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MDNR Report

The Michigan DNR is now accepting hunters’ applications for the fall turkey hunt and will continue to do so through Aug. 1.

The fall season runs from Sept. 15 through Nov. 14.

Applications can be purchased for $5 online at eLicense or anywhere DNR licenses are sold. 

Review the season regulations and hunting details at Michigan.gov/Turkey or download an electronic copy of the Fall Turkey Digest to your phone and carry it with you wherever you go. See instructions at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests.

IDNR Report

Volunteers can help DNR learn more about Indiana’s wild turkey populations by reporting turkey broods from July 1 through Aug. 31. The report form has been improved and updated to be more convenient for volunteers.  

Each summer, wildlife biologists and volunteers from across Indiana conduct brood surveys, counting the number of turkey hens with or without broods to estimate how many young turkeys live through the summer. Summer brood survival is one of the primary factors influencing wild turkey population trends in various regions of the state and informs wild turkey management.

This year DNR aims to collect 3,000 reports across the state with a goal of at least 25 reports per county.

Individuals will have an easier time submitting sightings using the new form, which requires no password and can be found at https://bit.ly/3z2Vx5h. That link also includes instructions for the survey and an illustrative guide on how to report wild turkey broods and hens, as well as the results of the previous summers’ brood surveys. 

For more information about wild turkey biology and management, see on.IN.gov/turkey.

By Heath Wood

Wild Turkey

Nothing excites a turkey hunter more than the sound of a majestic gobble echoing through the air. For many, hearing this sound – or actively calling in order to get a tom to make it – is considered essential to success in the turkey-hunting game. No doubt, calling is a crucial part of most successful hunts, but the setup itself is what actually creates -- or robs – opportunities.

Over many years of experience – both successes and failures – I’ve learned the importance of being in the right place at the right time when setting up on gobbler. Think of it as a bubble or an imaginary circle. Inside that bubble, your chances of you being able to call a gobbler in and make the shot increase significantly. Outside of that bubble, he’s much more likely to hang up or hen up. Hunters often debate how big the circle is before a gobbler locks in and commits to coming to a call; some say 100 yards, while others believe the circle is smaller at around 50 yards. Either way, one must complete a proper setup to have a chance at entering this bubble of opportunity.

Setting Up on the Roost

One of the easiest ways to get inside a gobbler’s circle of influence is setting up on him while he’s still on the roost.

Some hunters scout and observe birds the night before the hunt to determine where they may be roosted in the morning. It’s often possible to actually observe roosted birds, leaving no question where they’ll be. Either situation results in knowing where a gobbler will be – either generally or specifically – so that the hunter can set up as close as possible. Getting close to a gobbler on the roost allows the hunter to not only determine where a gobbler may pitch down to in the morning, but also a gobbler's mindset and attitude before he does. Calling can then be optimized to suit his mood.

IDNR Report

Youth hunters may apply for reserved turkey hunts during the special youth wild turkey hunting season on DNR properties from March 15-26.

The youth turkey season is April 17-18. Youth hunters who are under age 18 on the day of the hunt are eligible to apply. A limit will be placed on the number of youth hunters allowed to hunt a respective property on each hunting day in order to improve the quality of hunts for participants. Interested hunters or an adult representing them must register in person or by phone during the normal office hours for the property they wish to hunt. Hunters are limited to registering for one property.

Participating Fish & Wildlife Areas include Atterbury, Chinook, Crosley, Deer Creek, Fairbanks Landing, Glendale, Goose Pond, Hillenbrand, Hovey Lake, Jasper-Pulaski, Kingsbury, LaSalle, Pigeon River, J.E. Roush Lake, Sugar Ridge, Tri-County, Wabashiki, Willow Slough and Winamac. Two reservoir properties, Mississinewa Lake and Salamonie Lake, will also take part in the hunts.

MDNR Report

Results of Michigan’s spring turkey license drawing are now available.

Didn’t apply for a license? No problem. Leftover turkey licenses will go on sale to everyone Monday, March 15 at 10 a.m. Licenses may be purchased over the counter or through DNR E-License. Licenses are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no guarantee that leftover licenses will be available for any hunt unit.

Looking for a license that provides flexible hunting options? Hunt 0234 might be for you. Learn more about this hunt and season dates at Michigan.gov/Turkey.

Check your spring turkey drawing results online or call 517-284-WILD (9453).