Wild turkey hunting
Wild turkeys are becoming more common in Québec. They are hunted in the spring and fall, in specific zones.
What to do before, during and after hunting
- If you are a resident of Québec and wish to begin hunting wild turkey, you must obtain an attestation of training before purchasing your hunting licence. In Québec, the training is offered by the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs (1 888 523-2863 or attestation de formation firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Choose the site at which you wish to hunt and obtain the necessary permission if you will be hunting on private land that does not belong to you.
- Identify the hunting zone in which your site is located, and the applicable hunting dates.
- Purchase your wild turkey hunting licence for the season in which you wish to hunt (spring or fall).
- Be aware of the ban on wild turkey baiting and the rules applicable to hunting in locations close to bait sites used for other purposes.
- Read the rules concerning the use of a dog to hunt wild turkey in the fall.
- Review the rules applicable to the handling, use and transportation of your weapon.
- Read and make sure you understand the general rules and special rules.
Comply with the rules respecting:
- The hunting licence, including:
- Carrying your attestation stating that you have successfully completed the wild turkey hunting training course, unless your licence is an introductory licence.
- Carrying your licence for the current season (spring or fall) with you and a photo ID, issued by a government or a public body.
- Sharing your wild turkey hunting licence with a young hunter.
- The times when hunting is permitted.
- The types of weapons and ammunition that may be used, and how they must be handled and transported.
- The restrictions applicable to certain hunting gear (sound amplifiers, etc.).
- The rules concerning wild turkey baiting.
- Identifying your game animal before harvesting it (bearded turkey in spring, bearded or beardless turkey in the fall).
- Firing from a public road.
- The safety and handling of your weapon, and firing safety (do not endanger other hunters).
- Bag limits.
After the kill
- If necessary, follow the rules for locating an injured game animal.
- If you kill an animal illegally (by accident or by mistake), follow the applicable rules.
- When you have found the dead animal, attach the required transportation coupon. If you are a young hunter and are hunting under an adult’s licence, you must also comply with the rules that are specific to this situation.
- Transport your weapon in accordance with the rules (empty, in a closed case, etc.).
- Collect and eliminate your garbage properly (empty cartridges, waste from meals, etc.).
- Register your game online or by taking the whole animal, eviscerated or not, to a registration station within 48 hours of leaving the hunting area.
- Leave the transportation coupon on the carcass until it is cut up or placed in storage.
Special rules for wild turkey hunting
The following rules also apply:
- Wild turkey hunting is permitted in the morning only, from 30 minutes before sunrise until midday.
- You do not need to wear a fluorescent orange bib to hunt wild turkey.
- In Québec, you can kill your two turkeys in the same half-day, provided the second turkey comes from zone 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (during spring only) or 10.
- Since wild turkey is not considered to be a small game animal, there are restrictions on firing from public roads in some zones.
- A dog cannot be used to hunt wild turkey, except in autumn, when the use of pointing or flushing dogs is permitted.
Bag limits for wild turkey
A hunter may kill 3 wild turkeys per year, as follows:
Spring season: two bearded turkeys. However, the second must be killed in one of the following zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10. The hunter may kill both turkeys during the same half-day of hunting.
Fall season: one wild turkey, bearded or not, in zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10.
Wild turkey baiting
Baiting of wild turkeys for hunting is prohibited in Québec.
In addition, you cannot hunt wild turkeys within 100 metres of any place where bait has been spread, regardless of the species for which the bait is intended.
The following are not considered to be bait:
- Standing crops
- Harvested crops that have been stacked as part of normal farming practice
- Grains spread during normal farming operations
Identifying the sex and age of wild turkey
The following indications serve as a guide. If in doubt, refrain from shooting.
Adult males, also known as toms, have a uniform tail contour. The spur is more than one-half inch (1.2 cm) long, and the beard is more than 5 inches (12 cm). The side wing feathers are covered with white stripes, and the tip is generally rounded.
Juvenile males, also known as jakes, are characterized by the longer feathers of the centre of the tail. The spur is less than one-half inch (1.2 cm) long, and the beard is less tant 5 inches (12 cm). The side wing feathers are not covered with white stripes, and the tip is usually pointed.
Adult females and adult bearded females have no spurs and generally no beard. Less than 5% of species have beards. When they do have one, it can reach about 5 inches (or 12 cm). Their head is blue-grey.
Refer to our poster to recognize the sex and age of wild turkey (in French only).
Last update: November 18, 2022
The information published on this website has been simplified and provides a summary of the main regulatory provisions. It does not replace in any way the official texts of laws and regulations. For more detailed information on a specific rule, refer to theRegulation respecting hunting in Québec , the Regulation respecting hunting activities or the Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife , which are all available on LégisQuébec.