Spring Turkey Hunting Applications Available

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Applications for the 2006 Minnesota spring turkey hunt are being accepted by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Spring turkey hunters may apply for one of 32,856 permits to hunt a five or seven-day season in one of 60 permit areas. Last year, spring turkey hunters harvested 7,789 birds.

"Turkey hunters can look forward to more great opportunities this spring," said Bill Penning, DNR farmland wildlife program leader. "Turkey numbers remain strong and their range continues to expand into parts of northern Minnesota."

This spring's hunt will consist of six five-day and two seven-day seasons. All resident Minnesota wild turkey hunters interested in hunting this spring must apply electronically no later than Friday, Dec. 2. A nonrefundable $3 application fee must be paid at the time of application.

Nonresident hunters may apply by mail, Internet, or phone at 1-888-665-4236 (MNLICENSE).

A nonrefundable $3.50 transaction fee must be paid at the time of application.

Hunters will also be asked to state a second choice in the last three seasons if they aren't successful in the lottery for their first choice. Hunters who are successful in the lottery for second choice and who purchase a license will lose their preference points for future drawings.

Hunters who are successful for either the first- or second-choice drawing and choose not to purchase a tag will lose the current year's preference point for future drawings but not accumulated preference from past years. Hunters who were not successful in either the first or second choice drawing will be eligible to purchase surplus turkey permits, which are sold on a first-come, first-served basis in mid March.

Archery spring turkey licenses will once again be available for residents and nonresidents. Archery spring turkey licenses may be purchased for the last two time periods only for any permit area with 50 or more applicants. Applicants who are successful in the spring permit lottery are exempt from the spring archery license.

All wild turkey hunters seeking to hunt in spring 2006 must obtain an application booklet at one of the Electronic License System agents or an application worksheet on the DNR Web site under wild turkey hunting at www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting.

The application booklet contains maps of open wild turkey permit areas, permit quotas, dates and an application worksheet.

The application worksheet should be filled out in advance to ease completion of the application process at an ELS agent. Turkey hunting licenses are made available by a preference system drawing.

A special landowner-tenant preference drawing for up to 20 percent of the permits is also a part of this system. Successful applicants in the drawing will be mailed the 2006 Spring Wild Turkey Hunt Book in February. For information, call the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).