Can I Shoot a Turkey on My Property?

Navigating the Legalities of Hunting Wild Turkeys on Your Land

The allure of fresh, locally sourced meat is undeniable, and the prospect of hunting a wild turkey on your own property can be an exciting proposition. However, before you grab your trusty shotgun and head out to the backyard, it’s crucial to understand the legalities surrounding this practice. Let’s delve into the intricacies of turkey hunting on private land, ensuring you’re armed with the necessary knowledge for a responsible and lawful experience.

Understanding the Law: A State-by-State Landscape

The legal landscape surrounding turkey hunting on private property varies significantly across states. While some states allow landowners to freely hunt turkeys on their land, others impose stricter regulations, requiring permits, licenses, or adherence to specific hunting seasons. To ensure you’re compliant with the law, it’s imperative to consult your state’s wildlife agency website or visit a local wildlife office for detailed information.

Colorado’s Specific Regulations: A Closer Look

Let’s take Colorado as an example. In this state, hunting wild turkeys on private land is permissible, but it’s subject to specific regulations outlined by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). These regulations include:

  • Possessing a valid hunting license: This is a non-negotiable requirement for all turkey hunters in Colorado. You can purchase a license online, by phone, or at designated CPW locations and authorized sales agents.
  • Adhering to the designated hunting season: The spring turkey season in Colorado typically runs from early April to late May, while the fall season spans from early September to late October. Hunting outside these designated seasons is strictly prohibited.
  • Respecting bag limits: The number of turkeys you can legally harvest during a season is limited. For the spring season, the bag limit is one turkey per hunter, while in the fall, it’s two turkeys per hunter.
  • Using legal hunting methods: Only shotguns, archery equipment, and muzzleloaders are permitted for turkey hunting in Colorado. The use of rifles, handguns, or other firearms is strictly prohibited.

Beyond the Law: Ethical Considerations for Responsible Hunting

Even if you’re legally permitted to hunt turkeys on your property, it’s essential to consider the ethical implications of your actions. Responsible hunting involves:

  • Ensuring proper identification of the target: Before taking a shot, be absolutely certain you’re targeting a wild turkey and not a domestic turkey or another protected species.
  • Using humane hunting methods: Aim for a clean, quick kill to minimize the animal’s suffering.
  • Respecting the land and wildlife: Avoid damaging the environment or disturbing other wildlife while hunting.
  • Utilizing the harvested animal: Once you’ve successfully harvested a turkey, ensure you utilize the entire animal, minimizing waste and respecting the life taken.

Beyond the Legal and Ethical: Additional Considerations for Hunting on Your Property

If you’re considering hunting turkeys on your property, here are some additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Landowner permission: If you don’t own the land, always obtain explicit permission from the landowner before engaging in any hunting activities.
  • Safety precautions: Hunting involves inherent risks. Always prioritize safety by wearing appropriate attire, handling firearms responsibly, and being aware of your surroundings.
  • Neighborly considerations: Be mindful of your neighbors and avoid causing any disturbance or property damage during your hunting activities.

Hunting wild turkeys on your property can be a rewarding experience, providing access to fresh, locally sourced food. However, it’s crucial to approach this activity responsibly and with a deep understanding of the legal and ethical considerations involved. By adhering to state regulations, prioritizing safety, and respecting the land and wildlife, you can ensure a responsible and enjoyable hunting experience.


1. PROPER IDENTIFICATION and PROOF of residency (for Colorado residents).

2. PROOF of hunter education.

3. HABITAT STAMP: A 2023 ($11. 50) or lifetime ($345. 36) Habitat Stamp is required prior to buying a license for anyone ages 18–64.

NOTE: A Social Security number is required for hunters age 12 and older, per federal law.

1. Small-game licenses are not valid for turkeys. A turkey license is required to take wild turkey.

2. For the spring and fall seasons, limited licenses are available by draw; these licenses are only good for certain dates and units (see pages 4–7). Apply online: Go to cpw. state. co. us and click “Buy and Apply. ”.

▶ Only one application is allowed per season. Hunters must apply for spring and fall turkey licenses separately. Fall applications are NOT accepted before MAY 1. The purchasing system will NOT let you submit a fall application during the spring turkey application process.

3. For the spring and fall seasons, OTC licenses can also be obtained online, over the phone, or in person at CPW offices, state parks, and sales agents around the state. See the back cover of this brochure for the dates when those licenses go on sale.

4. Licenses are valid for and expire after the season printed on them. Licenses are not transferable.

5. False statements made in buying licenses or altering licenses are illegal, and doing so voids licenses.

6. Turkey hunters do not need to register with the Harvest Info. Program (HIP)


Youth under age 18 can buy or apply for a reduced-cost turkey license. All hunters, including those younger than 18, must meet hunter education requirements. Those under 16 must also be accompanied by a mentor while hunting. There is no minimum age to hunt turkey, as long as these requirements are met. A mentor must be 18 or older and must meet hunter education requirements. Mentors aren’t required to hunt. Mentors and young people must be able to see and hear one another while hunting without the use of binoculars, radios, or other devices.

