Telecheck for Spring Turkey Season

  • To check a turkey, call 1-800-314-6828. All turkey must be checked by telephone or via the Internet (see Telecheck Your Spring Turkey under MDC Applications below) No in-person checking stations are available.
  • If using a cellphone, be sure you have a clear signal. If the signal is spotty, move closer to a major highway, go to higher ground, or wait until you get to a land-based line to call. Avoid calling in areas with loud background noise.
  • You do not need to call Telecheck immediately after taking the turkey. You can transport unchecked game within the state, as long as the permit is attached to the leg. You have until 10 p.m. the day of harvest to check your turkey.

Four easy steps

Step 1: Before calling the toll-free number or going online, find your Telecheck ID number on your permit. If you have more than one permit, be sure you give the number of the permit you want to use. Also get a pencil or pen so you will be able to write your Telecheck confirmation number on your permit.

Step 2: Use the check list below, which helps you get required information ready before you call the Telecheck number.

Step 3: Call 1-800-314-6828, then follow the instructions in the phone interview. Speak clearly and slowly. You can call between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Or visit the Telecheck Your Turkey webpage and follow the steps outlined there.

Step 4: After you have provided the required information, you will be given an eight-digit confirmation number that verifies you have legally checked your game. Write this number on the main portion of the permit and attach it to the turkey. You have now completed the checking process and can handle and process your turkey.

Attention Cell Phone Users!

The most common reason hunters are unable to complete their Telecheck transaction is because of a poor cellular telephone connection. Signals that are weak, fade in and out, or “clip” speech will not work with the system. Once you’ve attached your notched permit to your turkey, you have until 10 p.m. on the day of harvest to check the animal. Wait until you are out of the woods and can receive a clear, strong cellphone connection before placing your Telecheck call.

Use this check list to get your info ready before you call

  • Your Telecheck ID number: __________________________
  • Turkey type (The illustrations below will help you tell the difference between gobblers, juvenile gobblers and bearded hens.)

[ ] Gobbler

[ ] Juvenile gobbler (spur less than 1/2 inch long)

[ ] Bearded hen

  • Spur length (gobblers only)

[ ] Less than 1 inch

[ ] 1 inch or more

(Use permit to measure spur)

  • Beard length

[ ] Less than 6 inches

[ ] 6 inches or more

(Use permit to measure beard)

  • County of harvest __________________________

How to tell a hen from a gobbler

How to tell gobbler from hen illustrations

Large size, black body and long beard are marks of the gobbler. Hens sometimes have beards, but color, size and behavior distinguish them from gobblers. Hens are smaller, brown birds with blue heads. Bearded hens produce young and help increase the turkey population. They should not be killed, but any turkey with a clearly visible beard is legal in Missouri. Hens without beards are illegal and must not be killed. The future of our wild turkey hunting depends on you.

Use your permit to measure length of beard and spur

 2011 turkey permit illustrations

  • Your permit is 6 inches long.
  • The signature line on your permit is 2 inches long (1-inch mark in the middle).

How to measure spurs

 turkey spur illustration

Spur length measurements help biologists keep track of the age structure of the adult population. Please accurately measure your turkey’s spur before Telechecking your turkey. If you don’t have a ruler, use the signature line of your permit, which is 2 inches long—with a 1-inch mark in the middle.

Start at the outside center from the point at which the spur protrudes from the leg scales, and measure to the tip of the spur. Juvenile gobblers have spurs less than ½ inch long and a beard less than 6 inches long.

Key Messages: 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.

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