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The turkey has a rich and storied history in America and Arkansas. Native Americans, including the Quapaw tribe in Arkansas, raised and hunted the bird long before the European settlers arrived.

The wild turkey subspecies native to Arkansas is the eastern wild turkey. It is the state’s largest game bird.

Known for their intelligence, wild turkeys offer a unique challenge to hunters. While the wild turkey was once abundant in the country and Arkansas, the population declined in the early 20th century due to irresponsible hunting and habitat loss.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has made many efforts over the years to increase the wild turkey population. The hunting season happens in the spring and is fairly limited, narrowed down to two zones with brief timelines. While there are many public turkey hunting opportunities in Arkansas, AGFC restricts the number of hunters allowed during turkey season through random drawings to increase the quality of the hunt at some of the more popular wildlife management areas.

Wild Turkey Strategic Management Plan | 2020-2030

The purpose of this plan is to provide strategic, long-term guidance for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Wild Turkey Program.