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Forecasts Hunting Turkey

Minnesota Turkey Hunting Forecast for 2014

by Tom Carpenter   |  March 11th, 2014 0
Gobbler, Turkey, Turkey Hunting, Hunting Turkey, Minnesota Turkey Hunting

Dave Swanson took this turkey on the Scott County Minnesota Disabled Vet Hunt sponsored by Dakota Strutters of NWTF.

Despite some uncooperative weather throughout 2013’s spring turkey hunts, Minnesota turkey hunting enthusiasts ended up with a pretty good report card between thunder-snow, blizzard-rain, gale-force winds, arctic cold and late leaf-out.

“It is reasonable to believe that the winter-like weather affected hunter effort and turkey movement patterns,” says Nicole Davros, upland game project leader with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “This likely explains much of the reduced harvest success rates and hunter participation rates we saw, particularly during the first few hunting time periods. Wisconsin and Iowa both reported similar trends in spring 2013 wild turkey harvests as well.”

The extra effort hunters put forth later on, when conditions stabilized some, was key to a respectable harvest. In fact, we still managed to give 10,390 male turkeys rides home. That’s only 12 percent below the 5-year average harvest, and the fifth highest harvest on record since 94 birds were taken in 1978. Our record Minnesota spring take was 13,467 birds in 2010.

Last year, 38,391 permits were given out, meaning those 10,390 turkeys represented a 30 percent success rate for hunters. That compares favorably to long-term averages. Among the permits were 17,921 regular and 1,192 landowner licenses awarded in the draw for the first four turkey hunting periods (A, B, C and D), 5,529 youth tags, 4,550 archery permits, and 9,629 over-the-counter permits youth for the open hunting periods (E, F, G and H) in May.

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