Turkey Hunting in Washington

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  • A
  • 28,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Merriam’s, Rio Grandes, and Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 20,000

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $56.40

    Small-game license and turkey tag. (Extra tags $15.90 each.)

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $112.50

    Three-day small-game license and primary turkey tag. (Extra tags $66.50 each.)

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Washington has three turkey subspecies, exceptional public access, and a solid success rate.

Though it’s a bit expensive for nonresidents to do so, it is possible to kill three spring turkeys with over-the-counter tags (check regional regulations).

All this accounts for our “A” rating.

And here’s more ...

The first wild-trapped turkeys from Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming were introduced here in 1960. 

Since this time wild turkey populations have increased substantially in the forested regions of eastern, central, and southwestern Washington. Currently the Merriam’s, Rio Grande, and Eastern wild turkey subspecies are found throughout the state. 

The generous three-bird spring limit gives the traveling hunter the opportunity to take all three subspecies in a single season (again, be sure to check location regulations).

  • The Merriam’s subspecies occupies portions of Ferry, Klickitat, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Stevens, Spokane, Okanogan, Chelan, Kittitas, and Yakima counties.
  • Rio Grande turkeys can be found in Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, Lincoln, Walla Walla, and Whitman counties.
  • Easterns roam west of the Cascades in Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Thurston, and Wahkiakum counties.

Hunter success usually runs between 30% and 40% depending on the region. By far the highest density of birds is found in northeastern Washington. The next best go-to location is the southern region of Klickitat.

Fun Fact: Go here to read The Basics of Turkey Hunting in Washington, provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

— Steve Hickoff

Turkey hunting in Washington. Image by Tom Reichner / Shutterstock

Washington Turkey Hunting Regulations

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.