Conservation Officers promote safe hunting for Ontario’s Wild Turkeys

Ontario’s Wild Turkey Seasons Opens Wednesday- BE SAFE!

The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) wants to wish all of Ontario’s wild turkey hunters a safe, enjoyable, and successful hunt. Only 25 years ago it was rare to see a wild turkey in Ontario, but thanks to re-introduction programs and responsible hunting practices, thousands of Ontarians now have the opportunity to enjoy a day in the field in search of this amazing game bird.

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While the vast majority of hunters respect the regulations and the ethical aspects of the hunt, there is potential for abuse of both the resource and the private land upon which most hunting takes place. Fortunately, a combination of a mandatory turkey hunter education program, responsible hunters, and active enforcement efforts by Conservation Officers (COs) has resulted in many seasons of safe hunts.


“Every year there are a small number of hunters who refuse to follow the rules that are in place to ensure a safe hunt”, says OCOA President Mike Duncan, himself an active turkey hunter. “We will continue to actively enforce the laws, to ensure that this sport remains safe”, adds Duncan.


Hunters are reminded that permission is required to hunt on private land, where most turkey hunting occurs. It is illegal in most of southern Ontario to hunt on or from public road rights of way between tracts of private land. In addition, it is illegal to hunt turkeys within 400 metres of where bait has been deposited.


“Our officers will always investigate reports of trespassing and road hunting, and we encourage responsible hunters to report illegal hunting immediately. This will help to keep both hunters and members of the public safe during the hunt”, said Duncan.


In addition to the regulations directed at safety, there are a number of rules specific to turkey hunting that hunters new to the sport may not be aware of. These laws are needed to ensure not only a safe hunt, but a hunt that will ensure that turkey populations remain sustainable.


The OCOA encourages hunters to contact their local CO if they have any questions about the regulations regarding turkey hunting. “Our officers are always willing to spend a few minutes talking to hunters to make sure that they understand the rules of the hunt before heading out”, said Duncan.


Anyone with information about a natural resources or public safety related offence is encouraged to call the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources violation reporting line at 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667), contact their local CO directly, or call Crime Stoppers at 1800-222-TIPS (8477).


For more information about natural resources regulations and enforcement, please visit the OCOA website at

Or contact your local Conservation Officer.

About Peter Wood 1194 Articles
As an avid lifelong angler and hunter, Peter’s outdoor knowledge and experiences keep expanding through his hundreds of hours of hunting and fishing podcast interviews with like minded experts. He has received numerous national writing awards. With thousands of outdoor pictures on Ripple Outdoors and many full-length articles with outdoor magazine and video clips you might say that he not only enjoys his outdoor lifestyle, but he’s quite the fanatic! In 2015 he earned fifth overall on the King of the Wood Contest hosted by Canada In The Rough team, pretty good for a baby boomer deer hunter. His buck was also one of the top bucks taken that season. Through Peter’s deer hunting seminars or by attending outdoor trade shows, like the Toronto Sportsmen Show and The SWOC Big Buck Show, he has connected with thousands of like minded people that love hunting and fishing. As a volunteer or member of local and national outdoor groups like QDMA, SWOC, Outdoor Writers of Canada, Archery Trade Show Association he continues to learn and hone his craft. Read his many articles, listen to his podcasts and rifle through thousands of photos on Ripple Outdoors. Discover Peter’s latest posts about outdoor gear, destinations, how to articles and interviews and you’ll be a better angler and hunter for the experience.