Youth younger than 18 can buy an adult license as long as they meet hunter education requirements. At age 18, youth must buy an adult license. Youth are considered to be the age they are on the date they submit their draw application. For instance, a 17-year-old who applies is still regarded as a youth and is eligible for the youth license even if they turn 18 before the start of the turkey season for which they applied.


Outreach licenses for youth are offered to qualified organizations sponsoring educational youth hunting activities. For private land, a maximum of 200 licenses are available, and only minors under the age of eighteen are eligible. Learn more at cpw. info/hunter-outreach.

Outreach licenses for novice adults are now offered to qualified organizations sponsoring novice adult hunting activities. Only adult novice hunters are eligible to apply for the 200 licenses that are available to organizations on a first-come, first-served basis. A novice adult hunter is any Colorado resident who is 18 years of age or older and has not purchased a turkey license in the previous five years, has only purchased a turkey license in the previous year, or has never purchased a turkey license. Organizations and novice adult hunters can learn more at cpw. info/hunter-outreach.


For the spring hunting season, ten licenses are available to qualified hunters with mobility impairments; these licenses are only valid on private land in units 91, 92, and 96 during certain dates. Go to cpw. info/accessibility for more information on the program and how to apply.

NOTE: After the second weekend of the spring turkey season on Wednesday, hunters with mobility impairments are permitted to hunt in Spanish Peaks SWA. , Thurs. and Fri. by permit only. Permits are issued free on a first-come, first-served basis from CPW Licensing, 6060 Broadway, Denver CO 80216. Permits are limited to two people for each of the Wed. –Fri. time periods during the spring season.

▶ The physical address you provide when purchasing a license or applying for one needs to match the address you provide for Colorado state income tax purposes.

▶ You lose your right to vote in Colorado if you register to vote outside of the state, accept a driver’s license with an address outside of Colorado, or apply for, purchase, or accept a resident hunting, fishing, or trapping license issued by another state or foreign nation.

▶ Go online for more information:


  • The standard requirements for Colorado residents are as follows: you must be a Colorado resident for at least six months prior to purchasing or applying for any resident CPW product, have Colorado as your primary residence, and not have applied for or obtained a resident license or pass outside of Colorado within the previous six months. Proof: A valid Colorado driver’s license or identification card that was issued six months or more ago and has a Colorado address You must present at least two additional forms of proof of residency if the Colorado driver’s license or ID is not six months old. These forms are described in “Additional Residency Proofs” below.
  • STUDENT: ATTENDING SCHOOL FULL-TIME IN COLORADO: To purchase or apply for any resident CPW product, you must be enrolled full-time for at least six months at an accredited Colorado school. Evidence includes student ID, name of school, date of full-time enrollment, and transcript from school attesting to full-time status.
  • Student: FULL-TIME ATTENDANCE OF SCHOOL OUTSIDE OF COLORADO Requirements: You must be a resident of Colorado and enrolled full-time in an approved school outside of Colorado while paying nonresident tuition. Evidence: Your student ID, the name of the school, the date you started attending classes full-time, and documentation of your out-of-state tuition payment
  • MILITARY: STATIONED IN COLORADO: You must be a member of the armed forces serving on active duty and stationed in Colorado. Military Members spouse and/or dependents share the same residency status. Residency begins the date the orders begin. Proof: Military ID and orders.
  • MILITARY: COLORADO HOME OF RECORD: You must be a member of the armed forces serving in the field but stationed outside of the state, registering as a resident of Colorado for income tax purposes. Military Members spouse and/or dependents share the same residency status. Proof: Military ID and orders.
  • YOUTH: Per a court order, children under the age of 18 have the same residency status as their parents, legal guardians, or other primary caregivers.
  • ADDITIONAL RESIDENCY PROOFS: Prior to purchasing or applying for a license, you must present at least two additional proofs of residency demonstrating six consecutive months of Colorado residency if you otherwise meet residency requirements but your Colorado driver’s license or ID was issued or renewed less than six months ago or you have a record of a CPW-approved religious exemption to photo identification. The following documentation demonstrates six months in a row of residency in Colorado: pay stubs from sources of income; utility bills; state income tax returns (for full-time residents); lease agreements or rent receipts; motor vehicle registration; and voter registration.
  • MULTIPLE HOMES Before obtaining a CPW license or state park pass, make sure you meet Colorado residency requirements by calling 303-297-1192 if you have a home in Colorado and another location.


  • To hunt in Colorado, a person must possess a hunter education card if they were born on or after January 1, 1949.
  • To purchase or apply for a license, a hunter education card is necessary.
  • When hunting, you must carry your hunter education card unless it is validated and your license has a “V” on it. Take your hunter education card to a state park or CPW office (listed on the inside front cover) to have it verified.
  • Hunter education cards from other states, provinces, and nations are accepted by CPW.


  • Individuals over age 50 or active-duty U. S. Veterans and members of the armed forces may test out of hunter education to receive a certificate: cpw info/huntereducation-test-out.
  • Hunters who are at least ten years old may apply for an apprentice certificate; however, they must go into the field with a mentor in tow. You may receive this hunter education waiver twice in your lifetime: cpw info/ apprentice-certificate 2 HUNTER EDUCATION .

