Idaho Fish and Game is seeking comments on its Idaho Wild Turkey Management Plan, 2022-2027. The draft plan is open to public comment through Dec. 10, 2021. Fish and Game welcomes input from the public, and encourages references to specific sections or pages of the plan when leaving a general comment.
To better understand views of Idaho wild turkey hunters and inform management guidance for this planning process, Fish and Game staff conducted an opinion survey of wild turkey tag holders during June 2020. Data from the survey was used to inform this plan.
Note: This plan is for long-term turkey management and separate from the current public comment period for the proposed changes to the upland game, turkey and furbearer seasons for 2022-2023.
The draft turkey management plan will provide guidance for staff to implement management actions that will enhance wild turkey habitat and populations, resolve landowner and wild turkey conflicts and provide recreational hunting opportunities that reflect preferences of Idaho hunters.
North America’s largest game bird
The wild turkey is not native to Idaho. Fish and Game first introduced wild turkeys in 1961. Through subsequent releases, and trapping and translocation efforts, turkey populations are now estimated between 26,000 and 55,000 birds, with hunting opportunities in all seven administrative regions.
The wild turkey has become a valuable game species in Idaho and provides generous hunting opportunities during both spring and fall seasons. Further, turkey hunters spend millions of dollars on trip-related expenses, which contribute significantly to rural Idaho communities.
While turkey populations have increased in size and distribution to provide considerable hunting opportunities, so too have agricultural damage and nuisance complaints. Consequently, statewide guidance is needed to optimize wild turkey management in Idaho. Fish and Game has not previously developed a statewide wild turkey management plan.
The plan identifies major issues that affect wild turkey management in Idaho and will function as the action plan to help guide overall direction for management during the next six years (2022–2027). This plan will guide Fish and Game staff in annual work plan development and program prioritization, and provide guidance on development of regulatory recommendations.
The final draft of the plan will be presented for the Commission's consideration at their January 2022 meeting at the new Fish and Game Headquarters Office in Boise.