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Fall & Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Regulations

The 2010 fall turkey season consists of one six-day hunting segment, N, from Monday, Oct. 25 through Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. Fall hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. Turkey Hunting Areas 1–5, 8, 9, 11, 20–22 are open for fall hunting. Turkey Hunting Areas 6, 7, 10, 12 and 14–16 are closed to fall hunting.

  • Bag Limit: One wild turkey of either sex per day during the fall season regardless of the number of permits the hunter holds.
  • Dogs and artificial decoys may be used while turkey hunting in the fall season, except the use of electronically-operated decoys is prohibited. All hunters are required to possess a calling device while turkey hunting.
  • The maximum group size while turkey hunting is five hunters. Hunters may not attempt to chase or drive turkeys for the purpose of putting them in range of other hunters. However, hunters may rush a flock of turkeys to cause the flock to scatter.
  • No shot larger than #4 fine shot or smaller than #7½ fine shot may be used for turkey hunting.
  • Hunters may not use shotguns larger than 10-gauge or smaller than 20-gauge for turkey hunting.
  • Fluorescent hunter orange is not required to hunt turkey.
  • Properly licensed hunters may use archery tackle to hunt turkeys.
  • Turkeys may not be hunted within 300 feet of any baited area.

Immediately upon killing a turkey, hunters must complete the transportation tag on their fall hunting permit and affix it to the bird. The turkey must be taken to an official wild turkey check station by 7 p.m. on the day it is killed by the hunter who killed the bird.

Spring Turkey Season Changes

There are many factors that can contribute to changes in the turkey population, and very few of these factors (spring rainfall, for example) can be controlled by wildlife managers. One factor wildlife managers can control is the length and timing of hunting seasons.

Spring gobbler hunting seasons are set to coincide with the time when hens begin to incubate their eggs. In New Jersey, this occurs in late April. Starting a spring season too early can be detrimental to turkey populations because hens abandon nests more readily if they are disturbed before they start to incubate. In addition, illegal take of hens occurs more frequently if a spring season starts before incubation, when hens are still mobile.

The second peak in gobbling activity occurs at the start of incubation, when nesting hens are no longer available to gobblers. The spring season should be timed to better coincide with this peak in gobbling activity.

Local and regional data on wild turkey hens showed that New Jersey’s former spring season format was not optimally timed to help prevent nest abandonment and illegal take of hens. Therefore, New Jersey’s spring gobbler season now begins later in April. This season structure favors the success of nesting hens, and will more closely match peaks in gobbling activity.

Spring 2011 Gobbler Hunting Regulations

Spring gobbler hunting regulations are published in the 2011 Wild Turkey Hunting Season permit supplement available in January. See Turkey Hunting Permits, General.

Turkey Hunting Seminars

The latest turkey hunting techniques are presented at several turkey hunting seminars sponsored by Fish and Wildlife or wildlife conservation organizations. These seminars focus on how to set up, calling techniques and key safety information for turkey hunters. New turkey hunters are especially encouraged to join us at a seminar. Check your newspaper and the January 2011 Wild Turkey Hunting Season permit supplement for the seminars scheduled during March and April.


2011 Spring Gobbler Hunting Season

Hunting Period


Youth Turkey Hunting Day

(10–16 years of age)

Hunting Period Y

Sat., April 23

If no turkey is harvested on this youth hunt day, Period Y permits may be used in the designated zone for balance of season until a bird is harvested

Hunting Period A

Mon., April 25 – Fri., April 29

Hunting Period B

Mon., May 2 – Fri., May 6

Hunting Period C

Mon., May 9 – Fri., May 13

Hunting Period D

Mon., May 16 – Fri., May 20; Mon., May 23 – Fri., May 27

Hunting Period E

All Saturdays, April 30, May 7, May 14 and May 21

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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