Texas Spring Turkey Season, Rio Population Look Great

With Texas’ spring season just around the corner, there is good news for turkey hunters: With a good crop of birds last year combined with a healthy stock of mature gobblers, the spring turkey season holds plenty of opportunity for hunters willing to put in the time afield, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

“I am looking forward to a great turkey season,” said Jason Hardin, TPWD Upland Game Bird Program specialist. “This past spring and summer, Texas experienced one of our best nesting seasons in years thanks to good habitat. Hunters can expect to see quite a few mature toms and a ton of jakes. These jakes will be great for introducing new hunters to turkey hunting and set the stage for the next two years of spring hunting.”

The spring season for Rio Grande turkey in the South Zone of Texas runs March 19-May 1 and culminates with a youth-only weekend May 7-8. In the North Zone, the youth-only weekend seasons are March 26-27 and May 21-22. The North Zone general season opens April 2 and runs through May 15. A special one-gobbler limit season runs April 1-30 in Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Jackson, Lavaca, Lee, Matagorda, Milam, and Wharton counties.

Hardin notes that the mild winter and early spring should lead to some early breeding behavior. The large number of juvenile hens on the landscape could lead to quite a few mature gobblers being “henned-up” early in the season.

“However, by mid-season most of the hens should be bred and incubating eggs leaving a large number of mature gobblers looking for love,” he noted. This would be a great time to be out hunting a gobbler in search of a hen. “Also, if conditions remain mild and if we get a few more timely rain events, Texas can expect another good year of nesting and populations growth.

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