Rain dampens first week of Minnesota turkey hunt

By Tim

Associate Editor

St. Paul — Despite forecasts of a light turkey hunt in
some areas of the state – due mainly to below-average reproduction
the past couple springs, along with spring rains this year –
hunters across the state are nearly on par with last year following
spring turkey hunting’s first season.

Bill Penning, DNR farmland wildlife program coordinator,
said computer registrations totaled 1,445 bearded birds after the
first week, about 7 percent below last year’s first-season total of
1,556 birds.

Penning added that this year’s total might be somewhat
low; the computer only downloads registered birds once entries
reach 25. So, he said, if 24 have been registered at a particular
location, they wouldn’t be counted in the DNR system.

Mike Mauer, of Mauer Bros. Tavern in Elba, said turkey
registrations at that location were down from 64 last year to 46
during the first season this year.

“I don’t know why for sure, but we had some wet and
windy days,” he said. “It rained all day on Sunday.”

Mauer said the location has registered more jakes than
it did last year, perhaps indicating that spring breeding last year
was more successful than originally thought.

“It might be a good sign,” he said.

The greening of vegetation in the area appears to be on
schedule, he added.

Just down the road, Jay Nicolin, of the Sportsman’s Stop
in Waseca, reported weather failed to cooperate fully with hunters
in that area. However, the second hunting season was off to a sunny
start on Monday.

“Usually the second, third, and fourth seasons are the
most active,” he said.

In Fairmont, Curt Larson, of Master Sport, Boat, and
Tackle, said all the birds brought to the shop were, thus far,
toms. He said the largest weighed about 29 pounds and donned a
13-inch beard.

“Hunters have been seeing quite a few birds,” he

The Outpost in Hutchinson reported turkey registrations
were on schedule.

Lakes are open

Earlier this week, officials reported the ice had officially
went off the big, northern waters of Leech Lake and Rainy Lake.

Several lakes in southern Minnesota have been ice-free for
number of weeks, and panfish action is now heating up on central
Minnesota lakes, but up until this week, some ice remained in the

Categories: Hunting News

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