When Minnesota’s turkey hunting season begins this week, hunters hoping to bag a tom turkey will see similar regulations as last year.
A spring turkey license will provide the opportunity to hunt all permit areas in the state, with the exception of three major wildlife management areas. Permits are required for firearms turkey hunters ages 18 and older in Mille Lacs, Carlos Avery or Whitewater wildlife management areas (WMA) during A through C seasons. Permits have already been issued through a lottery.
“Turkey hunting is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in the spring,” said Leslie McInenly, wildlife populations program manager with the DNR. “Good luck to all hunters planning to take part in this springtime tradition.”
Wild turkey restoration is a conservation success story. As turkey populations have expanded, the DNR, with input from hunters, allowed more hunting season flexibility starting in 2020 and regulations this spring are similar to last year.
Last year, hunters harvested a record 13,996 birds, topping the previous record of 13,467 set in 2010. The average harvest over the past 10 years has been 11,400.
Turkey season will be from April 14 to May 31 and is divided into six hunt periods, A through F. Firearms hunters ages 18 and older must choose their hunt period when they purchase a license. Firearms turkey hunters can participate in Hunt F if they have an unused tag from one of the earlier hunt periods.
Archery-only license holders may hunt statewide for the entire season (April 14-May 31). Hunters cannot purchase both a firearms and archery-only license.
Licensed hunters ages 17 and younger may hunt statewide for the entire season (April 14-May 31) with firearms or archery equipment.
Because there is no lottery for statewide spring wild turkey licenses, the landowner and tenant drawing, which had set aside a percentage of lottery licenses in each permit area for landowners with qualifying land, was discontinued, and landowners and tenants can purchase licenses like other turkey hunters.
Turkey licenses can be purchased online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, by phone at 888-665-4236, or in person from a license agent. More information about turkey hunting in Minnesota can be found on the DNR website.
Stream trout fishing opens April 17
Minnesota’s popular warm weather stream trout season opens Saturday, April 17, with quality fishing opportunities in every region of the state. Brook trout and splake fishing also open April 17 on Lake Superior and its tributary streams.
“Minnesota has some excellent trout fishing and anglers help pay for trout habitat and access improvements with their fishing licenses and trout stamps,” said Benji Kohn, volunteer mentor program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “If you haven’t given trout fishing a try, it can be a relaxing, challenging and exciting way to fish. And you don’t need a boat to fish for trout.”
Whether you’re new to the sport or an experienced trout angler, the DNR has new information on Minnesota’s trout streams and lakes available on its website. Modeled after the DNR’s popular LakeFinder tool, StreamFinder provides anglers with a description, species list, regulations and access information for trout streams throughout Minnesota. Anglers also will find helpful learning guides and fishing tips tailored to each of Minnesota’s six trout fishing regions.
Minnesota has roughly 3,800 miles of designated trout streams. The southeastern part of the state has a wide variety of streams and fishing opportunities — everything from big waters with fly or bait casting, to tiny streams that require an angler to crawl through brush to access. In other areas of the state, anglers can find trout fishing excitement on Lake Superior or its tributaries, and in northwestern Minnesota on the Straight River or Kabekona Creek.
Anglers fishing on designated trout waters must have a trout stamp validation in addition to an angling license. Complete trout season details are available at mndnr.gov/fishing.