Apply for a Spring Limited Turkey License
Spring turkey hunting applications are open. Apply online. The deadline is Thursday,
February 12. Refer to the new interactive 2015 regulations brochure for more information. Be sure to check out the "What's New" section on page 3. For questions or more information, hunters may also contact a CPW Hunt Planner at (303) 297-1192.
Turkey Hunting in Colorado
Turkey hunting is growing in popularity throughout North America, and Colorado offers exceptional hunting opportunities for two sub-species of these remarkable birds. In this video, hunters will learn techniques and strategies for hunting both the native Merriam’s wild turkeys of the mountains and the Rio Grande wild turkeys of the Plains. Want to learn more?
See page two of the interactive regulations brochure for more turkey and hunting videos to
prepare for the upcoming hunting season.
South Platte River Turkey Population Study
Investigating the population dynamics of Rio Grande turkeys along the South Platte River, Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigated the population ecology of the Rio Grande turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) in Northeast Colorado from 2008-2012. The South Platte River corridor is one of the most popular destinations for spring turkey hunters because of the many State Wildlife Areas that are available for public access throughout the riparian corridor. CPW sought to obtain better information on the biological aspects of the population. Thus, the objectives of the study were to determine recruitment rates, the annual and seasonal movements, age- and sex-specific survival rates, cause-specific mortality rates, estimate the density and size of the population in Game Management Units 91, 92, and 96, and develop a winter flock survey to monitor annual changes in the turkey population. The study was concluded in February 2012, following the winter season.
A few of the results that were revealed included:
turkey movements to wintering areas occurred one to two weeks earlier for birds on public lands than for those on private land;
juvenile females dispersed farther than all other age-sex classes;
spring hunting was the primary cause of mortality for males and predation, primarily from coyotes, was the highest mortality factor for female turkeys, and
the combination of human-related development along the Highway 6 corridor that divides GMUs 91 and 96 was a significant deterrent for turkey movements between the two units, creating two distinct turkey management areas within the study area.
These and other results from this study will direct future management actions including license allocation, season structure, and annual population monitoring. For more information, read the
Rio Grande turkey technical publication.