Calling all TomsWith the number of licenses for the hunting taking a dip down, it’s no surprise that the North Dakota fall turkey season is down 10 percent from last year.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
With the number of licenses for the hunting taking a dip down, it’s no surprise that the North Dakota fall turkey season is down 10 percent from last year.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is releasing 4,145 turkey licenses this fall.
“This isn’t a surprise,” said NDGF Department upland game supervisor Stan Kohn. “I think the sportsman saw it last and maybe even the year before that is that at their favorite hunting spots they just weren’t seeing the same numbers. Us (NDGF Department) lowering the licenses probably wasn’t a surprise to them.”
However, turkey hunters shouldn’t fret, because with the mild winter and calm spring has been prime conditions for a rebound.
“I think if you were writing a prescription what we would like to have for weather for nesting and breeding during the spring time, this is probably as good as one could expect,” Kohn said.
The fall turkey license application deadline is July 5. The hunters in the western area of the state can expect license numbers to be at 150 for Unit 45 (Stark County), 450 in Unit 13 (Dunn County), 75 in Unit 17, which is the Billings and Golden Valley area north of the Interstate 94, 65 in Unit 4, which is the Billings and Golden Valley area south of the interstate and 75 in Unit 44 (Slope County).
“Many of the units have been adjusted downward this fall,” Kohn said.
The only units still closed for the fall season is Unit 21, which is in parts of Adams and Hettinger County. The other unit that is closed is in the northwest part of North Dakota that includes Divide County and parts of Williams County.
“Those two have been closed the last four of five years,” Kohn said. “The warden down in Unit 21 has indicated to me that the numbers seem to be coming back there.”
With the rise, Kohn hopes that one day in the near future the NDGF Department can open the area for just a spring season as some point in the time for gobblers only.
As the summer months are upon the landscape of Western North Dakota winter seems long time ago, but the mild temperatures and light snowfall are still paying dividends.
“Turkey isn’t quite as susceptible to tough weather as some of the other upland game birds, just because of their body size,” Kohn said. “They have a tendency to move into sheltered areas when the weather gets tough.”
“The thing that seems to be a real positive this year is not only the cover on the landscape, but really super weather for nesting and breeding. I would expect to see some better production this year for all of our upland game birds including turkey, which is something we haven’t seen the past couple springs.”
The fall turkey season runs on a weighted lottery system. Since the spring turkey season is over, the weight of spring lottery doesn’t count toward the fall lottery.
“Whether they get drawn or not for the spring season has no effect on them in the fall,” Kohn said.