Wyoming's wild turkey population has steadily grown over the last few decades. The turkey isn't native to Wyoming, actually, there was a trade made between New Mexico and Wyoming in 1935. Wyoming gave New Mexico a few sage grouse, in return, New Mexico gave Wyoming wild turkeys.

Wyoming's turkey population began with just 12 in 1935 and is now in the thousands. Turkey hunting has been a thing since in Wyoming since 1950 and more than one thousand are harvested each year.

Casper Turkey 1
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Around the Casper area, there's no doubt there are turkeys. If you've never seen one, you're not driving on the south side of town. The Wolcott Turkey Gang, spends time all over between downtown and Casper College. You've more than likely have been stopped and had to wait for them to move out of, or across, the street.

Casper Turkey 2
K2 Radio via YouTube

In Wyoming, a turkey license is one of the easier and cheaper to get. For a resident in the Casper region, you can get a general license for about $21 (plus conservation stamp). There is a spring and fall turkey season available.

Hunting turkey is a great way to get into the outdoors and hunt, plus the meat you'll acquire tastes really good.

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is one of the larger conservation groups in the country, likely because you can hunt turkey in 49 of the 50 states. Their national convention is held in Nashville, TN every year and brings thousands in attendance and makes millions in dollars, that is put to use all over the country.

Wyoming's NWTF chapters are growing just as quickly as the popularity of turkey hunting. Casper is the center point for the Bighorn Chapter, which is one of the Wyoming chapters, and this weekend is their annual banquet, to raise money for conservation work.

Jason Tarwater is the Regional Director of NWTF for Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Alaska told Wyoming Hookin' & Huntin' Outdoors, that NWTF raises big money all over the country in the name of conservation

we're probably one of the most successful conservation groups when it comes to actually putting money on the ground and getting projects done. Some of your big things we do is, we have a huge outreach program, getting kids, women and even non-hunting adults into the outdoors. We're really big into access, for instance in Wyoming, access yes is a big deal for a lot of people to allow access for hunting. We give a huge percentage every year of our funding capabilities to that program.

Jason mentioned how big and important habitat is for NWTF and they don't stop with turkeys.

habitat is vital, not only for wild turkeys, but for grouse, deer, elk and all other species. I think that's why our national show is such a success, is people realize that we're not only working for the wild turkey around the country, but we're kind of working for all the outdoorsmen, recreationist and all species of wildlife.

The Bighorn Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation annual hunting heritage banquet is Saturday March 25th at the Best Western (Downtown) beginning at 5pm.

Gun raffles, giveaways, auction and a good time will be had by all.

Tickets and sponsor tables are still available, with different price points, at the Bighorn Chapter Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet Ticket Page.

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