For my first write up for the Duck Junkies Team I thought I would cover some turkey hunting. I started doing some research to make sure I got all my facts straight and on my way through the Minnesota DNR web site I found this great table that covers the turkey hunting applicants, the available licenses, issued licenses, issued percentage, the registered harvested and the most important part to me the success percentage.
I thought this would be a great table for all the turkey hunters in Minnesota, and for all the hunters that would like to give Minnesota a try.
It’s great to see how the percentages have increased in permits verses applicants. And of course the harvest numbers have climbed over the years since Minnesota first had a turkey season. But, my favorite column is the success percentage. The reason the success percentage is my favorite is it shows these birds are not easily harvested. With amazing eye sight and acute hearing they are one tough bird to bag.
They can pickup on the slightest movement. Your hand moving for your gun or bow. A poorly camouflaged face moving into position on the butt of a shotgun. The glint of sun off a shiny broadhead. Their hearing is equally acute. All it can take on a calm morning is the click of a safety. The crunch of a couple of dry leaves under your foot as you shift your weight to ready for the shot. Even the sound of an arrow sliding along a worn rest on your bow as you draw. They are very aware of their surroundings. Remember you are in their house.
Like most animals, some become more adapted to existing close to people and encroaching development. Some will even become aggressive and will charge people to protect their territory or their group. You can see them on the side of the road when your diving or on the edges of fields eating. Strutting close to homes and businesses in groups. Even eating out of bird feeders. Many people see these behaviors and think hunting them is going to be easy. Those birds are not being hunted at the time. They feel safe. But, change one small thing. A quick movement or unfamiliar sound and they are on Red Alert.
Don’t underestimate the wild nature and heightened senses of turkeys. You may wind up at the end of your season wondering how they suddenly got so smart.
On the Minnesota DNR web sight you can also listen to 2 audio clips on turkey hunting. They have some great spring turkey hunting tips and tricks that range from calling in the big one, to the gear that will make the hunt more successful and fun. They cover a lot of information that can help a new hunter, or even a seasoned pro that is looking for a different point of view. My only suggestion is that if you do listen to the audio clips have a piece of paper handy you’ll want to take a few notes.
Always remember, It’s the challenges in the outdoors that make our sports so interesting, and addicting. Share the experience with someone. You’ll be glad you did.
John Rotter JR
Duck Junkies pro staff member