Minnesota spring turkey hunting begins this week

When Minnesota’s turkey hunting season begins Wednesday, April 14, 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.

2021 season details
Turkey season will be from April 14 to May 31 and is divided into six hunt periods, A through F (dates are in table below). 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.

2021 Spring turkey hunt periods

Hunt A: April 14-20

Hunt B: April 21-27

Hunt C: April 28-May 4

Hunt D: May 5-11

Hunt E: May 12-18

Hunt F: May 19-31