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Idaho Fish and Game

wild turkeys in Idaho

Wild Turkey

The wild turkey is not native to Idaho, but populations have taken off in Idaho since the Idaho Department of Fish and Game first introduced them in 1961. Three subspecies were introduced into the state:

  • Merriam’s wild turkeys were the first subspecies to be introduced in 1961. The original releases occurred in the Salmon River drainage near Whitebird.
  • Rio Grande wild turkeys were introduced into Idaho in 1982. These birds were released in suitable riparian habitat along the Boise, Payette, Snake, and Weiser rivers.
  • Eastern wild turkeys were introduced near Dworshak Reservoir in 1985.

These three subspecies have since been translocated across Idaho and hybrid wild turkeys now occur in many areas of the state. Today an estimated 50,000 wild turkeys roam the state’s public and private lands.

Turkey Tracker

You can help us Track Turkeys! The purpose for the wild turkey brood and distribution survey (Turkey Tracker) is to monitor wild turkey reproduction and population dynamics throughout the state. With your help, the data collected will allow Idaho Fish and Game to make regulatory recommendations to maintain sustainable populations.

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Wild turkey and poults