Early wild turkey kill well off pace from a year ago

Hunters killed 1,723 turkeys during the winter-like A season, which ran April 17-21. Last year during the same season, they killed 3,163, on their way to a total spring kill of 11,325.

License sales for the A season were also about 10 percent below last year, said Steve Merchant, DNR wildlife population and regulation program manager.

“You certainly hear about people who just said, ‘Oh man, I’m not even going to go,’” he said. “I can certainly appreciate that.”

Merchant figures things will pick up once the weather turns around.

“In the past, we’ve seen that when we have gotten off to a slow start, we have made up for it later in the season,” he said. “Though I’m not sure we’ve ever had this slow of a start.”

The B season continues through April 26.

Following are conservation officer reports from the first turkey season:

  • Birds in the Fergus Falls area were still in flocks, and hunting success varied.
  • Hunters in the Wealthwood area saw few birds, and chalked it up to the weather.
  • Cold and snow made turkey hunting difficult in the Waconia area.
  • Hunters experienced success in the Lake Benton area.
  • Hunters have encountered challenging hunting in the Marshall area.
  • Hunters struggled with the weather in the Wabasha area, though they shot some birds.
  • Hunters experienced good success in the La Crescent area on the one nice day.
  • Birds have been active in the Red Wing area.
  • Turkey hunters are doing fair in the Rushford area. They’re seeing and hearing good numbers of birds despite poor weather.
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