2018 California Wild Turkey Season Regulations Breakdown

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Making sense of the hunting regulations can be difficult for some. To make this easier, we’re breaking down the full regulations in an easy-to-read format!

2018 Spring Season Dates

Season Dates Daily Bag Limit Possession Limit
Junior Seasons Mar 24 – Mar 25
May 7 – May 20
1 bearded* 3 bearded turkeys for spring season
General & Falconry Season Mar 31- May 6
Archery May 7 – May 20

* Includes bearded hens and jakes. Beard must be visible through breast feathers.

Shooting Hours

The shooting hours for the spring wild turkey season shall be from one-half hour before sunrise to 5:00 p.m. Online Sunrise/Sunset Calendar

Methods of Take


Shotguns 10g and smaller may be used. Must be incapable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. Plugs used in a shotgun magazine cannot be capable of being removed without disassembling the gun. Shot size greater than #2 cannot be used for wild turkey. This means #1, BB sizes and buckshot cannot be used as a legal method of take. Muzzle-loader shotguns are legal as long as they follow the guidelines above.

Non-lead ammunition is required for all areas of California, including private land, when hunting wild turkey.


Falconry is a legal method of take, but there are no turkey-specific regulations for falconry. Please see falconry regulations and info.

Archery and Crossbows

Use of a broadhead greater than 7/8″ in diameter is required. Mechanical broadheads are measured in the open position. Archers may not be in possession of a firearm while hunting during archery season, unless in possession of a concealed carry permit or hunter is an active peace officer.

Air Guns

Air guns are legal as a method of take for wild turkeys. Pellet size must be .177 or larger. Lead ammo is legal for use with air guns when not in a California Condor Zone.


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