Home Biologist ND Outdoors: Spring Turkey Hunting

ND Outdoors: Spring Turkey Hunting


BISMARCK, ND — The application deadline for a spring turkey permit is February 16. For the third year in a row, spring turkey hunters will have more hunting opportunities in North Dakota.

“There are 7,647 licenses, and that’s 635 more than ’21. We’ve gone up 10 units this year. We’ve left 10 the same. We’ve gone down in one, unit 3 around Devils Lake and then Unit 21 in the southwest, which is Hettinger and Adams County. The turkey population just can’t stand the spring harvest there yet,” said RJ Gross. , a game and fish biologist from the North Dakota Highlands.

There is a rule change for the 2022 spring turkey season.

“Handguns are no longer a legal firearm to use for spring turkeys. We are continuing the security movement that we made last year. No muzzleloading guns. And it’s not just a North Dakota thing, it’s national. It’s a shotgun only season, you can still use archery equipment, but only shotguns, including muzzleloading rifles no larger than 10 gauge,” added Gross.

The spring turkey season differs from the fall season. In spring, hunters call turkeys during their breeding season when they strut and vocalize to attract female turkeys.

“It’s a season reserved for bearded turkeys. Sometimes the hens, they can have a beard. You know that 10% of the chicken population can have a beard. And we just do that, you know, it’s hobbies, people target these adult mature toms. It’s compared to our downfall, which is our population control where you can shoot hens, jakes, toms,” Gross said.

Young hunters 15 or younger are guaranteed a statewide first spring turkey tag.

“It’s a great opportunity to take a child out, sit them in a blind next to a decoy, listen to the tomcats gobble up the trees, and watch them come in strutting and dancing. It’s a great opportunity to bring a kid out,” Gross said.

The 2022 spring turkey season opens April 9 and ends May 15.

To apply for a spring turkey license, visit the Department of Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov

Copyright 2022 KFYR. All rights reserved.