DNR gives turkey season sparkling reviews
LANSING — It was by all counts not a bad turkey hunting season locally and across the state.
“It went well,” said Al Stewart, the Upland Game Bird specialist for the Department of Natural Resources. “People were seeing birds a fair number of people were able to harvest one. The national average for hunter success is down from what we’re shooting for-a 20 percent hunter success.
“Most years of Michigan in the spring we’ve been running in the upper 30 percent. Michigan is sixth in the nation for turkey harvest and is ranked as having some of the highest quality turkey hunting of anywhere in the country.”
The poor spring weather did have an impact, Stewart acknowledged.
“Spring came two weeks later this year than normal,” he said. “That first week in May, there were a lot of hens with the toms, when that occurs the toms don’t gobble as much, They can see the hen right there. The last 15 days of May were really good. At that point most of the hens were sitting on their nests. So the toms were out there and lonely, looking for a new hen in the woods.”
A fall season is scheduled in Area J, the extreme northern western part of the Lower Peninsula.
“The rest of the northern lower is not open,” Stewart said. “The whole U.P. is open to fall turkey hunting and all of the Southern Lower Peninsula, south of Clare County.”
Area K, which includes local counties, is not open for fall turkey hunting.