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Turkey Hunting in Minnesota



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Wild Turkey Population


Turkey Subspecies


Number of Licenses Sold Annually


Cost of Resident License and Permit


Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Image: MW_eastern_2

Photo by Thangs1

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said that with the exception of the heavy forest north of U.S. Highway 2, you'll find Eastern turkeys everywhere else in the state. The southeastern hill country has been the classic, longtime turkey range in Minnesota since birds were reintroduced here in the 1970s, but a new stronghold is developing: the state's extensive farmland-forest-prairie fringe country in the state's central areas; roughly a wide swath from the Twin Cities north and westward.

But it hasn't been easy establishing turkeys in this state bordering Canada. As with other states, particularly with Northern states such as Minnesota, the turkey's expansion beyond its original range is a wildlife management success story. The MDNR says Minnesota's last native turkey was spotted in 1880, before modern redistribution methods were used. After several reintroduction attempts starting in the 1920s, successful trap-and-transplant efforts began in 1971. A favorable habitat mix has pushed turkey range well beyond its pre-settlement location, the MDNR said. It was previously limited to southern Minnesota.

During the Spring 2023 season, Minnesota hunters took 13,659 turkeys, which was the second-highest total ever recorded.

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