Fifty young turkey hunters get an early shot during Idaho's Youth-Only controlled turkey hunt that runs April 8 through May 25 in the Salmon and Challis areas.
“These youth-only hunts were created to increase opportunities and promote hunting as a safe, enjoyable and family-oriented activity,” said Dennis Newman, Fish and Game wildlife manager based in Salmon. “For adults, they are great way to introduce a new hunter to the sport, especially the safety, ethical and responsible aspects of hunting.”
Currently, all turkey hunting in Fish and Game’s Salmon Region is regulated through controlled hunts for both the spring and fall seasons, and the vast majority of birds will be found on private lands. Not only are all hunters required to get permission from landowners prior to hunting, but being extra safe is crucial for these hunts.
“Many of the properties with birds are small in size, so it’s critical that hunters know their safe zones of fire, property boundaries, and be extra cognizant of livestock and dwellings,” says Newman.
How a hunter behaves while on private land is critical. Many times this involves knowing where to park, keeping safe distances from livestock and buildings, leaving gates the way they are found, and knowing the property boundaries. Keeping vehicles off muddy roads and fields are other concerns for landowners.
“Remember, you are guest on their property,” says Newman. “Follow their wishes, and chances are you’ll be invited back.”
With average winter conditions, the Salmon and Challis areas are seeing good overwinter turkey survival. Winter population counts showed stable to growing populations in both areas. As these population continue to grow, and will hopefully result in increased hunter opportunity in years to come.
Hunters can find more information on Idaho’s turkey rules, season details, identification and ethics in the 2022 & 2023 Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey Seasons and Rules brochure, as well as turkey hunting safety tips.