Turkey Rebuilding Success
April kicks off the most challenging game Louisiana has to hunt. The wild turkey has senses that are second to none and successfully taking a mature bird is a great hunting accomplishment. Although there are no huntable populations across coastal Louisiana, prime turkey hunting areas are within a couple hours drive.
Due to low populations in the state, most of our parents and grandparents did not regularly pursue hunting turkeys. Therefore, it was not a tradition that many in Louisiana had passed down to them like deer and duck hunting.
Wild turkeys truly are a hunter/conservation success story. Unregulated hunting practices and subsistence hunting nearly eliminated the birds from the state in the early 1900s. Combined with heavy deforestation of prime habitat areas, the future for Louisiana’s wild turkey was bleak. Peak estimates of up to one million birds in the 1800s was reduced to a mere 1,400 by the mid 1940s.
However, due to aggressive live trapping and restocking programs across the state, the wild turkey has made an amazing comeback in most areas of the state that have suitable habitat. Many areas now have an annual, well-regulated turkey hunting season. The National Wild Turkey Federation estimates Louisiana’s current wild turkey population at 50,000 birds.
2020 LOUISIANA HUNTING SEASONS: TURKEY
Area A April 4 – May 3. • Area B April 4 – 26 • Area C April 4 – 19 • Youth and Physically Challenged March 28-29