The wild turkey hunting season wrapped up last week and the hunt’s numbers are in.

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Bryan Hayes with the Department of Natural Resources office told Western Iowa Today that this spring, hunters harvested 11,900 in 2022.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the sport has returned to its pre-pandemic participation levels. Each year only 20-22 percent of tags allotted for the bird are filled which equals around 11,500 birds.

In 2020, this number was around 14,000 which is over average.

During the pandemic, more hunters across the state took to the woods to get a piece of the year’s turkey hunt. As home-bound hunters across Iowa had more free time on their hands which allowed for more hunting causing record turkey tag sales.

Looking at the numbers this year, turkey hunting participation has returned back to pre-pandemic levels.

The turkey seasons this spring included:

  • Youth Only (Iowa Residents Only): April 8-10
  • Season 1: April 11-14
  • Season 2: April 12-19
  • Season 3: April 20-26
  • Season 4: April 27-May 15
  • Archery-Only (Resident): April 11-15

Turkey hunting is a more intimate sport. Hunters need to be 30 yards from the bird to be the most successful. This means hunters need to be sure to give each other space when they are out.

When going out, the DNR warns people to avoid wearing red, white, or blue because these are the colors on the male turkey. In case of an emergency, the DNR says to be sure to leave behind a plan. This would include information such as their location, who they are with, and when they plan to return.

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