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2018 Midwestern Turkey Hunting Outlook

2018 Midwestern Turkey Hunting Outlook

Midwest Turkey Hunting Outlook Feature

Spring has just about sprung and turkey hunters across the country are thinking about bagging a trophy tom this season. We're here to help. Game & Fish wants you get the most out of your season with our deep library of turkey hunting articles with expert advice, field reports and previews. Check out the 2018 Turkey Outlook for your state below:

GP Turkey Hunting Outlook Title Bar

Wild turkey populations seem to have plateaued and then backed off a bit in the Great Plains over the past decade. Still, for the most part, there are lots of birds. Far more than decades ago when they were wiped out of most of their range here. Hunters in most areas will have plenty of gobblers to call and hunt across the Plains. So many that multiple birds can be harvested in many places. Here's the update on this spring's€¦.Click To Read Whole Outlook


IL Turkey Hunting Outlook Title Bar


Starting with the April 10, 2018, North Zone season opener, turkey hunting will be officially under way throughout Illinois. As in the past, hunting began a week earlier (April 3) in the South Zone. Illinois now has wild turkeys throughout the state where habitat is suitable. Harvests by hunters are now reaching their peak numbers, and habitat improvement projects are underway to continue to ensure the long-term survival of this proud symbol of Illinois'€¦.Click To Read Whole Outlook

IN Turkey hunting Outlook State Bar

 Every spring turkey hunter (myself included) is in a state of shock that we took 13,069 birds during the 2017 spring turkey season. This is the third-highest harvest recorded. Prior to the season, there seemed to be very little gobbling heard and not many turkey sightings. I spoke with Steve Backs, wildlife research biologist, and he shared with me that even though Indiana spring turkey hunters enjoyed an 8 percent increase in€¦.Click To Read Whole Outlook

IA Turkey Hunting Outlook State Bar


Spring in Iowa €¦ a time when nature awakens from a long winter's nap. Trees and the surrounding wooded areas are showing signs of life. Leaves are stretching out to the warm spring sun, farmers are preparing their equipment getting ready to plant and €¦ turkeys are roaming.  "Overall the turkey population is good across the entire state," said Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forest Wildlife Research Technician Jim Coffey. "It was a pretty standard year for turkey hunting. Everybody was pretty excited because of the early warm weather we had. Turkeys were a goblin and things were moving, but it just didn't hit hard and fast. In good€¦.Click To Read Whole Outlook

MI Turkey Hunting Outlook State Bar

Michigan's turkey story is typical of many parts of the country. Turkeys were nearly eradicated by unchecked harvest and logging, and there was a time when it was rare even to see a turkey. Now, the eastern subspecies inhabits every county in the Lower Peninsula and the southern tier of counties in the Upper Peninsula.  As turkey numbers gradually expanded by using trap-and-transfer operations and by natural dispersal and improvements in turkey habitat, populations flourished. A limited hunting season began in 1968; 25 gobblers were harvested. Turkey harvest and hunting opportunities gradually increased until 2008 when 42,002 turkeys€¦.Click To Read Whole Outlook


MN Turkey Hunting Outlook State Bar

My grandmother had a phrase, spoken in simple, colorful and direct terms like only a rural woman of the Midwest could, whenever something surprising would happen. Indeed. I speak the words often as I travel the corners of our great state while hunting and fishing, and discovering where else Minnesota's wild turkeys have decided to call home. Who could have imagined that from those initial introductions in 1973, when 29 Missouri turkeys were brought to Houston County, that we would someday be hunting gobblers in most corners of the stae — even all the way to the€¦.Click To Read Whole Outlook

OH Turkey Hunting Outlook State Bar

Turkey hunters in Ohio will see a spring season similar to last year's, according to Mark Wiley, the state game agency's gobbler expert, projecting that 2018 "That's especially true in the east," he said, "thanks to that cicada emergence in 2016." Biologists use three factors to determine the relative number of turkeys that may be available to hunters in Ohio's woods and fields each spring: The harvest data from the previous spring and fall seasons, and poult production. "Last year's spring turkey hunting season harvest was 21,098, up 18.5 percent over 2016's total of 17,796," Wiley noted, "so that's a sign that€¦.Click To Read Whole Outlook

WI Turkey Hunting Outlook State Bar

According to all indications, Wisconsin's 2018 spring turkey season is shaping up to be another good one. Last year's spring turkey harvest of 43,305 continued the seesaw pattern of the past few years, falling 5 percent below the 2016 take of 45,501 birds. That tally was still better than the 2015 total of 40,975, and it keeps Wisconsin among the top five or so states in spring harvest. There were 241,153 permits available last spring. Of those, 135,698 permits were issued in the drawing, and another 76,758 permits sold over the counter, for a total of 212,456. The statewide hunter success rate was 20.4 percent, a decline of 5 percent, but because hunters buy multiple permits and the success rate is based on the number of permits sold, the actual hunter success rate was€¦.Click To Read Whole Outlook

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