According to Idaho Fish and Game biologists around the state, turkey hunters in Idaho can expect more of the same in 2021 — which is great news for hunters looking to bag a gobbler during the spring season.
“The turkey outlook for the 2021 spring season is looking pretty positive,” said Jeff Knetter, statewide upland game bird manager. “Turkey populations, in general, were pretty healthy heading into this winter. This winter was relatively mild throughout the state, and we’ve had no major events that give us cause for concern regarding turkey survival. Last year was good for turkey hunters, and there’s no reason to believe it would be different in 2021.”
Knetter noted that harvest was up in 2020, and so were the numbers of turkey hunters in general season hunts, which is something that wildlife managers would continue to monitor going forward.
“I believe that spike in the number of turkey hunters in the spring of 2020 may have been due to the pandemic, but we will keep an eye on this to see if that increased participation continues and has the potential to reduce turkey populations,” Knetter said.
Youth turkey season opens April 8, and the general turkey season and many controlled hunts open April 15. Hunters can see which units have general hunts in Fish and Game’s turkey hunting rules, in addition to details about the seasons.
Hunters will find most general hunting opportunity in the Panhandle, Clearwater, Southwest, and Southeast regions, while most other areas are limited to controlled hunts. In each of the regions with general hunting opportunity, turkey populations are faring well, and the hunting outlook is as good or better than recent years.
Fish and Game’s regional staff gave an overview of what’s happening with turkey hunting in their regions: