Paddle the turkey, it's time for spring!
It might be the dead of winter but there are already signs of spring. Oh sure, the first of many outdoors shows is taking place this weekend in St. Paul but that's not what I'm talking about.
I'm referring to deadlines. Hunters who want a shot at a turkey this spring need to get their applications in by Friday in order to have a chance at getting drawn. With more turkey permits than ever, there will still be permits available in the spring that can be purchased over the counter. Still, if you want a coveted permit area or one of the early seasons, better get your act together and apply now.
I've bowhunted for turkey the past few years during the last two seven-day seasons and have had a lot of fun but it's a tough hunt. The birds are different in the late season, there's more cover, and there are more demands on my time. Not from my jobs or family, but from the lake.
It's tough to drive by a lake where you can walleye and pike fish no matter how much fun it is to chase a turkey. Thanks to the ever-expanding turkey zone, there are a lot more hunters who can mix a surf and turf spring hunt. Hunt for turkey near the shores of lakes as far north as Leech and then go after walleye in the afternoon.
It used to be that the only fishing you could mix with a turkey hunt was trout fishing on the beautiful southeastern Minnesota streams. I know there are turkey throughout the state, but I still feel the draw of the blufflands and river bottoms near Winona around turkey time.
Other plans for the spring and summer that need to be addressed right now are the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness application process. There are a lot of permits, and there are always permits to be had throughout the summer, but if you want a choice permit on the lake of your choosing, the date of your choosing and possibly using a motorboat-you better apply before the January 15 deadline.
This is another drawing I'll be participating in this year as I hope to gain access to a motorized permit for Lake Saganaga sometime in June. Canoeing with kids in diapers is something my wife and I are not going to do, but a motor trip into Sag with my family is definitely a lot of fun.
Dust off that turkey decoy and that canoe paddle and traipse around your snowy lawn this weekend. When people question your sanity, just tell them you are getting ready for the thaw. It's coming one of these days!