Turkey Hunting in Louisiana

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  • D
  • 60,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 370,528

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • Basic Season (excluding Big Game): $15; Big Game: $14; Wild Turkey: $5.50

    Louisiana Wild Turkey license required of all turkey hunters in addition to Basic Season or Big Game licenses.

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • Basic Season: $150; Big Game: $150; Wild Turkey: $20.50; Turkey (1 day): $36

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

We love Louisiana for its people, lifestyle and culture.

The state has a solid duck hunting tradition. 

But here at Realtree's Turkey Hunting Nation, we're talking about turkeys.

And other factors keep the grade low in terms of wild turkey hunting.

We try to keep it honest here, and the fact is, when you consider the declining turkey population, and the amount of public land available to turkey hunting, Louisiana doesn't measure up.

Duck hunt the state. Fish it. Enjoy its fine food.

But consider another destination for hunting your Eastern gobbler.

As mentioned, turkey populations are in decline. A year ago, the official estimate sat at 80,000 birds.

Now, according to the NWTF, it's 60,000.

[Learn more: Southeast Turkey Hatch Results]

As noted on the state's website:

During the years following World War II, Louisiana’s eastern wild turkey population was at its lowest point. In 1946 it was reported that only 14 isolated flocks totaling less than 1,500 wild turkeys remained throughout the state. Tireless efforts by LDWF biologists and other staff to restock wild trapped turkeys  resulted in a rebound in Louisiana’s wild turkey population. During this effort, others such as the National Wild Turkey Federation, private landowners, and others lended vital support. Today, wild turkeys are distributed across Louisiana and most suitable habitat is occupied.

Season length dates vary for three specific areas, so check these closely as well.

Resident licenses are cheap enough, and non-residents are middle of the road (although a reasonable one-day turkey option is offered).

Licensing requirements provide some options here.

One important note, and it benefits turkey management, is you cannot shoot a bearded hen.

Two gobblers per season, one per day, are permitted. 

Wildlife Managment Areas are open to public hunting, but not all hold turkeys or are recommended for turkey hunting.

Check out the list of Louisiana WMAs here.

Turkey Hunting in Louisiana (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

Fun Fact: According to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, before 1880, Louisiana's estimated wild turkey population was a million birds. By the 1900s, the state's turkey population saw a steep decline. Starting in 1962, the state initiated a trap-and-transfer restoration program of wild captured turkeys released into suitable habitat.

– Steve Hickoff

Go here for the 2021 Louisiana turkey hunting regulations.

More Realtree turkey hunting.