Time to Apply for a Spring Turkey Hunting License

January 30, 2009 by  

By Doug Leier

The time is now to apply for a spring turkey hunting license

The time is now to apply for a spring turkey hunting license

The late winter winds blow anticipation across the desk of many hunters. It still looks like winter, but snow in February doesn’t last nearly as long as a half-foot of the white stuff that falls in mid-November.

Spring is inevitable. The start of the spring snow goose conservation season, coupled with late season hard-water fishing, all indicate that winter is out the door.

But the ultimate sign that the seasons have really changed is spring turkey hunting.

To participate in that season, you need to apply now. The application deadline is Feb. 14.

Even before the license lottery drawing is held it’s not too early to start preparations to ensure a successful hunt when spring turkey season opens in April.

Once you draw a license, nothing is guaranteed other than the opportunity to hunt. If you don’t have an idea of possible land to hunt, or areas within a unit to hunt, this is a short-term must do. Check with other hunters through a local wildlife club, or investigate some possible turkey habitat and potential landowners who may allow hunting access. Identifying a place to hunt is probably the most important preparation you’ll make.

There are a lot of spring turkey hunting licenses in ND, the key is finding the right zone without too many applicants

There are a lot of spring turkey hunting licenses in ND, the key is finding the right zone without too many applicants

For most spring turkey hunters, the quest is more than just about finding a bird and taking it home. Spring offers better odds of calling in turkeys compared to the fall season, and this can be tricky when it comes to securing a place to hunt.

You may find landowners frustrated with the number of turkeys in and around their farmstead. This can work in your favor as far as obtaining permission to hunt, as many landowners welcome turkey hunters.

On the other hand, there may be other hunters in the same area with the same idea. If you desire an undisturbed place to call in a turkey, be up front with the landowner and explain, if possible, that you’d like to coordinate with other potential hunters who may also have permission. Perhaps you might be able to hunt one small area of the land, while other hunters agree to hunt another piece of the property.

First and foremost, remember it’s up to the landowner.

Another factor to consider is that just because you’ve secured permission to hunt, don’t assume that also includes your friends or other family members. Be up front and let the landowner know how many are in your group, and what type of vehicle you’ll be driving. Most landowners will remember your vehicle and if they observe another, they may wonder what’s going on.

In all instances, clear communication is a key. Most landowners want to know who is hunting, and you will want to know if other hunters may be in the vicinity.

One last reminder on obtaining permission. Once you’ve filled your tag, make sure to notify the landowner. This may allow space for other hunters to come onto the property. And likewise, if you’ve not had success, by keeping in touch with the landowner and other hunters, you might find another spot that will work better.

Once again, submitting an application is the first step toward a spring turkey hunt. You can do it online at the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov, or pick up an application at most license vendors.

Then the wait begins. Think positive. Expect good news from the license drawing and get a head start on your preparations. I will make spring all that much more enjoyable when it does arrive.


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