Wild turkey hunting

News & notices

Hunting open statewide

Hunting is allowed in any open permit area statewide. All hunters will be asked which permit area they hunt most but that does not restrict the hunter to that area. 

Licenses on sale Aug. 1

Licenses for the fall 2020 season go on sale Saturday, Aug. 1. Licenses are available for purchase online, in person and via telephone.

Questions & answers

Got a question about the season? Take the time to review our FAQ.

Seasons

SeasonDates
FallOct. 3 - Nov. 1

Registration

  • Wild turkeys must be registered within 24 hours of harvest.
  • You may now register by three methods: at a registration station, by calling 888-706-6367 or online.
  • The feathers, head, and feet must remain on the wild turkey until it is registered. Once registered turkeys may be transported with just a fully feathered attached wing, or an intact leg and foot.
  • No person may possess an unregistered wild turkey outside the wild turkey permit area where the bird was taken unless it is being transported in a direct route to a registration station.
  • Although hunters are not restricted to a permit area, hunters who register a turkey will be required to provide the permit area where they harvested their bird.

Tagging

  • The tag provided with the license must be punched with the date of the kill and attached to the wild turkey immediately after taking the bird. The tag must remain attached to the bird during transit.
  • The license stock (blue in color) has an eyelet hole (upper middle of each license square) that must be used to tie to the turkey leg. All hunters must carry a string or wire to attached turkey tag to leg.

Assistance

  • A licensed wild turkey hunter may assist another turkey hunter but may not shoot or tag a turkey for another hunter.
  • An unlicensed adult age 18 or older may assist a licensed wild turkey hunter. The unlicensed adult may not shoot or possess a firearm or bow while assisting a hunter and may not charge a fee for the assistance.

Regulations

  • One turkey of either sex may be taken during the fall season.
  • Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
  • Fall turkey hunters could have a crossbow, firearm or archery equipment afield. Fall turkey hunters who also are hunting archery deer may not possess a crossbow. They may only possess legal bows and arrows.
  • Firearms
    • A person may only use shotguns 10 gauge or smaller, including muzzle-loading shotguns.
    • Only shot size No. 4 or smaller (sizes 4, 5, 6, 7½, etc.) may be used.
    • Red dot scopes and range finders are legal.
  • Bows & arrows
    • Bows must have a pull of no less than 30 pounds at or before full draw.
    • A person may use a mechanical device attached to the bowstring if the person’s own strength draws and holds the bowstring.
    • Arrowheads must have at least two metal cutting edges of barbless design at least 7/8 inch in diameter, or must be of a blunt head design.
    • Expandable arrowheads must be at least 7/8 of an inch at or after impact and must be barbless.
    • No person may use an arrow that is poisoned or has an explosive tip.
  • Crossbows can be used
    • By any person using a valid firearms license during the spring wild turkey season.
    • By persons 60 or older under an archery-only license (no disability permit needed).
    • By any person with a disability permit under an archery-only license.
  • General restrictions
    • No person may be accompanied by a dog while hunting or assisting in hunting wild turkeys.
    • Wild turkeys may not be taken with the aid of any electronic device, except red dot scopes, rangefinders and devices designed to enhance hearing may be used.
    • Live turkey decoys are prohibited.
    • Hunters may not possess any firearms or bow and arrow except those defined as legal for taking wild turkeys. This does not apply to firearms authorized under the Minnesota Personal Protection Act.
    • Hunting with aid of bait or feed prohibited

Learn to hunt

Do you value strong connections to your outdoors and the food you eat? Are you looking for a new way to interact with the fields, woods, and waters around you?

Then check out the virtual turkey hunting classes we conducted this spring and our how to turkey hunt guide.

Management

Hunting is only one aspect of the DNR's effort to manage wild turkeys for the public trust. We are committed to socially and ecologically responsive and responsible wild turkey management for the benefit of all Minnesotans now and into the future. Visit our wild turkey management page to learn about the many things we do to manage eastern wild turkeys.