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Turkey permits available until the statewide UT hunt ends

From Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

-- Hunters who want to hunt wild turkeys in Utah this spring, but didn't draw a limited-entry permit, no problem can relax. Utah's general statewide turkey hunt is about to begin.

Hunters who were 15 years of age or younger on Jan. 26, the day results of the 2012 limited-entry turkey drawing were posted,  can hunt starting April 27.

Adult hunters can join the youngsters starting April 30. There's no limit on the number of permits available for the hunt, so hunters won't have a problem getting one.

Permits are available at DWR offices and hunting license agents now. Hunters can buy a permit anytime between now and when the season ends on May 31. Hunters can also buy a permit online at http://wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/.

Jason Robinson, upland game coordinator, turkeys are doing well, especially in southwestern and south central Utah.

"Southern Utah has a lot of turkey habitat, including lots of oak brush," he says. "Turkeys do really well in that type of habitat."

One area where turkey numbers are low is San Juan County and the part of Grand County that's below Interstate 70. Robinson says heavy snowfall in that area during the winter of 2009-2010 made it difficult for turkeys to find food. As a result, many turkeys died.

To help turkey populations in the area, DWR biologists released 62 Merriam's turkeys from South Dakota and Arizona into San Juan County in January 2011. An additional 72 turkeys were released in San Juan County and southern Grand County in January 2012.

"This past winter was mild," Robinson says, "so the transplanted turkeys should do well."

Robinson encourages hunters to buy a permit and take a youngster hunting with them.

"It's time to beat cabin fever and get outside," Robinson says. "Having a big tom turkey strut into the area where you're hiding is the icing on the cake."

Hunters are reminded to obtain written permission before hunting on private land. "River bottoms are great places to hunt turkeys," he says, "but many river bottoms are on private land. You must have written permission to hunt on private property."

Only turkeys with beards may be taken. All tom turkeys have beards. About 10 percent of hen turkeys have beards too.

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