SPRING WILD TURKEY HUNTING OPPORTUNTIES EXPAND;|
APPLICATION PERIOD BEGINS JANUARY 1
LANSING--The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is expanding wild turkey hunting opportunities on private land in southern Michigan for the 2002 spring hunting season, and hunters can begin applying Jan. 1 at authorized license dealers or online at www.michigan.gov.
The spring wild turkey hunting season runs from April 22 through May 31, with various hunting periods ranging in length from seven to 26 days. More than 44,000 square miles are open to hunting, including areas in the Upper Peninsula as well as most of the Lower Peninsula. A total of 100,445 licenses are available through a lottery, and hunters have a choice to apply for a limited quota lottery hunt period or a guaranteed hunt period. Applicants for the guaranteed hunt period are guaranteed a hunting license valid for all open areas from May 6 through May 31, except public lands in southern Michigan.
New for 2002 is Hunt Unit ZZ, which consolidates many smaller individual southern Michigan private land hunt units into one large unit. Hunters who apply for and successfully draw this hunt will be able to hunt turkeys during the first two weeks of the season (April 22-May 5) on private lands, with landowner permission, in southern Michigan.
"We're pleased to be able to liberalize spring wild turkey hunting opportunities, particularly on private lands," said Al Stewart, DNR Upland Game Bird Specialist. "The expansion is the result of the success of our wild turkey restoration program and an expanding turkey population."
It costs $4 to apply for a spring turkey hunting license. This nonrefundable application fee must be paid at the time of application and does not include the cost of the license. Applications can be purchased through e-license 24 hours a day during the application period, which ends Feb. 1, and e-license customers may use MasterCard and Visa to charge their purchase.
Drawing results will be posted Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. (EST) on the DNR Web site at www.michigandnr.com. All applicants, except those who applied online, will be notified by mail before Feb. 22.
If licenses are still available after the drawing, the remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis only to unsuccessful applicants in the license lottery. These individuals may purchase one leftover license in person at any license dealer beginning March 4 at 10 a.m. (EDT). The guaranteed hunt period (Hunt Number 234) also is available to unsuccessful applicants