The state Game and Fish Department is offering 5,880 wild turkey licenses for the spring hunting season, a decrease of 50 from last year. The decrease is a result of poor production and chick recruitment.
Two of the 22 hunting units have slightly more spring licenses than in 2013, while 16 remain the same. Unit 21 (most of Hettinger and Adams counties) is again closed in 2014 due to lack of turkeys in the unit.
Successful spring turkey applicants must purchase a 2014-15 hunting license, as last year’s 2013-14 licenses expire March 31. In addition to the spring turkey license, hunters must have a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate, and a general game and habitat license. Also, hunters ages 16 and older must possess a small game license, or combination license.
Hunters may notice an increase in license fees required to hunt spring turkey, which were established and set by the 2013 state legislature. The spring turkey license increased from $8 to $15, and the general game and habitat license increased from $13 to $20. In addition, the small game license – required for hunters ages 16 and older – increased from $6 to $10. The combination license, which includes general game and habitat, small game, furbearer and fishing, increased from $32 to $50.
First-time spring turkey hunters ages 15 or younger are eligible to receive one spring license valid for the regular hunting season in a specific unit. To be eligible, the youth hunter must be 15 or younger on opening day of spring turkey season, and have never received a spring turkey license in North Dakota.
Spring turkey applicants can apply online or print out an application at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Applications can also be submitted by calling (800) 406-6409.
Application forms will also be available by Feb. 1 at most license vendors, county auditors and Game and Fish offices. The deadline for applying is Feb. 12. Online or phone applications must be logged before midnight that day.
Spring turkey licenses are available only to North Dakota residents. The spring turkey season opens April 12 and continues through May 18.