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Wild Turkey in New Jersey

2014 Turkey Season Opens April 21; Youth Day is April 19
2014 Wild Turkey Hunting Season Information Booklet (pdf, 510kb)

Successful turkey hunterThe Division's Turkey Restoration Project represents one of the greatest wildlife management success stories in the history of the state. By the mid-1800s, turkeys had disappeared in New Jersey due to habitat changes and killing for food. Division biologists, in cooperation with the NJ Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, reintroduced wild turkeys in 1977 with the release of 22 birds. In 1979 biologists and technicians began to live-trap and re-locate birds to establish populations throughout the state. By 1981 the population was able to support a spring hunting season, and in December, 1997, a limited fall season was initiated.

There is now an abundance of wild turkeys throughout the state with turkeys found wherever there is suitable habitat. In South Jersey, where wild turkeys had been struggling just a few years ago, intensive restoration efforts have improved population numbers significantly. The statewide population is now estimated at 20,000 - 23,000 turkeys with an annual harvest of approximately 3,000 birds.

Youth turkey hunters aged 10 to 16 with a Youth License can obtain a "Y" permit which allows them to hunt in any hunting period in the zone that they obtain a permit for during the spring season. Youth hunters aged 10 to less than 14 must be under the supervision of a licensed adult who is at least 21 years of age. The adult does not have to have a turkey permit, but they do have to have a regular license. This regulation applies until the youth takes a turkey. After taking a turkey, the youth is subject to the same hunting period and zone restrictions as an adult. There is also the special statewide Youth Turkey Hunting Day each year.

Turkey permits are awarded via a lottery followed by over-the-counter sales for both the spring and fall seasons. Lottery application periods are January 25-February 22 for the spring season and August 1-31 for the fall season.

Turkey Information

arrow 2014 Wild Turkey Hunting Season Information Booklet (pdf, 510kb)
arrow 2014 Turkey Hunting Area Map and Lottery Quota Information (pdf, 335kb)
arrow Turkey Permit Information
 
arrow Wild Turkey Harvests and Population Estimates, 1981 - 2013
 
arrow 2013 Spring Gobbler Season Harvest Data
arrow 2012 Spring Gobbler Season Harvest Data
arrow 2011 Spring Gobbler Season Harvest Data
arrow 2010 Spring Gobbler Season Harvest Data
arrow 2009 Spring Gobbler Season Harvest Data
arrow 2008 Spring Gobbler Season Harvest Data
arrow 2007 Spring Gobbler Season Harvest Data
arrow 2006 Spring Gobbler Season Harvest Data
arrow 2005 Spring Gobbler Season Harvest Data
 
arrow Public Turkey Hunting Land (pdf, 52kb)
NOTE: Does not include Pleasant Run WMA in THA 14.
arrow Primary Turkey Range and Public Land in NJ
arrow Turkey Hunting Tips and Basic Information for the Turkey Hunter
arrow Principal Foods for Wild Turkeys
arrow Turkey Patterning Target (pdf, 50kb)

ADDITIONAL LINKS

arrow Wildlife Technician Joe Garris Honored (NWTF news release)
arrow NJ Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation
arrow Hunting Regulations
arrow Small Game Information
arrow Hunter Education
arrow Farmer Information
arrow Wildlife Management Areas
arrow Forms
arrow Feature Articles
 
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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2014
Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: April 4, 2014