Deadline Approaching for Prairie Chicken & Fall Turkey Hunts

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Hunters seeking to apply for the 2004 Minnesota prairie chicken season or the fall turkey hunt are reminded that they need to do so by July 30 at any one of 1,800 Electronic Licensing System (ELS) vendor locations statewide.

The five-day prairie chicken season, which will begin on Oct. 23, is open to Minnesota residents only. Hunters who apply for one of 100 available permits will be charged a $4 application fee. They may apply individually or in groups up to four hunters. Prairie chicken licenses cost $20.

The hunt will be held in seven prairie chicken quota areas in west-central Minnesota, which are located between Crookston and Breckenridge. Up to 20 percent of the permits in each area will be issued to landowners or tenants of 40 acres or more of prairie or grassland property within the permit area for which they applied. The season bag limit is two prairie chickens per hunter.

Fall Turkey Season:

Applications for this year's fall turkey hunt are also being accepted at ELS vendors across Minnesota. Fall turkey hunters may apply for one of 4,380 permits to hunt in one of 24 permit areas from Oct. 13-17 or Oct. 20-24. This is a 13 percent increase in available permits compared with 2003.

Beginning in this year, a license issued under the landowner/ tenant special drawing is restricted to land owned or leased by the holder of the license. The requirement that the land must be agricultural or grazing has been dropped.

The fall turkey hunt application fee is $3. The license is $18 for residents and $73 for nonresidents. A $5 stamp validation is also required for turkey hunters 18 years of age or older.

Application worksheets and maps of permit areas for both hunts are available on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us. Successful applicants for both hunts will be notified by mail at the end of August and must purchase their permit at an ELS vendor.