Turkey Hunting in Minnesota

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  • C
  • 85,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 40,000 (turkey)

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $26

    Turkey license; turkey stamp included in license fee.

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $100

    Hunting license and application; turkey stamp included in license fee.

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Minnesota is one of turkey hunting's final frontiers.

Gobblers and hens are still expanding their range and building flocks here, with lots of habitat to fill in.

Right now there are turkeys on the prairie and in the farmland. There are birds in the Twin Cities. And gobbles ring out practically within earshot of Duluth.

The Southeast hill country has been the classic, longtime turkey range in Minnesota since birds were re-introduced here in the 1970s, but a new stronghold is developing: Minnesota's extensive farmland-forest-prairie fringe country in the state's central areas; roughly a wide swath from the Twin Cities north and westward.

That's the good news.

But for birds to thrive, winters do need to offer some level of cooperation in these northern climes.

Some might be inclined to give Minnesota a "B" for potential, but the non-resident cost for just one spring turkey coupled with the lottery application and lack of public hunting land drops our rating a notch.

Those two strikes give the state just a satisfactory grade.

Minnesota is a draw state. Tags are over-the-counter after (check the Minnesota DNR website for details).

By then, some are fishing, you might have the woods to yourself and it's often just barely starting to green up here.

Southern hunters and others take notice: Minnesota is the place for a late hunt. The state is not replete with public-land opportunities, but make a few connections and you can get on. 

Fun Fact: Several years back, turkey hunting units were opened all the way to the Canadian border in the state's Northwest corner, further evidence of expanding turkey flocks. 11,325 birds were taken in 2012. In 2014, the latest data, 11,447 bearded turkeys were killed. In 2016, the most recent available data, Minnesota hunters took 12,313 birds.

– M.D. Johnson and Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in Minnesota © Tes Randle Jolly photo

Minnesota Turkey Hunting Regulations

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