Attention turkey hunters – we want your photos!
If you take a camera in the field with you, we’d love to see photos of your hunt. When you submit your photos to ODFW they could appear on our website or signs, or in social or brochures. What a great way to share your experience with others!
(White River, Hood, West Biggs, and Maupin Units)
2019 spring turkey hunting forecast
ODFW wildlife biologists offer the latest intell on current conditions and opportunities in their local areas. For in-season updates, be sure to check the weekly Recreation Report.
OPEN: TURKEY, EURASIAN COLLARED DOVES
Spring Turkey: April 15- May 31
White River and Hood Units
Access at higher elevations within the White River and Hood Units will be limited early in the season due to late, heavy snow received throughout the month of February. Lower elevation areas along the eastern boundary of the White River unit should be accessible early on in the season and these mixed oak/ conifer woodlands offer great habitat for Wild Turkeys. On public land in the southern portion of White River, covering a lot of ground and calling to listen for “shock gobbles” will be your best route to success. The northern portion of the White River unit will provide better hunting opportunity but it’s mainly private land, so be sure to get permission.
The White River Wildlife Area (WRWA) is a very popular area to hunt with decent turkey numbers. The Mt. Hood National Forest throughout the White River Unit is also very popular with good turkey numbers. Harvest in the unit has continued to increase but hunter success is low, likely due to heavy hunting pressure. Try hunting weekdays or evenings when it’s less crowded. There are turkeys spread out over most of the wildlife area and the Mt. Hood National Forest. Hunting areas that have diverse oak/pine habitats and fields with plenty of forbs are generally the best places to start. Please obey all wildlife area signs and be cautious of other hunters. A parking permit is required for all users of the wildlife area (permit comes with your hunting license but don’t forget to put it on your car dash).
Private timberlands in the northwest portion of the White River unit also provide great turkey hunting opportunity. Hunters need a permit to enter Weyerhauser lands, so make sure you have one if you plan to hunt those properties. SDS Company lands also have great access to wild turkeys. Turkey populations in the Hood Unit are small but not many people hunt them. If you can find them, there’s a good chance you can tag a bird. In the Hood unit, look for mixed oak and conifer woodlands on private timberlands for your best bet at finding turkeys.
All upland bird populations experienced a significant increase throughout the Mid- Columbia district during the 2018 summer survey season, likely due to low amounts of spring rain throughout the area. Biologists in the Mid-Columbia district counted our highest overall turkey count since we started collecting data on turkeys in 2014. Assuming that turkeys had good over winter survival, this should translate in some above average turkey hunting throughout White River and Hood Units
Maupin and West Biggs
Turkey populations have been expanding to many new areas within these units. Most of them are on private lands, so make sure you get permission to access these areas. Turkeys can also be found in the Deschutes and John Day River canyons and many other side- drainages of the river canyons, some on BLM and state managed lands. These areas could be a great opportunity to get away from other hunters.
White River Wildlife Area
Spring Turkey: April 15 – May 31. Daily Bag limit: One male turkey or turkey with a visual beard. Season limit: Three legal turkeys. See page 19 in the Oregon Game Bird Regulations. Wild turkey populations are good within the wildlife area and surrounding forests. With the end of turkey season approaching, the number of hunters has decreased. The birds are not as vocal now but will still respond to calls.
Current weather conditions: Most of the roads on the wildlife area have dried out, though there may still be water/mud in some areas. Many of the shoulders/fields are still soft, use caution when turning around or parking. Travel with caution and be prepared for such conditions. Reminder: Camping in the wildlife area is only allowed in designated camping areas. 5/20/19