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HateHumminbird

Strategies for acquiring your spring tag

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HateHumminbird

In Minnesota, we are blessed to have an healthy turkey population, and a DNR that is concerned for the quality of the spring turkey hunt. The drawback to this concern, however, is the chance that you might not get a tag for up to 3-4 years, depending upon which zone/season combination you select.

In most areas however, by doing a bit of research and homework BEFORE you apply, you can increase your odds of getting a tag several-fold. I'm of the opinion that turkey hunting is too great a sport to be enjoyed a handful of times a decade. That said, I've had great success in securing tags, season after season, year after year.

While I know that I'm letting the cat out of the bag here, AND creating competition for limited tags with myself, I'd like to share this information with all FM'ers out there. The approach is not novel or original in any way, but it does work!

KEYS TO OBTAINING A SPRING TAG IN MN:

-Previous Years Spring Turkey Hunt Report - This is a wealth of information (now public on the DNR website) that will tell you quite a bit about the area you hunt in. I used to have to request these yearly and have them mailed. Most importantly, it will give you statistics for applicant success per zone/season. Pay careful attention to where dates fell (weekend or weekday) in previous years and look for a pattern in your zone.

-Peak Gobbling Activity - The first two periods in Minnesota will typically have the biggest gobbling peak. If spring times it just right, gobblers will be ready and hens won't, hopefully giving you an easy hunt. A secondary gobbling peak follows a lull after the initial peak, and this typically happens in MN seasons E-F. Realize that hunter success per time period (can be found in the hunt report) closely follows these peaks. However, because tags during these time periods are more coveted, they're a tougher draw in almost every zone.

-Weekend/Weekday/Holidays - This can play a role in your application's success. Mother's day can be a big one!

-Know the rules - Second chance drawing - You can specify a 2nd preference for your tag, seasons F-H.

-Surplus tags - If you can't draw a tag in the regular zone, make sure you're one of the first in-line to get the surplus tags. While small-town hardware stores might seem the place to be, I've had better luck in urban gas stations that sell licenses. No one hunts turkeys around there!

- Over the counter bow-license - If all else fails, and you don't get drawn, remember that you can purchase a bow tag over the counter for any zone that has greater than 50 tags available per time period.

So there you have it. No excuse not to get a tag this year!

Joel

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ChuckN

Great post Joel!

Thanks for the reminders. grin.gif

With the increase permits where I hunt, bow is now an option!

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Borch

Joel Shhhh.... laugh.gif

There are plenty of permits as long as folks are flexible in regards to area, time period and weapon. Just be aware that demand changes greatly from year to year for different seasons in different areas.

Good Luck every one!

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Snag

I've always wanted to give Turkey hunting a try. Thanks for the post. Now I just need some strategies to get my wife to let me hunt on Mother's day.

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HateHumminbird

Borch:

I know it. I've been debating that post for 3 years. My thought is that the dedicated guys have already stumbled onto this info, and the folks that don't have as much time to put into this won't bother. Hopefully the post will slip into oblivion smile.gif

Joel

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igotem

I apply every year for the time period that correlates to the fishing opener. I've drawn a tag every year for the last 8 - 10 years, or however long I've been huntin' them toms. I get in plenty of fishing before "fishing opener", so missing that weekend is no big deal. Depending on how the hunt goes, I usually get in a little trout fishing to boot!

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