Turkey time

Where and how to tag a tom in Ontario this spring

With a population now around 100,000 birds, the eastern wild turkey is found across much of southern Ontario. Indeed, its range and population is growing annually and they can even be found as far away as the Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and North Bay areas. Translation? There are now more opportunities than ever to hunt spring and fall gobblers. Here’s a few resources to get you started. 

REGULATIONS

Some significant changes were made for the 2017 season. First, it’s no longer necessary to take the Wild Turkey Hunter Education Course. You need both a small game license and a special wild turkey license but the material that was included in the wild turkey course is now covered in the regular hunter education course. It’s also now legal to use number 7 shot, along with 4, 5 and 6. As well, April 25 has now been standardized as the opening day for the spring wild turkey season, regardless of what day that lands during the week. For a full rundown of turkey hunting regs, go here.

LOCATIONS

While there are public forests or crown land you can hunt turkey, you’re best off contacting farmers or landowners and asking for permission to hunt on their private land. Alternatively, you can go with an outfitter. Here’s a sampling of outfitters in different parts of the province.

Walkerton area

http://www.wingfeatheroutfitters.com

http://www.greybruceoutfitters.com 

Smith Falls

http://wildturkey.ca

Grafton

http://www.primetimepursuits.com

Campbellford

https://www.woodsandwaterontario.com

Havelock

http://www.huntontariowhitetails.com

Simcoe County

http://beardsandspurs.webs.com

Dunville 

http://www.southernlimitsoutfitting.org

Prince Edward County

http://countyoutfitters.ca/wild-turkey/

TACTICS

We’ve covered spring turkey hunting a LOT in the magazine. Here’s just a few articles that will get you on the right track to take home a tom this spring.

 A season-long guide to gunning for gobblers

10 essential turkey calls

How to stay on target when turkey hunting

How to perfectly tune your turkey calls for spring

5 turkey hang-up cures