Turkey Hunting in Oregon

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  • B
  • 40,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Rio Grande; some Merriam's and hybrids

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 13,000 (turkey)

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $52

    Hunting license and turkey tag.

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $218

    Hunting license and turkey tag.

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

From a statistical standpoint, the Beaver State wouldn't take top honors as a northwest turkey hotspot; however, with hunter success high in several regions and easy over-the-counter tag availability, it’s really about where you go to find success.

Oregon offers a generous two-bird spring limit (plus a third bonus turkey permit); costs for residents are reasonable.

As with many Western destinations, public hunting opportunities abound.

For the non-resident, however, licensing and permits seem a little high. If you live several states or farther away, getting there can also set you back some.

There are better options when heading to the turkey woods.

That said, it's a solid "B" grade.

Some history . . .

Wild turkeys are not native to Oregon and were first successfully introduced in 1961.

Since then more than 10,000 birds have been transplanted to locations all over the state.

Today, the Beaver State is primarily home to the Rio Grande subspecies, some Merriam's and a hybridization of the two. 

Oregon’s wild turkey population is found in about one-third of the state. 

Annually, about 4,000 bearded birds are taken during the spring season (4,132 in 2012; 3,878 in 2014; 4,948 in 2015, the most recent kill data as of this 2018 posting).

The highest bird densities are in the western/southwestern corner around Roseburg (16 plus per sq. mile) south to Medford (6-15 per sq. mile).

Strong populations also exist farther north and around The Dalles (6-15 per sq. mile). 

Recently the top-producing regions were Melrose, White River, Rouge, Evans Creek and McKenz, which made up over one-third of the total statewide kill.

Success rates run between 40 to 50 percent within most of these areas. 

Fun Fact: The northeast corner of Oregon is a popular destination among turkey hunters. It's also a prime location to hunt spring gobblers in three different states. With strong population of toms in southeast Washington, as well as western Idaho, the northeast corner of the Beaver State could be the perfect starting point for a true wild turkey addict.

– Brian Strickland

Turkey Hunting in Oregon © Gizmo Photo-Shutterstock

Oregon Game Bird Regulations

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