DNR unveils proposal for tweaks to spring turkey hunt

St. Paul — The DNR has put out a proposal for changes to the state’s spring turkey season just weeks after holding four meetings around the state soliciting comment from the turkey hunting public.

DNR is hoping to expand spring turkey-hunting opportunities while maintaining the quality of the hunt.

The most significant change would reduce the number of hunting periods by two, with five one-week hunting periods followed by a slightly longer period ending on May 31.

That would ensure that each hunting period would include a weekend.

Previously, the season had six five-day hunting periods and two seven-day periods.

Also included in the proposal, which is open to public comment through Sunday, Nov. 8, is a rule change that would allow hunters who do not harvest a bird a second chance to hunt again during the final time period.

Archery hunters would be allowed to hunt the entire season under the proposal.

The number of periods subject to the lottery would drop from the first three seasons to the first two.

The proposal was based in part on comments received at four regional public meetings held in Alexandria, New Ulm, Winona, and Woodbury in late September and early October.

The changes could go into effect as soon as the 2016 spring wild turkey season.

The DNR has said it wants to maintain the quality of the hunt, which factors in times when hunters run into each other in the field while hunting, likely ruining their chances of harvesting a bird.

Some attendees of the public meetings said they opposed increasing opportunities for hunters, worried as they were that more conflicts between hunters would occur, among other negative effects.

Go to www.mndnr.gov/turkey to comment or read the entire proposal.

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