There was a time in Michigan’s history during which the wild turkey was a rarely seen bird. Over the course of time thanks to careful management and conservation, the wild turkey population has since begun to thrive. Currently the United States is home to more than 7 million wild turkeys. This includes all of the Lower Peninsula as well as part of the Upper Peninsula, which is good news if you plan to pursue them in your hunting travels.
Since the Michigan turkey population is thriving, it is possible for many hunting opportunities to become available. One of those opportunities is a spring wild turkey hunting season. During this season, only bearded turkeys can be harvested while the fall season is a time when the harvesting of females is suggested. In order for Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources to continue their conservation and population control efforts, licenses to hunt turkey in the spring are sold via a quota system. More information about this can be found here or you can call (517) 284-WILD (9453). Once the license draw completes, you will not be formally notified but instead will have to view your own results online. As of right now, the application period is open through February 1st, so be sure to get yours in if you want to hunt turkey this spring.
The upcoming spring turkey season will be April 18th through the 31st of May. During that time there will be several hunt limited license periods from which you can choose. Beyond that there are more widespread state options available in the form of Hunt 0234. Licenses for this particular hunt are sold over the counter beginning on March 15th. No application is required and hunting dates run between May 2nd through the 31st. Statewide hunting is allowed with the exception of private land in southern Michigan.
Since Michigan is ranked 7th in the nation for prime spring turkey hunting, a good opportunity is upon us to get our piece of the 30,000 or so wild turkeys that are harvested during this season. If you wish to get a jump on your season and apply for a license, you can do so here. Just remember that only one spring license is allowed per hunter. Once you’ve applied and submitted your information, you will be able to visit here beginning on March 1st in order to check your luck in the drawing. Should licenses be leftover, they will be sold to meet the quota. If you apply and do not obtain a license, you will have first crack at the leftovers beginning on March 8th at 10 am. Beyond that, any hunter will be able to purchase those remaining beginning on March 15th at 10am.
As the season opening date grows ever closer, go ahead and get your gear in order so you’ll be ready to go when the time comes. Remember that you’re going to want good camo cover and possibly a ground level blind as well as some decoys. You also want to get your calls together, be they friction calls, mouth calls, shaker calls, and/or flapping calls, and maybe brush up on your skills. Michigan’s plentiful turkey is out there and waiting; it is now up to you to suit up and go get ‘em.