DNR reports drop in preliminary ’21 spring turkey harvest

Preliminary January state turkey harvests for spring turkeys released today by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) show a slight drop from last year, but still an increase in numbers compared to previous years. The preliminary January state turkey harvest total of 6,294 birds was up slightly from last year (6,162 birds), but a 4% drop from 2013, when a total of 6,569 birds were harvested.

The preliminary numbers for the spring turkey harvest in Minnesota are in, and they’re good news for the Minnesota DNR. Preliminary results show that the state’s spring turkey harvest is off to a strong start, with a harvest of approximately 999,000 birds, which is about 5 percent below last year’s harvest. The total spring turkey population in Minnesota is estimated at 8.4 million, which is about 2,000 birds above last year’s estimate. The estimated fall turkey harvest is off to a healthy start, as well. Preliminary spring harvest numbers show the harvest of 793,000 spring turkeys is about 4 percent below last year’s harvest. The estimated fall turkey population in Minnesota is estimated at 5.4 million, which is,

The preliminary estimate of the spring turkey harvest, based on the January 20 sampling, shows a 34 percent reduction in the number of upland birds taken compared with 2014 totals. The DNR estimates that 37,000 turkeys were harvested during the 2015 spring season, compared with 56,000 in 2014.. Read more about wild turkeys and let us know what you think.turkey harvest (Wisconsin DNR)

MADISON, Wisconsin – The Wisconsin DNR today released preliminary results that Wisconsin turkey hunters harvested 37,179 birds during the 2021 spring hunting season, a 17 percent decrease from the 44,982 birds harvested during the 2020 spring season.

In Wisconsin, Governor Evers’ “Safe at Home” executive order was in effect during the 2020 season, which may have contributed to people having more time and opportunity to hunt turkey while activities and events were cancelled, said Alaina Gerrits, assistant wildlife ecologist with the DNR. Preliminary data shows that as of 2020, the number of people winning the lottery and buying a harvest permit has dropped to the level we knew before the health crisis with COVID-19.

In the 2021 youth season, which is included in the total, 3,308 birds were recorded, up nearly 15% from 2,881 in 2020. Total turkey production decreased in all areas and time periods compared to 2020. Although the Fort McCoy harvest is not included in this preliminary count, this harvest generally represents less than 1% of the state’s total.

Winter and early spring weather conditions contributed to healthy turkey populations at the beginning of the hunting season, with moderate temperatures and few prolonged cold spells. Weather conditions remained optimal for hunters for most of the 2021 turkey season and particularly favorable for hunting young.

A total of 220,347 turkey permits were issued for the 2021 spring season, a 2 percent decrease from 2020. There were 144,477 permits issued by lot and 76,200 permits sold at the box office. There were 16,215 fewer coins sold at the counter this year than in 2020.

Area 3 had the largest total harvest of 9,847 birds, followed by Areas 2 and 1. Hunters recorded 9,302 birds in Zone 2 and 8,964 birds in Zone 1. The statewide pass rate, without adjusting for nonparticipation, was 16.9 percent, down from 20 percent in 2020.

The 2021 spring season began on April 17 with a hunt for youngsters, followed by the first of six regular season seasons beginning on April 21 and ending on January 1. The month of June ended with the conclusion of the sixth period. Separate seasons allow hunters to maximize their opportunities with minimal disturbance while ensuring a sustainable harvest.

Wisconsin biologists carefully monitor harvest, hunter response, hunter satisfaction and other information to track turkey populations over time to ensure a successful, enjoyable and sustainable spring turkey hunt.

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