Turkey Hunting in Idaho

Back to All State Reports
  • B
  • 30,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Merriam’s; some Rios; hybrids

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 6,000 (turkey)

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • Varies (check regulations)

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • Varies (check regulations)

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Most of Idaho’s turkey population resides on public ground. Hunter success is good, typically hovering around 50%. Two turkey tags — one general tag and one extra tag — are available for the 2022 spring turkey season.

One challenge for the nonresident turkey hunter is Idaho’s location. Unless you live in neighboring Washington, Oregon, or Montana, getting to the Gem State’s turkey population is quite the haul. Also, the steep terrain in the north and western areas of the state (where most of the birds are located) is physically demanding at times. 

That said, if you're in decent shape, Idaho's rugged landscape surely offers a turkey hunting challenge.

Where to Hunt

Wild turkeys are not native to the Gem State but were transplanted in 1961.

Merriam’s were the first subspecies, and by far the best trap-and-transfer effort. As of 2022, Idaho Fish and Game says 90% of the state's birds are this subspecies.

Rios were introduced (and even a few Easterns) in the early 1980s. Still, there are huntable populations of Rios in the Idaho Falls and Boise regions along the riparian river habitat.

Since that time, more than 150 successful transplant efforts have taken place, which have resulted in a population of 30,000, making Idaho a prime turkey destination.

It’s hard to beat the Panhandle, Clearwater, and southwest regions of the state for turkey hunting. Most of Idaho’s turkey population roams these vast and rugged locations (Merriam's in particular). Although numbers are strong, it often takes time to fill your tag, insiders say.

Out of these three areas, however, Clearwater typically boasts the highest success rate. 

The Eastern wild turkey has been introduced to a few sites near Dworshak Reservoir, and some birds may still be found there.

Hybrids of these subspecies also roam the state.

— Steve Hickoff

Idaho Turkey hunting. Image by John Hafner

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.