I don't know if you have noticed, but lately, the streets of Sioux Falls have been "gobbled" up with some new neighbors...wild turkeys!

If you live in Sioux Falls or in any of the surrounding areas, you probably think that seeing these birds walking around is totally not normal.  According to the  South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks, wild turkeys are mainly located in the Black Hills. Believe it or not, there are also eastern wild turkeys that can be found on the east side of the Missouri River.  Turkeys that are found on the west side of the state are known as "Merriam’s subspecies."

So why are we seeing more and more wild turkeys in the Sioux Falls area?  Honestly, you'd have to "talk turkey" with the turkeys.  Maybe they just wanted to do some exploring and go on a road trip.  Either way, more turkeys around South Dakota mean more hunting opportunities for in-state hunters and visiting hunters.

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To my surprise, the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks confirms that hunters can legally hunt turkeys in Sioux Falls.  However, you can't just pull out your hunting gear on Minnesota Avenue and start claiming these birds.

You’ll need to grab your bow and arrow to have a shot at hunting wild turkeys at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in Union County and Good Earth State Park near Sioux Falls.  South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks explains that "a free Residents-Only Access Permit is required to hunt archery turkey.  To obtain these free Access Permits, you must first purchase the Spring Archery Turkey License. After you have received your license, the Access Permits may be applied for only online."

Technically wild turkey hunting season at Good Earth State Park began on April 3rd of 2021 and ended on April 30th of 2021.  But there's always next season!  The 2022 wild turkey hunting season starts April 2nd, 2022, and ends at the end of the month.

In the meantime, it looks like Thanksgiving may be arriving early this year for a lot of Sioux Falls residents!

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