Turkey Hunting FAQs
How do I tag and check a deer, turkey, bear or elk?
How do I tag and check a deer, turkey, bear or elk?
After successfully harvesting a deer, turkey, bear or elk, hunters have two options for tagging/checking:
- If you have a phone signal where you are hunting, you may immediately check your harvest by visiting www.agfc.com, the AGFC mobile app, or calling 877-731-5627.
- If you do not have a phone signal, fill out a game tag written legibly in ink and attach it to the ear/antler of a deer, bear or elk, or the leg of a turkey. You may use a game tag from your license, Page 12 of the 2019 Turkey Hunting Guidebook, a courtesy tag provided at stores or a tag you have made yourself with the following information: Name, customer ID number, time and date of harvest, and zone of harvest.
GAME TAGS ARE NOT REQUIRED ONCE THE ANIMAL HAS BEEN CHECKED AS LONG AS THE ANIMAL IS IN YOUR IMMEDIATE POSSESSION.
What is required for identification at a hunting camp, a processor or taxidermist?
Hunting camps, processors and taxidermists must maintain records when storing all wildlife. All portions of each deer in storage must be labeled with the following information: Hunter name, customer identification number from license, address, date of harvest, species and game check number.
What is required if I want to give my harvested game to someone?
Any harvested wildlife transferred to another person must include the following information: Name of person who killed the game, species, quantity, person receiving the game, date of kill and check number (if it’s big game).
Can a youth hunt by themselves?
Any hunter who has passed hunter education may hunt on their own during the regular turkey season as well as during the special youth turkey hunt.
Youths who have not completed hunter education must be under the direct supervision (within arm's reach) of an adult who is 21 or older.
What weapons are legal to use when hunting turkey?
Wild turkeys may be hunted only with archery equipment (including crossbows, but not airbows) and shotguns (modern or muzzleloading) 10 gauge and smaller. Shot larger than No. 2 common shot is prohibited. There is no statewide restriction on shot material (ie lead shot), however some federal wildlife refuges may have site-specific shot regulations. Check your destination for any such restrictions before hunting.
Can I use bait to hunt turkeys?
Wild turkeys may not be hunted over bait.
An area is considered baited if any food (including shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, chops,wheat or other feed that could serve as a lure or attractant for wildlife) is present or has been present in the last 10 days. (An area is considered baited for 10 days following complete removal of the bait.)
A hunter is liable for a baiting violation if he or she knows, or reasonably should know, that the area is or has been baited, even following complete removal of bait.
There is no set distance from a baited site that a hunter may shoot a turkey. If the wildlife officer deems the bait is aiding the hunter in harvesting a turkey, the hunter can be cited for a violation.
Can a youth harvest a jake (immature gobbler)?
A youth hunter (ages 6 to 15) may take one jake (immature gobbler) at any time in any zone open to turkey hunting during the regular season or youth hunt. This jake will count against the youth's zone and seasonal limit.
I'm not hearing many turkeys on my property. What can I do to help wild turkey populations on my private land?
- The most impactful thing a landowner can do immediately is stop supplemental feeding and baiting on their land during spring and summer. Research has shown this practice concentrates predators near these sites, and may reduce nest success in these areas. Raccoons, skunks and other nest predators will be able to track hens by scent back to her nest after the turkeys visit these feeders.
- Voluntarily limit harvest on your property if possible. Although legal, pass on bearded hens (females) as they contribute to population growth the same as beardless hens.
- Consider improving the habitat on your property to provide nesting and brood-rearing habitat. Reach out to one of the AGFC's private lands biologists in your area to help identify habitat work (timber thinning, prescribed burning, native grass and forb plantings, etc.) you could do to improve your property for turkeys and get information on cost-share opportunities to reduce the costs associated with implementing the practices.
Why does Arkansas's regular turkey season open on a Monday?
The Monday opener is an intentional regulation aimed at reducing harvest pressure and conflict between hunters early in the season. Weekend openers tend to result in more people (hunters and non-hunters alike) being in the woods, and thus the potential for greater conflict between hunters and increased disturbance and harvest pressure early in the season when they are trying to breed.
According to annual summer brood survey reports, only about 40 percent of hens have been bred by the beginning of Arkansas's current turkey season. By reducing harvest during the opening week, fewer gobblers are dissapearing before hens in the area are bred. It is essential that we have as many hens bred as possible before removing mature gobblers from the flocks, so that we will have turkeys to hunt two years from now when this year's hatched males will be mature.
How do I report a poacher?
The Enforcement Radio Room is available 24 hours a day to handle all calls from concerned citizens.
There are three options to report wildlfie violations:
- Stop Poaching Hotline, 1-800-482-9262
- AT&T Cellular Phone Stop Poaching Hotline, #TIP (#847). Cell phone charges apply.
- Text a Tip, TIP411 (847411)
To send the anonymous tip via text message, text “AGFC” followed by the tip to tip411 (847411). You will receive a thank you text acknowledging that your tip has been received.
Each tipster is eligible for a monetary reward based on the amount of the minimum fine in the event a citation is issued for the violation being reported. All calls are kept strictly confidential.