Habitat Stamps are REQUIRED for hunters and cost $11. 50. Only one is required per person, per year for anyone ages 18–64. Habitat Stamps are valid March 1–March 31 of the following year (13 months).

▶ A lifetime stamp is $345.36.

▶ The Habitat Stamp requirement does not apply to anyone who has been approved for the Columbine, Blue Spruce, Independence, and/or Big Game Mobility programs. See cpw. info/accessibility.

▶ For more information, go to:


Legal hunting hours for turkey are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Go to cpw. info/hunting-resources for a link to sunrise/sunset tables and more information.



  • Declare on public lands that they are private, unless they are subject to an exclusive-control lease.
  • Hunt on private property without first getting consent from the landowner or other responsible party.
  • Hunt on state trust lands (STLs) without the lessee’s consent, unless the land is available for wildlife viewing.
  • Keep a loaded shotgun or rifle in or on any kind of vehicle.
  • Hunt, intercept, chase, harass, or drive wildlife using a motor vehicle, motorcycle, off-highway vehicle, snowmobile, or airplane.
  • Hunt under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
  • Use any artificial light as an aid in hunting wildlife.
  • Neglect to appropriately handle, preserve, and cook game meat fit for human consumption. Internal organs are not considered edible portions.
  • Harvest someone else’s game or allow someone else harvest yours during a party hunt.
  • Use recorded or electronically amplified calls.
  • Use bait to hunt turkeys. To entice wildlife, baiting involves dispersing salt, minerals, grain, or other food.
  • Install tree stands or permanent blinds on state wildlife areas (SWAs). On SWAs, only tree stands or portable blinds may be installed. When the day is over, these have to be taken off. No nails may be driven into trees. On the outside of blinds or underside of stands, the hunter’s Customer Identification number (CID) and the dates of use must be clearly visible. The public may use blinds and stands on a first-come, first-served basis; placing them does not reserve them for private use.
  • When hunting or fishing, use the Internet or other computer-assisted remote technologies. This covers unmanned or remotely controlled drones used for wildlife reconnaissance. To hunt or fish, one must be physically present in the immediate area.
  • Utilize real-time game cameras to find, monitor, or help locate and monitor game animals so that they can be taken or attempted to be taken the same day or the next. “Live-action game camera” refers to any gadget that can wirelessly record and send image or video data to a distant device (like a computer or smartphone). Game cameras that capture images or videos and store them for later use are not included in this, provided that the device is unable to transmit data wirelessly.

State law requires a Social Security number to buy a license. It is not displayed on the license but is provided, if requested, to Child Support Enforcement authorities. Hunting and fishing licenses are not issued to those suspended for noncompliance with child support. Any current licenses become invalid if held by an individual who is noncompliant with child support.


Federal and Colorado laws forbid the possession of firearms, even for hunting, by those found guilty of certain offenses, such as domestic abuse. If you have been found guilty of a crime, you should contact the relevant law enforcement agency to determine the applicable laws.

How to Correctly Turkey Hunt Smaller Properties


Can you shoot a wild turkey?

Shooting hours for spring turkeys are one half-hour before sunrise to 5 p.m. A valid hunting license and upland game bird validation are required to hunt wild turkeys. Hunting licenses can be purchased on CDFW’s Online License Sales and Services web page(opens in new tab).

What to do if you have a wild turkey in your yard?

It’s easy to scare turkeys away by making noises (try waving your arms and yelling or blowing a whistle), popping open an umbrella, throwing tennis balls, or dousing the turkey with water from a hose or squirt gun. A leashed dog may also be effective in scaring a turkey away.

What is the turkey limit in Colorado?

Colorado has spring and fall turkey hunting seasons. Be sure to check the current regulation brochure for season dates. The limit is two turkeys in the spring (one may be taken with a limited license and one may be taken with an over-the-counter license). One turkey may be taken in the fall.

Can you shoot a hen turkey in Georgia?

In Georgia, only the male turkey can be legally hunted. After deer, turkey is the second most popularly hunted game species in Georgia, Rushton said.

Is it illegal to shoot a Turkey in a tree?

Uh, no. Wild turkey prohibitions should include the words it is illegal to shoot a turkey in a tree. Maine makes it illegal. Many states prohibit it. A good number of states don’t.

Can you shoot a turkey if a hunter is 100 yards away?

A) Yes, You can shoot a turkey if the hunter is 100 Yards away from bait. The Hunter has to be 100 yards away from bait. Not the turkey. We consider bait to be corn, wheat, grain or any other food substance deposited besides normal agricultural harvesting or planting.

How do you shot a Turkey?

Shot placement is very difficult on a turkey that is facing away from you unless the bird is in full strut. If so, hit him right at the base of the fan. On a strutting tom that is facing toward you, hit him right at the top of the beard. If the bird is standing erect, with his neck up, hit him in the top third of his breast.

Can a Turkey be hunted within 100 yards of a bait?

Turkeys may not be hunted or taken within 100 yards of any bait. Baiting is the placing, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain or other feed so as to constitute for such birds a lure, attraction or enticement, on or over any area where hunters are attempting to take them.

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