Wild turkey

An eastern wild turkeyWild turkeys have become an increasingly common sight across much of Minnesota. With the exception of the heavy forest north of U.S. Highway 2, you're likely to spot the eastern wild turkey just about anywhere.

The expansion of the wild turkey's original range is a wildlife management success story. Caused by loss of forested habitat in the valleys of the Mississippi, Minnesota, Rock and Des Moines rivers and unregulated hunting, Minnesota's last native turkey was spotted in 1880.

After several re-introduction attempts dating back the 1920s, successful trap and transplant efforts began in 1971. A favorable habitat mix has pushed the wild turkey range well beyond its pre-settlement location, which was limited to southern Minnesota.


Season Changes

Statistics, Surveys & Maps

Spring season changes in place

Turkey hunting time periods will be longer this spring, all will include weekends and more time periods will be available to each hunter.

Hunters can choose from five one-week time periods. One longer time period ending on Tuesday, May 31, concludes the spring season. Previously, there were eight time periods, and not all included weekends.

The bag limit will remain one bearded turkey.

Each year, the season will begin on the Wednesday closest to April 15, and each time period will start on a Wednesday. Each year, the final time period will end on May 31.

Complete turkey hunting regulations are available on the turkey hunting page.

Public process brings change

DNR made the changes following a public process to increase hunter opportunity and satisfaction while maintaining hunt quality.

Data from a 2014 statewide survey of adult turkey hunters provided information and four "Talking Turkey" dialogue sessions took place across the state in the fall, and the proposal was further refined after taking public comment in October. The DNR received 160 comments, a summary of which is being prepared and posted here when available.

DNR is aware that some hunters are concerned that changes will lead to crowding, negatively impacting hunt quality. Hunter satisfaction and hunt quality will be measured so adjustments can be made if necessary.

DNR also has prepared a complete list of answers to questions asked during the comment process.