Planning an Oklahoma Turkey hunting trip? Read on to find out the details of Oklahoma Turkey hunting…
As Americans settled the continent and migrated towards the west coast, they followed the rivers as a lifeline for settlement and water. Oklahoma turkey hunting dates as far back as the early 19th century because game was plentiful near these water bodies.
With the sparse vegetation the trees near the riverbanks were often used by turkeys to roost and this led to their discovery by human beings. Wild turkey was in fact so common at different meals that a person could end up eating it more than twice a day for many days to come.
There was a time when a turkey roost in Oklahoma was recorded to be more than 3 miles in length! With the advent of human encroachment into their natural habitat, turkey populations dwindled substantially. This was mainly because of timber logging across the river banks and the reduction of the natural habitat for turkeys. In fact by the early 20th century Oklahoma turkey populations had become so small that they were almost considered to be extinct.
Wild Turkeys Conservation Program
By 1948, Oklahoma decided to restock and establish turkey populations to match their former numbers by setting up a conservation program under the supervision of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. This ambitious program led to a collaboration between biologists and naturalists to scout out every suitable natural habitat for the turkey.
It is interesting to note that even areas where turkeys could normally survive, were left entirely barren of turkeys. The total population of the turkeys had beenreduced to less than 1000 birds and was totally eliminated from the Western and Central region of Oklahoma State.
The reconstitution of the turkey population started with the capture of 21 Rio Grande turkeys that were relocated from Texas to Harper County marking it as a very successful, but challenging, achievement by the wildlife management department in Oklahoma.
Regulations Pertaining To Oklahoma Turkey Hunting
Oklahoma Turkey Hunting has become extremely popular with the reinstated populations of this bird in the region. You can hunt the Fall turkey, Spring Turkey and the Youth Spring Turkey.
You will required to have a hunting license or an exemption certificate and the license should be for each bird to be hunted. On public lands, the hunting season differs from the season which is announced by the state.
General regulations state that you can shoot and hunt any bearded turkey and in order to identify it at least one leg with the foot must remain on the bird, along with its beard, until it has reached its final destination. Shooting hours start half an hour before official sunrise times and end at the official sunset time.
There is a prohibition on shooting into a roost in order to conserve the nesting areas and the population of the Oklahoma turkey. You are permitted to use artificial decoys, but there is a prohibition on the use of live decoys as well as recorded turkey calls.
The identified ‘Legal Means of Taking’ for the turkey is archery equipment, rifles, shotguns and handguns along with muzzle loader rifles. For hunting turkey during the fall you must be equipped with an outer garment that is orange in color to identify yourself. In sum, the basic regulations and facilities provided in Oklahoma make Oklahoma turkey hunting a very rewarding experience.