Fall Wild Turkey Season Application Period Begins July 1

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National Wild Turkey FederationThe Department of Natural Resources today announced applications for the 2008 fall wild turkey season will be available July 1 through Aug. 1.

A total of 59,050 licenses are available through a lottery for the units open to hunting — a total of 12,350 general licenses that may be used on public or private land and 46,700 licenses for private land only. There are 12 wild turkey management units totaling 34,976 square miles open to fall turkey hunting during the Oct. 6-Nov. 14 season. Open areas include almost all of southern Michigan, five counties in the northern Lower Peninsula and the entire wild turkey management area in the Upper Peninsula.

Regulations are virtually identical to last year.

“Things went well last year,” said Al Stewart, the DNR’s upland game bird specialist. “Hunter success was 32 percent last fall, up from 28 percent in 2006 and hunter satisfaction improved as well; the majority of hunters rated their hunting experience as excellent, very good or good. We didn’t see a need to make any changes.”

Hunters will be allowed to buy one fall turkey license and may harvest a bird of either sex during the fall season. Hunters may apply for a turkey hunting license at any authorized license agent, at DNR Operations Service Centers or online at www.michigan.gov/dnr. There is a nonrefundable application fee of $4, which does not include the cost of the license.

During the application process, it is important that hunters verify their customer ID (Michigan Driver License, DNR Sportcard or state of Michigan ID card) numbers. An incorrect customer ID number makes applicants ineligible for a license.

Hunters may use MasterCard, VISA, American Express or Discover when applying for a license online at the DNR E-License system, available 24 hours a day during the application period. Individuals may obtain assistance with their fall wild turkey application by calling 517-373-1263, Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Applicants may check drawing results online beginning Aug. 28. If any licenses remain after the drawing, unsuccessful applicants may purchase one leftover license in person at any license agent on a first-come, first-served basis for a one week period beginning Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. (EDT). Any licenses that remain as of Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. (EDT) will be available for purchase over the counter by any hunter, including individuals who did not apply for a fall wild turkey license. These licenses will be sold until the quotas are met.

Wild turkey hunting in the fall enables wildlife managers to stabilize or reduce wild turkey numbers in certain areas of the state to meet local goals based on habitat conditions and public attitudes.