Fall Turkey Season Proposed

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Applications for North Dakota's 2006 fall turkey season are now available. Resident hunters can apply online, or print out an application for mailing, at the state Game and Fish Department's website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will be available at license vendors in mid-June.

The fall wild turkey proclamation, submitted to Gov. John Hoeven's office for approval, includes a season that extends from Saturday, Oct. 14 through Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007.

A total of 7,925 wild turkey licenses are intended for the fall hunting season, a decrease of 1,305 from last year, according to Randy Kreil, North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife chief. "This is in response to low turkey numbers in some hunting units where some protection is warranted to allow the population to increase," Kreil said. "In other units, the turkey population is lower than in the past several years, but actually at the density we want. A combination of more fall licenses and a longer hunting season - extending the season into January - has brought the population down to desired levels."

Hunting units 21 (Hettinger and Adams counties) and 53 (Divide and Williams counties) will be closed to fall turkey hunting in 2006, Kreil said, because of a dramatic decline in turkey numbers in these areas. "The decision to close these two units was based on low hunter harvest and poor production the previous year, input from department field staff and landowners, and comments from hunters," he said.

Lottery applications will be available from Game and Fish Department offices, county auditors and license vendors. Gratis applications are available only at Game and Fish and county auditor offices.

Applications are also accepted at the department's toll-free licensing line, 800-406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made over the phone.

Applications for the fall season must be postmarked no later than July 5. Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply in the first lottery. In 2005, the state legislature passed a law that allows nonresidents to apply for fall turkey licenses that are still available following the first lottery.