DNR Announces More Liberal Turkey Season Framework

Minnesota wild turkey hunters will see longer hunting periods and more weekend hunting time in changes to the state’s spring turkey season, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced.

A Minnesota turkey hunter calls gobblers in Carlton County. News Tribune file photo
A Minnesota turkey hunter calls gobblers in Carlton County. News Tribune file photo

Turkey hunting time periods will be longer, all will include weekends and more time periods will be available to each hunter. Five one-week time periods will be followed by one longer time period ending on May 31. Previously, there were eight time periods, and not all included weekends. The bag limit will remain one bearded turkey.

The DNR made the changes following a public process, in hopes of increasing hunter opportunity and satisfaction while maintaining hunt quality, officials said.

“A significant change will be that hunters who don’t bag a turkey during their first time period will also be able to hunt the last time period using their original license,” said Steve Merchant, DNR wildlife populations program manager. “This will make the experience more relaxing, as snow or rain storms that could ruin an entire hunt will not be as much of a problem.”  

Hunters who hunt a second time during the last time period will need to hunt in the same zone that they hunted in during their first hunt period, DNR officials said.

Firearms hunters who want to hunt either of the first two time periods will need to enter into a lottery to participate. In past years there were lottery drawings for the first three time periods. People can apply to the lottery through Jan. 22.

In another change, archers will be able to hunt the entire season and in any zone from when the first time period begins on April 13 through May 31. Hunters must choose between a firearms or archery turkey hunting license.

For more information, look here.