Spring Turkey Hunting Application Deadline

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State conservation officials today reminded hunters the application period for the 2005 spring wild turkey hunting season is Jan.1 through Feb. 1, 2005. The spring hunting season is from Apr. 18 through May 31, with various hunting periods ranging in length from seven to 30 days.

This year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering 114,170 licenses, available through a lottery, with more than 44,000 square miles open to spring wild turkey hunting, including areas in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

Hunters again have the option of applying for Hunt Unit ZZ, which includes all private-land units in southern Michigan. Hunters who draw this license may hunt the first two weeks of the season on private land anywhere in the unit.

Hunters looking for the greatest hunting flexibility should check out the guaranteed hunt period (Hunt No. 234, May 2-31), which includes all open areas, except public lands in Unit ZZ. Hunt No. 234 may be purchased online or from license agents during the application period. Individuals who select this option will not be charged the $4 application fee. Hunters also may select this hunt as a second choice on their application.

The current hunting regulations are established to maximize hunting opportunity while maintaining high quality hunting experiences.

"We are able to expand hunting opportunities based on the success of the wild turkey restoration program," said Al Stewart, DNR upland game bird specialist.

Hunters may apply for or purchase a turkey hunting license at any authorized license dealer, DNR Operations Service Center, or via the Internet at www.michigan.gov/dnr. It costs $4 to apply for a spring wild turkey hunting license. This nonrefundable application fee must be paid at the time of application and does not include the cost of the license. During the application process, it is important that hunters verify their customer ID (Michigan Driver License, DNR Sportcard or state of Michigan ID card) number. An incorrect customer ID number will cause individuals to become ineligible for a license.

When applying online with the DNR e-license system, hunters may use MasterCard or VISA to charge their purchase, and applications can be purchased through e-license 24 hours a day during the application period. Applicants may check drawing results on the Internet beginning Mar. 1. All applicants, except those who applied online, will be notified by mail before Mar. 7.

If licenses are still available after the drawing, the remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis to unsuccessful applicants in the license lottery. These individuals may purchase one leftover license in person at any license-issuing agent beginning Mar. 7 at 10 a.m. (EDT). The guaranteed hunt period (Hunt No. 234) also is available to unsuccessful applicants.