Turkey Hunting in Arkansas

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  • C
  • 130,000 to 140,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 107,131

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $25

    Sportsman's License includes two turkey tags.

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $55 to $350

    One-day hunting license is $55 and includes one turkey tag. Three-day hunting license is $125; five-day hunting license is $180; and the annual hunting license is $350, with two turkey tags.

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

This great state is known for greenheads not gobblers, and maybe there's a reason for that.

Arkansas’s total wild turkey kill during April 2018’s 16-day season declined, continuing the direction seen for the past 14 years. The 7,885 birds reported by hunters — including turkeys taken during the two-day youth hunt before the regular season — fell from 2017’s 10,000-plus turkeys. The 2016 turkey kill numbers sat at 11,864 birds.

Upside: This hunting destination offers more than 3 million public acres, with 650,000 overseen by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC).

Nonresidents can choose from many licensing options.

Downside: As mentioned here at the start, there are many management concerns in the air about Arkansas turkey populations.

Some brief history . . .

Back in 2009 the AGFC voted to abruptly cancel the fall turkey season, even after it was officially listed in the lawbook.

Low kill numbers and poor hatches were cited.

This hinted at declining flock populations, now estimated at "130,000 to 140,000" according to the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Truth is, available spring season dates are fairly short when compared to some other states.

While Arkansas is a turkey hunting destination, we can only give it a "C" grade. By definition, that means "satisfactory."

Insider viewpoint: Some of the best Arkansas turkey hunters I know travel widely out-of-state for their passion.

Then again, many of us do that . . .

Regulations vary, so check AGFC information closely.

Then check these hunting laws again to be sure. 

Hunter education cards are also required for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1969. 

Go here for the 2019 Arkansas turkey hunting season dates and details.

Public-land opportunities can be found here.

Turkey Hunting in Arkansas (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

Fun Fact: Well, "fun" probably isn't the word. Maybe "necessarily detailed" is more like it. Arkansas hunting regulations are somewhat unique when compared to some other states . . .

– Steve Hickoff

Arkansas Turkey Hunting Regulations

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