Turkey Hunting in Pennsylvania

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  • B
  • 170,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 930,815

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • Varies (check regulations)

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • Varies (check regulations)

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

The hunting culture thrives in Pennsylvania. Turkeys. Deer. Small game. Even waterfowl.

Wear camouflage to a roadside diner during spring turkey season, and chances are someone with a smile on their face will ask if you managed to kill a bird.

I know. I was born and raised in PA turkey country. And I've turkey hunted there in recent years. 

While nearly a million licensed hunters roam the woods, not all target spring gobblers – though participation is far higher than most states.

Yes, this also sometimes makes a pure hunt difficult in some regions, especially for birds you see strutting from a distance, while glassing from the road.

Then again, if you walk far and long on public property, you will definitely have a chance at hearing turkeys, especially in mountain country.

Where to Go

North-central Pennsylvania counties, where I'm originally from, and the vast state game lands found there, draw Keystone State hunters. This region is one of the truly wild places left in the United States.

Elsewhere to the northwest, Allegheny National Forest (517,000 acres) usually has birds. WMU 4D (central PA) puts up consistent harvest numbers, too.

As recent kill numbers go, 34,492 bearded turkeys were taken in 2020, and last spring, it flattened to 28,087 birds. 

– Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in Pennsylvania. Image by Tes Randle Jolly

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.