more public land to hunt? Yes. Do they have as many turkeys as Texas? Not even close.
If you’re booking with a Texas outfitter, do some research, find the money somewhere, and get yourself down there.
And we're guessing you'll go back the next year, too.
More Realtree turkey hunting here.