25,000 to 35,000 (NWTF estimate)
Wild Turkey Population
Rio Grandes, Merriam's, hybrids
Number of Licenses Sold Annually
Basic hunting, $34; turkey (limited entry or general season), $35
Cost of Resident License and Permit
Hunting, $72; turkey (limited entry or general season), $115
Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit
Utah's turkey population continues to grow and expand, and that's good news for the birds and turkey hunters. During spring 2022, Utah turkey hunters took 1,923 birds.
Access to public land is excellent, and limited and unlimited licenses are offered in every region. Nonresidents must consider the cost of travel and the license expense (you only get one turkey in Utah), but even so, areas of the state offer pretty good odds and room to roam on public ground. Added together, when it comes to a Western turkey destination, Utah's not a bad option. The satisfactory C Turkey Hunting Nation grade seems about right.
Since the 1920s, Rio, Merriam's and even Eastern turkeys have been introduced into Utah with varying degrees of success. The earliest transplants were done by interested sportsmen and landowners who wanted to see turkeys thrive in the Beehive State. Since then, management efforts have primarily focused on Merriam’s and Rios. Transplanting efforts through the years have been an effective management practice and are still an active part of Utah’s overall turkey management plan.
Turkey hunting in Utah is broken up into five regions (Northern, Central, Northeastern, Southeastern and Southern), and without question, the best opportunities are found in the two southern regions, insiders say. Areas around Cedar City, the Boulder Mountains, Enterprise and Pine Valley are good places to start. Each of those areas offers excellent public access, and all are good options for those with an unlimited tag.
Utah has a unique and simple license system that offers limited and general unlimited hunting opportunities within the same regions (check early application dates). Basically, hunters with a limited license have the opportunity to hunt fresh birds at the beginning of every season based on varying season dates, which can make a significant difference in success.
Didn't draw on the first try? Don't give up. After the limited-entry hunt is finished, the general statewide turkey hunt begins in May. General hunt permits aren't limited in number, so that's good news.
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