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Elk WILDLIFE DIVISION
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Wild Turkey Plan

tom turkey

A tom on the south fork of the John Day River
-Photo by Mark Kirsch-

2018 FINAL Oregon Wild Turkey Plan (pdf)

Background:

Oregon was one of 9 lower 48 contiguous states without a native population of turkeys. Through trapping of wild birds in other states and relocating them to Oregon, the Merriam’s subspecies was first successfully introduced in 1961 and the Rio Grande subspecies was established in 1975. The Rio Grande subspecies proved to be very adaptable and are now found in suitable habitat throughout the state. With the expansion of turkey populations, turkeys became a popular game bird offering opportunities in spring and fall. Many Oregonians also enjoy viewing these large fascinating birds. With the expansion of turkey populations it became necessary to develop guidelines for their management through the adoption of Oregon’s first Wild Turkey Management Plan in 2004. An updated Plan was adopted in December 2018 to address current management needs, including:

  • More attention on turkeys causing nuisance and damage issues, particularly in western Oregon
  • Removed separate treatment of the Merriam’s subspecies of turkeys since Oregon has few, if any, pure Merriam’s turkeys remaining in Oregon.
  • Revised trap and transplant guidelines for logistic efficiency
  • Aligned disease testing protocols with draft Avian Translocation Guidelines
  • Referenced more than 40 additional papers about wild turkeys; most were published since the first Plan was adopted 2004.
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