Turkey Season in Arkansas Starts in April

Updated February 2023

The wait is nearly over for Arkansas turkey hunters looking to get back into the woods and enjoy the quest for that first gobbler. However, hunters may notice a few changes in the upcoming turkey hunting season, starting April 17. 

Zoning codes and season opening dates are included in new guidelines. These guidelines’ continued aim is to protect the state’s declining eastern turkey population, as originally reported by Jeremy Wood, wild turkey program coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, in the Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Newsletter from 2020

What to Expect for the 2023 Turkey Season

In last January’s Outdoor Life, Wood stated that his outlook during the 2022 turkey season was for hunters to see great improvements. Last year continued a growing trend of year-over-year growth that made 2022 the best year for reproduction throughout Arkansas, topping the previous year. 

The Gulf Coastal Plain ecoregion was a hot spot last year, and looks to remain one in 2023. This is thanks in part because of the continued improvement in harvest rates, as well as the strongest estimated reproductive rate in the state during the last few seasons. 

The 2023 Turkey Hunting Guidebook for wildlife management zones will be available in March.

Regular Turkey Season Dates 

  • Zone 1: April 17-25
  • Zone 2: April 17-May 7

Statewide Turkey Bag Limit

  • For hunters age 16 and over, the limit is two legal turkeys, no jakes
  • There is a one-bird limit on legal turkeys during the first seven days of the regular season
  • Only one legal turkey may be taken per day
  • Harvesting bearded hens is illegal
  • There is a one-turkey bag limit in all individual wildlife management areas

Special Youth Hunt

The annual youth hunt is set for April 8-9, for hunters ages 6-15. Visit the Arkansas Fish and Gaming Commission for:

  • Youth hunt requirements
  • How to set up a youth customer information number (CID)
  • Bag limit information
  • “My First Turkey Certificates”

New Zoning Configuration

The 2021 turkey hunting season ushered in a simplification of Arkansas’s turkey hunting zones, with the previous 18 zones reduced to two, with all zone boundaries based on county lines. 

Turkey hunting season zones will continue a timeline similar to last season’s, with Zone 1 running nine days (one-bird bag limit) and Zone 2 lasting 20 days (two-bird bag limit). See “Regular Turkey Season Dates” above. 

Latest on Maps

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offers a wide selection of helpful maps. Hunters can begin to study these maps long before they set foot in the woods. 

Detailed Interactive Maps

These detailed interactive maps offer a closer look at hunting area grounds around the state. 

Georeferenced Public Use Maps

This large map directory offers an even closer look at lakes, water trails, and Arkansas’s Wildlife Management Areas. 

Farm Bureau Insurance in Arkansas can help protect your expensive hunting equipment with Inland Marine insurance. Find a local agent using our Agent Finder to get a quote.