News / 

Utah Field Guide: Wild turkey

Save Story
Leer en espaƱol

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Utah is home to two sub-species of wild turkey, the Merriam's and the Rio Grande. The wild turkey is the largest of Utah's game birds and is considered by many as the "trophy " species of upland game.

Wild turkeys are not known to have existed in Utah during early white settlement. However, historical evidence suggests that wild turkeys co-existed with Native Americans in Utah. Merriam's turkeys were transplanted into Grand County back in 1952. The Rio Grande was introduced into Utah in 1984. Both species have thrived and now Utah holds both limited entry and general season hunting for turkeys.

Typical habitat for the Merriam's turkey is open stands of ponderosa pine interspersed with aspen, grass meadows, and oak grading into pinyon pine and juniper.

The Rio Grande Turkey prefers cottonwood river bottoms associated with oak-pine and pinyon-juniper forests.

The DWR'S turkey management is no doubt a success, as you can now find turkeys in almost every county in the state.

Don't forget you still have until December 27th to get your limited entry turkey application submitted for this springs hunts. To apply visit the DWR's website at and for more information on the wild turkey or any other critter found in Utah, check out our Utah field guide on our Outdoors page at

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast