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ND lowers number of turkey licenses by 10 percent

From North Dakota Game and Fish Department

-- North Dakota’s fall turkey season is set with 4,145 licenses available to hunters, a decrease of 10 percent from last year.

Harvest and population data from hunting units in the southwest and in some units in the central part of the state indicate poor production and chick recruitment from 2008-2011, according to Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor.

“Even though last winter was beneficial to our turkey population, we don’t know what turkey production will be like, and the number of breeding adult birds is lower than in past years,” Kohn said. “If turkey production is exceptionally good this spring, an additional 1,300 licenses may be used early this fall in specific hunting units.”

An experimental hunting season will continue for the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan. A maximum of 30 licenses will be available. The licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department once a person first obtains a permit from USDA-ARS.

An experimental turkey bow hunting season will continue within the city of Bismarck to help control a growing population of birds in residential areas. A maximum of 25 licenses will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to individuals who are licensed to bow hunt deer within the city. Those licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department in Bismarck after a person has a valid city archery permit.

Hunting units 21 in Hettinger and Adams counties and 53 in Divide and Williams counties will remain closed to fall turkey hunting in 2012 because of low turkey numbers.

The fall wild turkey season extends from Oct. 13 through Jan. 13.

Prospective hunters, including gratis applicants, can apply online.

The website is also available to print an application to mail. Paper applications will be available in mid-June from Game and Fish Department offices, county auditors and license vendors.

Applications are also accepted at the department’s toll free licensing line, (800) 406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made over the phone.

Applications for the fall season must be postmarked no later than July 5. Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply in the first lottery. Nonresidents can apply for fall turkey licenses that are still available following the first lottery.

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