Minnesota Spring Turkey Hunts

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Spring turkey hunters will have more opportunities to hunt and a better chance of harvesting a bird under goals set forth in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) long-range turkey plan, available online today.

The plan establishes a goal of increasing the spring wild turkey population to 75,000 birds and boosting the number of spring turkey hunting permits from 33,000 to 35,000 by 2011. Currently, there are more than 60,000 birds in 74 of the Minnesota's 87 counties.

"We've worked closely with the National Wild Turkey Federation in drafting this plan and believe it reflects the priorities of this state's hunters," said Bill Penning, DNR farmland wildlife program leader. "Three decades of careful management, a successful trap and transplant program, and continuing support from hunters and the National Wild Turkey Federation, have helped make Minnesota's wild turkey population one of the state's premier natural resource success stories."

Wild turkeys were successfully re-established in southeastern Minnesota in 1976. Four years later, the DNR issued 394 permits for the state's first spring wild turkey hunt. This year, the DNR has received approximately 52,000 applications for 34,000 available permits. Long term, the DNR's goal is a turkey population that exceeds 100,000 birds with 50,000 spring turkey permits available.

Copies of the long-range plan are available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

Hard copies are available by writing to: Wild Turkey Plan, Minnesota DNR, 500 Lafayette Road Box 20, St. Paul MN 55155-4021, or by calling (651) 259-5230.