Changes proposed for wild turkey management in Ontario

Province looking to add bows-only fall season; standardize spring open date among other changes for 2017;

Turkey hunting in Ontario may look very different in 2017 as the provincial government has proposed some significant management changes.

The proposal, which would come into effect next year, is currently up for comment on the Environmental Registry and includes the elimination of the separate wild turkey hunter education course, new seasons in two Wildlife Management Units, a bows-only season in the fall and standardization of spring season opening dates. New seasons would open in WMU 36 (spring) and WMU 94 (fall), while a bows-only season would run Oct. 1-31 in all WMUs that have a fall wild turkey hunt.

Other proposed changes include the merging of the wild turkey hunter education course into the curriculum for the Ontario Hunter Education Program (OHEP). Adding wild turkey content to the OHEP course eliminates the need for a separate wild turkey course, though many questions remain regarding exactly how this will be implemented.

The MNRF is also proposing to make April 25 the universal opening day of the spring season, regardless of which day of the week it falls on and giving consideration to allowing shot size number 7 for wild turkey – in addition to 4, 5 and 6. The will also clarify minimum bow requirements for hunting wild turkey in the hunting regulations.

Members of the public have until Nov. 3 to comment on the proposal. Visit to submit your comments ( click here to read  the proposed changes).