Well, it’s not here yet, but guess what day is coming soon? Opening day of the Louisiana turkey season. Here’s a map of Louisiana’s different turkey areas and the season dates. All three areas of the state open on April 4, 2020. Stay tuned. We’ll be bringing you lots more on the Simmons’ Sporting Goods Turkey Blog. Don’t miss it…or that big gobbler. Check out all the latest turkey gear at the store. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
The eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) is the largest game bird native to Louisiana. Prior to 1880, the wild turkey population in Louisiana was estimated to be as high as one million birds. However, by the turn of the century, the state’s turkey population started a precipitous decline due to exploitation of our virgin forests as well as commercial, subsistence, and unregulated sport hunting. After World War II, Louisiana’s wild turkey population was at its lowest point—only 14 isolated flocks totaling less than 1,500 wild turkeys remained throughout the state. In 1962, LDWF, with support from partners such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and private landowners, began trapping and releasing wild turkeys into suitable habitat to restore the population. Today, wild turkeys are distributed across Louisiana and occupy most available habitat suitable for the species.
Up to 20,000 hunters pursue wild turkeys in Louisiana each year. LDWF is responsible for balancing the needs of wild turkeys and those who hunt them—monitoring the state’s wild turkey population and harvests and conducting other research as well as managing the population through periodic restocking, recommending hunting seasons and regulations, and improving habitat. LDWF also offers technical assistance to landowners and managers to improve habitat on public and private lands to benefit wild turkey. LDWF is involved in regional and national monitoring and management of wild turkey through the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Wild Turkey Working Group.