The wild turkey hunting season is set to start April 17 in Minnesota.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  The first season is April 17- April 23.  That is labeled as A.  The rest of season's schedule is below.

WMA lottery deadlineFeb. 16
Youth seasonApril 17-May 31
Archery seasonApril 17-May 31
AApril 17-23
BApril 24-30
CMay 1-7
DMay 8-14
EMay 15-21
FMay 22-31

Schmitt says turkeys are still in large groups right now.  He has noticed lots of toms strutting and making noise in the morning.  Schmitt explains turkey numbers in Minnesota are good and expects a good turkey season.  More than 13,600 turkeys were shot in Minnesota in 2023 which was up 11% from 2022.  Central Minnesota saw some of the largest increases of any location in the state.

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photo - Glen Schmitt
photo - Glen Schmitt

Schmitt pointed out a couple of new laws for the turkey hunt this season.  Archery only hunters are allowed to use a cross bow this year.  If hunters hunt public land this turkey season and use a ground blind, you now have to have a 12 inch by 12 inch blaze orange patch on each side of the blind or blaze orange covering on top.  Schmitt also mentioned that if you are 17 years of age or an archery hunter, you can hunt the entire season and don't have to just pick one of the seasons outlined above.  He says the spring season has become popular and is way more popular than the fall turkey season.

Open water fishing is underway and Schmitt has some suggestions for fishing crappies and blue gills.  The locations on area lakes to find them are along shallow bays, harbors, channel and marinas.  Those will be areas that will be the first to warm up.  Schmitt plans to be looking for fish suspended over basins in 12 to 16 feet of water.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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