Turkey Hunting in North Dakota

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  • D
  • 22,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Hybrids; Merriam's and Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 5,930 (state residents; turkey)

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $31

    Hunting and furbearer certificate: $1, general game and habitat license: $20 and small game license: $10. Check regulations for additional required permits for turkey hunting.

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • Not Available

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Nothing against North Dakota – it's full of wonderful fishing, upland bird hunting, deer hunting and waterfowl hunting . . .

But wild turkeys, which are not native to the Peace Garden State, will probably not make many lists of must-hunt destinations.

Those who take an interest in completing the so-called Super Slam – killing a turkey in all 49 states open to the tradition, as Alaska offers no turkey hunting – do.

But even then, there's a catch. (Please see our "Fun Facts" at the end of this post.)

Poor poult production in this northern state bordering Canada has been a trend over the past decade.

Still, there is some hunting to be found. Some 1,947 were taken here in 2014; in 2016, last season's recent data, 2,309 hunters killed birds, so that's a small uptick.

Again though, not much of a thriving turkey hunting tradition is found here.

North Dakota's turkeys are officially listed as hybrids, some 22,000 birds according to the NWTF, of the Merriam's and Eastern subspecies. 

Actual numbers of pure Merriam's and Easterns aren't available as of this posting. But in the end, they are wild turkeys.

For the best hunting, look to the counties adjoining the Missouri and Little Missouri Rivers in central and western North Dakota.

For that matter, any river corridor with timber can possibly produce birds.

– M.D. Johnson and Steve Hickoff

Fun Fact: Here's the deciding reason for the poor grade. Spring turkey hunting is only open to residents of the state, unless you make legal arrangements another way: on tribal land.

Contact information for this option (as of this 2017 writing), and provided by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, is as follows:

Fort Berthold – Game and Fish Department, 404 Frontage Road, New Town, ND 58763, 701-627-4760.
Standing Rock – Game and Fish Department, Box 549, Fort Yates, ND 58538, 701-854-7236.
Turtle Mountain – Department of Natural Resources, Box 570, Belcourt, ND 58316, 701-477-2604.
Spirit Lake – Fish and Wildlife Department, Box 359, Fort Totten, ND 58335, 701-766-1243.

Turkey Hunting in North Dakota (© GizmoPhoto-Shutterstock)

North Dakota Turkey Hunting Regulations

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.