Turkey Hunting in Washington

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  • B
  • 28,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Merriam’s, Rio Grandes, and Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 20,000

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $40.50 (license) plus $15.90 (turkey tag)

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $183.50 (license) plus $44.50 (turkey tag)

    Additional turkey tags $66.50 each.

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

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

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 (be sure to check location regulations).

Where to Hunt

As 2022 spring hunts go, only two turkeys may be taken in eastern Washington and only one of those may be taken in Chelan, Kittitas, and Yakima counties (combined); only one turkey may be taken in western Washington per year outside of Klickitat County. Two turkeys may be taken in Klickitat County. 

Here's a subspecies location breakdown:

  • 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.

To hunt Washington turkeys, you will need to purchase a small game license and a turkey transport tag. Available current harvest data is from the 2019 season when 5,824 birds were taken.

— Steve Hickoff

Turkey hunting in Washington. Image by Tom Reichner / Shutterstock

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